To chat or not to chat...
Personally, I try to avoid chatting whilst playing poker, not only does it destroy my concentration on the game but I also find that occasionally whilst typing, my premium hand is auto-folded!!!
Of course when the insults start flying my way, because my 10,4s has beaten AA or KK and I've made the flush then I just have to laugh to myself and think... this guy is really on tilt now!
Chat can work in your favour though, I find you can earn some table respect by respecting the other players at the table, offering comments such as "nice hand" or "good call", even "good fold" if I know I've held the nuts.
Only the other day in a 6 handed tourney, I flop a 8high straight (flop was 4,5,7rainbow) whilst holding 68s, the other guy goes all in and I call. He turns over pair of 4's... I'm thinking great I have his 3 of a kind beat ... the turn card came and would you believe it the last 4 in the pack. (So much for Phil Gordon's rule of 4 & 2!!) But that's poker and all I could offer to the chat box was "Can't beat that, NH", fortunately I wasn't totally wiped out of the tourney, but it was difficult not to tilt after that!!!
There are obviously pro's and con's to the chat box, generally if two other players are bickering amongst themselves I will just mute those two. Yes there can be tells
in chat but how many of those are engineered to be false reads?