Table talk; why you should not do it, please!

Michael Paler

Michael Paler

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Some folks banter back and forth at the table. They ask how ya doin, hows so-and-so, etc; this is all fine and dandy. However, one thing (And yes, I have been guilty of) is just a plain old bad idea to do; shouting at calling stations/donkeys and talking strategy at the table.

I know MTT's can get frustrating, yet, think about it for a second; Sure, you know that donkey who just beat you by limping in UTG and calling your AK button raise with 47 off is a horrible weak play, makes you mad and is extremely aggravating, but isn't that what you want? So, by blasting the guy, you might just do this instead:

1) Embarrass him enough to make him start playing better and then beat your butt.
2) Make you someone people do not like to lose to. And they will make sure they do not.
3) Wise up people to the fact that there actually is a strategy going on!

When I now see someone make a donkey play and beat me, I might actually compliment them. This encourages them to keep playing like a moron and makes me someone they will not mind losing to. They actually apologise when they beat me! Can you believe that? I mean, do you really think after blasting someone in chat that they will be taking chances they normally would against you, if they think that you will whine and shout at them? Many will just avoid you. How are you going to make money off of them then? Even worse, when they do get a good hand, they will simply blast away at you, wanting revenge.

As far as talking strategy, this is just silly. Not only will you wise up suckers, you are putting information on your play right out there for all others to pick up on; "oh, he thinks coming in UTG for 3x the BB with a KJ is a bad idea? Must mean he only does that with AK or better" right? Congrats, you just gave them some good info that they can now use against you. I see this so much. Just break out a gun and shoot your own foot why don't you.

This ever happen to you? You and others have been steadily chipping up off of a bad player(s) and then had it ruined by a loud mouth just seated bashing the guy. Next thing you know, he screws down tight as a drum, starts paying attention and winning them back! Doh! Thanks a lot, big mouth.

To make up for it, I then semi-break my own rule and ask Mr big-mouth questions about certain plays. Sure enough, if they are silly enough to bash a bad player, they are often willing to talk about strategy. I just let them and give blank answers back about what I think of it (play stupid; it's easy for me) Sometimes I (and others!) can then use that against them and take them out. Makes up for screwing the pooch and making the calling station stop calling!

Try to keep this in mind before you go blasting bad plays or leaking game plans you have yourself. In an MTT it is all about survival. Every little thing can help. You cannot play it like you would a cash game.

And you never, ever, wise up a sucker!!!
 
Michael Paler

Michael Paler

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Just to back me up, this was recently posted on poker news, and I will paste it in here. Valuable lesson that just proves me correct here.

http://www.pokernews.com/live-reporting/2013-world-series-of-poker/event-62-10-000-no-limit-hold-em-main-event/chips.67930.htm

Steve Zolotow Springs the Ambush on Unsuspecting Amateur

Earlier in the day we encountered a fairly common sight on the first day of a world series of poker tournament: a lively player with a larger stack than he started with, beginning to table talk as if the tournament was already won.

"See, now I called there, I just called," the player told his latest victim. "That means I might've had a flush draw, but you didn't notice."

With more than 45,000 during the first level of play, the player had plenty of reason to feel confident, and he regaled the table with stories of his strategic prowess.

"Now, I have my reasons for everything I do," the player continued, after opening for a large raise before the flop that many players would not consider to be standard operating procedure. "The number of limpers, my position, who's left to act behind me... there's a lot of factors behind my moves. It's something like a Rubik's cube."

Steve Zolotow, a noted tactician on the felt who has cashed dozens of times at the wsop, winning two gold bracelets in his long and storied tournament career, decided to join the lively conversation, telling the player not to reveal too much so early in such an important event.

"Don't give away your strategy now," said Zolotow with a sinner's smile spreading across his face. "Just keep on doing what you're doing... it's working."

With the pit now dug and a thatch of fresh leaves laid over his trap, Zolotow returned his focus to the game at hand, and a few hours passed by without incident.

That is, of course, until Zolotow found the perfect opportunity to double through his mark. With the flop of 2-d,5-s,3-d arranged neatly across the felt, and a bet already in front of the amateur opponent, Zolotow raised it up to 6,500 and stared silently into the ether.

"How much do you have left there?," said the player to the pro, before suddenly shoving his stack forward for an all-in move.

He soon found out that Zolotow had precisely 32,050 in his stack, as the experienced tournament player and veteran of the famed Mayfair Club in New York City snapped him off with 3-h,3-c for a flopped set.

