I was watching the 2006 World Series of Poker on ESPN and saw a young player, I don't recall his name, behaving quite badly. In fact, being a jerk and got at least one time out from the tournament officials. What struck me though was my reaction to what I was watching – I wanted to see this person lose. Honestly, I've been playing Hold Em Poker for decades and I am a confirmed follower and advocate of polite poker etiquette.
Following this very emotional reaction to the behavior of a total stranger on television, I wondered what I would do if I were playing Hold Em Poker against this person (or anyone just like him). I believe I would react exactly the same way. I would want to beat him and beat him bad. And therein lies the problem. Would I want to beat him so badly that his behavior caused me to leave my A game behind and play differently in an effort to accomplish that task?
I then remembered an incident that happened to me in a 3-6-12 Hold Em Poker game at the Showboat in Las Vegas many years ago. At that time I was not the kind of person who went to a casino poker room to make friends; I went there to win money. Looking back now I can see it was this incident that opened my eyes to all manners of making money be interacting with my fellow players.
The incident occurred when the player to my immediate left chose me to be his designated poker chat buddy. I, being young and dumb then both in life and in Hold Em Poker, gave him a rude cold shoulder just to get him to leave me alone. As it happens I did get my wish and an amazing bonus too! This person was so mad at me for being a jerk he started playing every hand I was in trying to beat me as a means of revenge. In other words, my actions and behavior caused him to leave his A game behind and he was playing on emotion instead of reason. It was easy money.
Now, decades of Hold Em Poker experience later, I try very hard not to be rude to other players. I honestly and openly converse and am friendly with them while still trying to take their money. I did not forget my lesson learned, however, and will try in ways other than being deliberately rude to get my opponents off their A game.
And when I see other players behaving poorly now I try to keep my emotions in check and look deeper. The experiencedHold Em Poker player I’ve become now looks at this person and wonders is he really a jerk or is it a ploy aimed at his opponents, me included, to get us off our A game.
Currently a Pit Manager in a Midwest casino Table Games department. I am an avid poker player both online and at brick and mortar casinos.
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