The last time I formulated a blog entry in the form of a rebuttal to my esteemed colleague Todd McGee, there was some slight talk about a “blog war” to which I stated and I quote “this isn’t a blog war. You’ll know when I start a blog war.
But with this latest post, this thing, this “poker king for a day” fantasy of his? Consider it started.
Re: Poker clocks
It’s bad enough that the opinions he’s put forth, frankly, are totally ridiculous, but then he had to go and rip off my lovable love-to-hate snark humor style. This website ain’t big enough for two opinionated snarkers, McGee.
However, when it comes to the utilization of clocks in poker, he does have a point. Wards against ridicu-tankers in the live poker industry are, to put it charitably, woefully inadequate at this time. Players may have the option to call a clock on a ridicu-tanker, but social stigma of all things prevents this from having anything resembling true effectiveness; people think it’s “rude” to do so if a.) you’re not in the hand yourself, despite the rules explicitly allowing for this, or b.) the tanker hasn’t actually tanked for a ridiculous amount of time already.
Where Todd’s rhetoric falls apart is in his proposed implementation. One clock for all players at the table, and it’s the dealer’s responsibility to reset it? For each player? Dealers have quite enough to keep track of already! I’ve never personally been in a professional dealer’s shoes and frankly I hope that never changes. They have to keep an eye on the cards they’re using and prevent misdeals.
They have to keep an eye on the players and help ensure there’s no cheating or mistakes made and correct mistakes that players do make. They have to make sure the pot is the size it’s supposed to be, everyone’s blinds and antes are in, and that the dealer button is in the correct place. Yes, sometimes players help with such things, but players make mistakes and dealers cannot afford to make those mistakes because they are in charge. Asking them to keep track of a dang clock on top of everything they already do to run a game is just unreasonable.
Re: Don’t ask, don’t show + Just Shut Up Already
I frankly don’t even comprehend the vitriol for the practice of asking someone to show if they fold. If someone’s dumb enough to show me cards they don’t have to, please let them! And if someone’s dumb enough to think I’ll show cards I don’t have to and they get all butthurt when I go back on it, so much the better! An angry player is a tilting player, and a tilting player is a player easy to beat. It’s called psychological warfare, it’s a valid part of poker, deal with it.
That having been said, it isn’t the sort of trick that a guy can bust out whenever he feels like it–you reveal large quantities of information about what kind of player you are to everyone at the table, so it’s something to use sparingly if you’re like me and care more about winning more than sparing people’s feelings in a competition where there’s, you know, real fricking money at stake.
As for the last point on table talk…did you even read the words you wrote in your own first section, Todd? If you don’t want poker to be boring, the last thing that should ever be done to it is to impose restrictions on table talk. Besides, most of the time people who aren’t in a hand don’t talk to people who are in a hand anyway. I’m not entirely sure where you come from that sitting in stony silence and just playing the game qualifies as “fun.” It certainly takes away from the fun factor for spectators at the very least, and me personally too.
Plus, it’d put some serious kibosh on that whole psychological warfare thing that I love so much. And then where would I be?