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Sunday, 31 July 2011

Etiquette at the table

I'm a pretty keen golfer so I know all about sport etiquette, there is an acceptable behavior in everything from the sports field to the dinner table. It is confusing that many fail to abide to the respectable etiquette. After noticing many things from both the World Series and this months poker games I have played I wanted to expand on some behaviors that need to be enforced.
Speaking at the table, yes poker is a card game and banter is acceptable but not talking over the game. Its ridiculously annoying when players that aren't involved in the hand have a gigantic conversation while another player is tanking. What is worse is when they are discussing the hand that is in progress. Everything that is said can disperse valuable information to all the players involved in the hand. Imagine one player says after the board comes down [J.Q.Q] - "s**t, I just folded a Q...
I don't know if this is an official thing but last night I told a player that he can't force someone on tilt. He was saying after he lost a hand that the player who beat him is weak and plays too many weak hands. Its is pretty probable that by aggravating a player, his more likely to 'target'.

Your only tool at the poker table is your style of play. Maybe its just my opinion but having players ask what did you fold after every hand is somewhat of an invasion of your style.
During the last poker night after I raised on the flop my opponent was about to fold and asked if I would show my cards.
So I told him "if you call me on the flop, I will show you on the turn"... By exposing your cards at anytime in the hand you are relaying unnecessary information to your opponents at the table.

Earphones, I have never tried listening to music while I play. I can understand when players want to get into their own worlds blocking out the world, narrowing it down to them, music and the cards they see. However, I don't respect players who pump the volume up to unbearable. Poker is a very involved game, continuous information and directions are required so it is required of you to listen to what's happening around you and most importantly at the table...
However, I have been considered experimenting with my ipod at the next poker table. I have questioned what to listen to, does the genre, volume or tempo have any influence on your style, behavior and mood.

In conclusion, treat the poker table and the people around it with "competitive respect", they are your opponents however the way you treat them is the way you will get treated. If you remain positive, technically correct in both style and mannerism you are more likely to have a successful and more importantly good time on the velvet.

Finally, shaking hands and commenting on your opponents play can benefit you without your opponent even knowing. There are subconscious effects on your opponent. Always remember to acknowledge a 'classy performance', because when your on the receiving end of the acknowledgment you can pocket it to confidence. Now your thinking, why would I want to boost the confidence of my opponent. Yes you are, but you will be taking more out of it than they do. You're subconsciously making a mental note of the hand how it was played and this gives additional information on your opponents hand. Another thing being friendly at the table will help with is the way in which people bet against you, earning the respect that the bets aren't going to be 'targeting'

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