The once confident player could do nothing but turn over A-h,Q-h in shock, his Rubik's cube suddenly a jumble of discordant colors. When the turn (J-h) and river (A-d) failed to deliver a face saving four, Zolotow secured a well deserved double, the predator having laid a trap hours earlier before waiting patiently to ambush his prey.


So, there you have it.
 
NeverEnough

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I agree. I am not much of a talker when I play.

I recall one time I decided to make a dumb bluff very early (Didn't cost me much at all) to reel this guy in later. Worked like a charm. He laughed at me good and gave me the "WTF you don't know how to play, huh?" look.

Shortly after that, I sent him home and doubled up. :D
 
Michael Paler

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I agree. I am not much of a talker when I play.

I recall one time I decided to make a dumb bluff very early (Didn't cost me much at all) to reel this guy in later. Worked like a charm. He laughed at me good and gave me the "WTF you don't know how to play, huh?" look.

Shortly after that, I sent him home and doubled up. :D

YES! And calling someone a "donkey" just allows others to think about that accusation and decide if you are right or wrong.

Right = info on your play.
Wrong = info on your play.

This is about as close to "having your cake and eating it too" as you can get, lol.
 
A

awaiting_cashout

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I think its ridiculous when people call each other names and get into text battles online with the chat feature. Its crazy, they are only hurting themselves when continuously discussing play on previous hands. Like you guys said above, its free information. Not to mention the person or persons hurling insults and profanity looks like a moron. I understand getting frustrated with a bad beat or stupid call, but its smarter to keep your reaction to a minimum.
 
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WhineyLobster

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The player in that story sounds like phil helmuth.
 
KingCurtis

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Talking at the table in general is fine imo. The only types of table talk that I disagree with:

1. When a player either tries to break down a hand and discuss how to play it right or how they played it wrong.

2. When a player constantly tells others and the player they were involved with in the hand that that player is a horrible, no good, stupid, fish, donk, etc.

Reason: This is old news and should be common sense. Don't teach people how to play and don't tap the glass and scare the fish! It's simple!

I don't know how many times I had to explain to early beginners of the game that I have coached about not saying anything no matter how bad their play was. The reason? I would tell them, "If they made a bad play, played the hand wrong, got lucky, however you want to twist it, then you where ahead at some point and made the right decision. Why would you be mad that they suck at poker? Do you want them to play poker well or like how you play? No, you want them to try and get lucky"!
 
Michael Paler

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I think its ridiculous when people call each other names and get into text battles online with the chat feature. Its crazy, they are only hurting themselves when continuously discussing play on previous hands. Like you guys said above, its free information. Not to mention the person or persons hurling insults and profanity looks like a moron. I understand getting frustrated with a bad beat or stupid call, but its smarter to keep your reaction to a minimum.

I will freely admit, I have been one of these types of idiots. Once I finally realized how much I want people playing bad, I stopped, as in "came to a screeching halt!" ID'ing these bad players is far more profitable, as you can play against them the proper way.

For example, C-betting. As it is often a type of bluff (ie; you 3x coming in w AK, get a UTG limper that calls it, you flop nada, then you C-bet in position) since they will often not bet a small holding like bottom pair when OOP to you, they will gladly just call you. So, you just take the free card and hope to improve.

So, if you would not ever bluff a weak player, I do not think you should C-bet him either, if you have not improved. When the weak player calls OOP he might already have something that can beat Ace high or actually make some pair on the turn or river that he will not let go. If you are OOP C-betting a weak player, he will not know when to re-raise you, therefore telling you you are beat. So you keep putting in bad money. Often, you will finally pair your Ace or King for top pair on the river, only to get shown some wacky 2-pair holding by the weak player.

It still sucks. But if you C-bet him and get caught, you get angry, but you cannot say it. By keeping your mouth shut, he will think himself smart for limping in UTG w 46 off and calling your button raise. After taking your chips when he flopped a 6 and then turned a 4, he thinks he is a genius. Why blow that conception he has of his own play?
 
Propane Goat

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This is a really good thread, it reminds me of that saying, "fish won't get caught if he keeps his mouth shut." (referring to fishy fish and people who talk too much, not poker fish but you get the idea)

This is kind of off topic but I've never played live yet and I was wondering how common it is for somebody to try and rub his opponent's noses in it like a schoolyard bully when he wins a hand, whether he outplayed them or just got lucky and hit a miracle on the river. I've seen this in some videos and it just seems like incredibly poor sportsmanship, shows no respect for the game or for others and makes a person look like a total jackass as well.
 
