Target Practice

Some people have an amazing way of painting targets on their face…  The problem is most of them have no idea they are being targeted, or why for that matter. So to start off today, I’d like to talk about some things that can make you a target at the poker table.

With poker being a game that utilizes most of our senses one of the very first things we notice at a poker table is smell. There’s nothing worse than sitting at a table next to someone with poor hygiene! Please take a shower. Wear clean cloths. Brush your teeth. In a worst case scenario, at least take the cologne bath… If you are experiencing issues with any of these things and playing poker comes to mind long before showering, you and I need to sit down and have a chat… I mean seriously, in the shortest poker games you’re going to be in an enclosed close quartered area for 1-3 hours. Please have the awareness that you’re not alone and that everyone around knows you smell. This smell will most likely have people looking to knock you out of the game as soon as the chance arises. No one will feel the slightest bit sad that you are gone. I’m not the only person who thinks this. The WSOP added a rule during the 2010 World Series of Poker just for this.

The next people that comes to mind are the “loud mouth know it all” guys. We’ve all played cards with that guy who’s loud, obnoxious, and berating. An interesting article written about this supports my theory. ( Let me just say this, you are instantly a target. No one wants to sit with you. Don’t be that guy who thinks he knows everything at the table. If you are the guy who yells at players for beating you, or yells if a player gets lucky, you aren’t welcome at my table. Everyone has their own version of playing poker. No one is right, and no one is wrong. Sure there are rules of thought to this game, but not everyone is tied to them. The aggressive players at the table are going to turn over sub par hands more times than not, and the tight players are going to turn over top 10 hands. But that doesn’t make one player better than the other. That doesn’t give you the right to yell at a player. There is no reason to raise your voice at a table. I understand this can be an emotional game, if you want my respect, stand up and walk away. Express your emotions somewhere else. Come back to the table with a calm collected demeanor, and you won’t have the target the loud mouths have developed.

The next player that inevitably gets targeted, is a close cousin to the loud mouth know it all. He’s the guy that never shuts up. “I folded 7-2 off suit there… It’s would have won!” “I’ve had that hand 6 times today…” Really? Do you think people at the table are actually listening to you? All they’re thinking about is first break, that first chance to get a break from you. You may be the nicest person in the world, and have the kindest intentions, but if you are the motor mouth at the table, be ready for the target. Nobody wants to hear about all the hands you could have won if you would have played bad cards. You’re not gaining any brownie points from anyone. Sure, banter at the table is great! Good conversation can pass the time, but keep the meaningless chatter to a minimum… Every single person has folded cards that have hit. It’s part of poker. No one wants to hear about, every single hand…

Poker is not the liveliest game out there… sometimes it can be out right boring. We’ve all experience it. This is one of the reasons I always suggest people bring some items to keep themselves entertained (books, tablets, phone, music…). So this brings me to the next target, the “Take Forever Guy.” You know who I’m talking about here… The guy who takes a full minute to fold, in first position, pre-flop… Let me put it this way, the decision to fold takes 2 seconds. You look at your cards and make a decision. There is no reason to ever take this long folding pre-flop. If you’ve made it part of your game to take as much time as excessively possible to make your decisions, you have a problem. When a clock is called on you every single time it’s your turn to make a decision, you will have made yourself a target at the table. This guy is almost the worst guy to play with… He drags out the game. He eats up clock time, letting people see fewer cards between blind levels… He forces us to sit longer with the people who invade our sense of smell, and the people who burst our eardrums… I will be the guy calling for a clock to start on you the moment your turn starts. I enjoyed reading this article: (Whats amazing is how many of the things he mentions have actually crossed my mind playing cards with the “Take Forever guy.”)

As I say nearly every time I close, I don’t know everything there is to know about poker… but if these thing I’ve mentioned are part of your game plan coming to the poker table, please rethink your game plan. No one wants to sit with you. When you do sit, you wont be welcomed with open arms… I have seen people cheer when these people get knocked out… This practice is not something I condone, but I understand it… Please be respectful of others at the table. This is a game, and it’s meant to be enjoyed, not exploited…

Thanks again for visiting my little whole in the wall, and may many pots be push in your direction!

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