Michael Paler

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[/QUOTE]
This is a really good thread, it reminds me of that saying, "fish won't get caught if he keeps his mouth shut." (referring to fishy fish and people who talk too much, not poker fish but you get the idea)

This is kind of off topic but I've never played live yet and I was wondering how common it is for somebody to try and rub his opponent's noses in it like a schoolyard bully when he wins a hand, whether he outplayed them or just got lucky and hit a miracle on the river. I've seen this in some videos and it just seems like incredibly poor sportsmanship, shows no respect for the game or for others and makes a person look like a total jackass as well.

First, thanks for compliment. Second, lmao at fish joke.

And no, not off topic at all. Tony G excels at just this type of thing. At the Grand Prix de paris, he just verbally bullied Surinder Sunar;

http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_detailpage&v=hUDxg-Vk0HM

I have yet to see someone getting bullied by him say; "you know, Tony, you couldn't even beat a guy named surrender in france, maybe you ought to shut up."
 
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WhineyLobster

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I was wondering how common it is for somebody to try and rub his opponent's noses in it like a schoolyard bully when he wins a hand, whether he outplayed them or just got lucky and hit a miracle on the river.

Extremely...extremely uncommon. Its very different when you could walk outside and the guy could be standing there with 3 of his friends...
 
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marcumx

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if there's anything i hate more it's someone giving me advice or criticizing my play especially in free rolls. For instance, i just limped with A K and flop a full house and just check called down to the river and shoved over top of his bet. He called and lost about 79 percent of his stack and begins to beret my play. There's no rule you HAVE to raise with A K and i prefer not to because it's one of the worst sucker hands in my opinion, the same reason i never raise with JJ or QQ.
I also hate when someone sucks out playing a mediocre hand and then chatting in text like he's a pro
 
Michael Paler

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if there's anything i hate more it's someone giving me advice or criticizing my play especially in free rolls. For instance, i just limped with A K and flop a full house and just check called down to the river and shoved over top of his bet. He called and lost about 79 percent of his stack and begins to beret my play. There's no rule you HAVE to raise with A K and i prefer not to because it's one of the worst sucker hands in my opinion, the same reason i never raise with JJ or QQ.
I also hate when someone sucks out playing a mediocre hand and then chatting in text like he's a pro

I run into these kinds all the time. They have a syndrome called "when I win I am a genius, when I lose I am still a genius, only you are a moron, that is why I lost!"

Nope, sorry zippy; who's the moron? Look in the mirror....LOOK!

This is similar to the Phil Helmuth syndrome called "I only lost because you did not play your cards like I would have played the same two cards so I can now berate you because of that" which is just as stupid.

Make sure you note them. They are clearly weak players and next time you can felt them even quicker/easier when they make stupid calls!
 
NateVest

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Table talk is one of the most horrible forms of poor poker etiquette. I wish online rooms were like live poker and players were penalized for table talk, poor poker etiquette, etc. The casinos I play (Horseshoe and Hollywood casinos) will give you at least a 30 minute penalty, so it would be fair to lose a certain amount of orbits, hands, etc. I think sometimes, we are all adults here, right? I wonder sometimes.
 
Michael Paler

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Table talk is one of the most horrible forms of poor poker etiquette. I wish online rooms were like live poker and players were penalized for table talk, poor poker etiquette, etc. The casinos I play (Horseshoe and Hollywood casinos) will give you at least a 30 minute penalty, so it would be fair to lose a certain amount of orbits, hands, etc. I think sometimes, we are all adults here, right? I wonder sometimes.

This is why they do it, in part; no consequences whatsoever. Thankfully you can actually mute just one player at many sites. Yet it would require an army of employees to monitor/investigate claims of stupidity. I would rather they investigate possible cheaters, but all should have the individual chat-mute feature. If they are just throwing out pure racist BS hatred, I just copy and paste, send into customer support with game ID. Never have seen one show up again after that. So they will ban someone if bad enough. General stupid comments and whining/berating never qualify.

A few sites allow chat during all ins! Want to guess what that is like playing in?
 
GrandMaestro7

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The only time i call out people is with incorrect hand probabilities. To see if they correct me.

A fish wont, an angry, good poker player would.
 
Poker Orifice

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There's no rule you HAVE to raise with A K and i prefer not to because it's one of the worst sucker hands in my opinion, the same reason i never raise with JJ or QQ.
OMG what a freak'n donk! (Oops! I tried not to say anything)

... maybe he's trolling here & I'm a huge fish?
 
A

atownshend

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OMG what a freak'n donk! (Oops! I tried not to say anything)

... maybe he's trolling here & I'm a huge fish?

I agree with studaddy420, in fact why don't we just call everything as my AA and KK get busted too.
 
Jblocher1

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I agree with studaddy420, in fact why don't we just call everything as my AA and KK get busted too.

Call with aces? Everybody knows the real key to poker is knowing when they will get cracked and folding them to any sort of aggression. I never win with them anyway, same goes for kings. Hell... Those hands are awful. Ur much better off 3 and 4 betting suited 1 gappers. Sometimes I lose with aces... So I don't play them. EVER. ;)
 
dgiharris

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EGO

The reason table talk is so prevalent is simply due to ego.

Talking is the easiest way to placate our egos.

Poker is kinda like love, everyone feels that they are an expert in the field...

One of the hardest things to do in poker is to acknowledge our egos and then to check our egos at the door.

Its amazing how much money and tournaments are lost based on ego.

One of the biggest edges you can have in poker is learning how to control and even eliminate your ego...
 
dgiharris

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The only time i call out people is with incorrect hand probabilities. To see if they correct me.

A fish wont, an angry, good poker player would.

One of my absolute favorite things to do at a table full of strat talk is to advocate 100% incorrect super donk strategies :)

I talk about how I have my favorite hands like 97o and that we should play our favorite hands because they are lucky.

I talk about how we should play based on our guts and trust the dealer to give us our cards on the turn and river.

I talk about how overbet shoving ridiculous amounts with AA because you fear getting cracked is the best strategy...

I go on and on and on spouting the absolute worst poker strategy at the table and its hilarious. Makes the fish and donks feel good, pisses off the know-it-all wannabe pros, and it muddles the water as far as decent strategy is concerned and it negates the knowledge transfer to weaker players. Not to mention it gives me the image of the typical rec-fish donk gamboooler :)

Of course, the one or two regs at the table that know me aren't fooled, but by and large, its the best way to counter strat talk and the dissemination of useful information to weaker players. Also, it keeps the table fun and when the rec-fish and donks are having fun and feeling comfortable they are more likely to keep making their god awful mistakes...
 
Poker Orifice

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The reason table talk is so prevalent is simply due to ego.

Talking is the easiest way to placate our egos.

Poker is kinda like love, everyone feels that they are an expert in the field...

One of the hardest things to do in poker is to acknowledge our egos and then to check our egos at the door.

Its amazing how much money and tournaments are lost based on ego.

One of the biggest edges you can have in poker is learning how to control and even eliminate your ego...
nice post!
 
Michael Paler

Michael Paler

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OMG what a freak'n donk! (Oops! I tried not to say anything)

... maybe he's trolling here & I'm a huge fish?

Some self proclaimed "sharks" do limp AA and AK on purpose to trap. The problem is if you do it UTG you just invite horrible hands to limp in and flop the nuts on you - who does not know this? That is hardly the worst aspect of it though. It is a horrible tell to have.

I was in a game that had two of these "sharks"; these two just would not raise a big hand in any position. They both had made quite a stack doing it. Too bad they did not realize I and a few others picked up on this. We knew they were then raising with any small pairs and weaker connected hands. Limp or raise, we knew (sadly, the fish did not and kept feeding them) what they had down to a very small range of hands.

As each one's stack was cut down to the felt (lmao), they both called the people beating them "stupid donkey's" (roflmao). Thank goodness none of us said one peep in response (oh, but how I wanted too!!!!). Never wise up a sucker!

And then they were gone. That was a real good game for me. Made the FT # 4 in chips thanks mostly to the "sharks". Took in $20.00, first place. This fishy got a ride!

Hero/Shark
S: limps
H: Shoves
S: AK
H: AA
S: "Donkey!"
H: silence

S: raise
H: calls
Flop: J-10-7
S: bets
H: shoves
S: calls
H: 8-9 off
S: 6-6
Turn/river: brick, brick
S: "donkey"
H: silence

Rinse, lather, repeat, see you next game!
 
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jcla6985

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Ahh just do your thing and let others do there s. Let donkeys be donkeys, let loud mouths shoot off, and let sharks eat. Start worrying about nonsense and ur play turns nonsense
 
Michael Paler

Michael Paler

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Ahh just do your thing and let others do there s. Let donkeys be donkeys, let loud mouths shoot off, and let sharks eat. Start worrying about nonsense and ur play turns nonsense

+1
 
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