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What's in a word

What's in a word

What is it reasonable to say or not say when you are on the battlefield of a game of poker? What follows may come across as the ranting of a rabid baboon, in addition in is a way to express the loathing I have for dishonourable behaviour and how such behaviour is often, unreasonably, associated with poker players. Scumbags are scumbags wherever they are and whatever they are doing but when they act as such at a poker table observers on and off the table seem to take the view that such activity should be expected as the perpetrators are poker players

The game and the verbal, the chat, the speech that ensues is nothing short of a psychological war and, in my opinion, it is true to say that in the UK at least we have been over protective of weak minded pussies.

"Verbal" is restricted to a ridiculous extent so as to safeguard the poor weak minded individuals that cannot tolerate the heat of proper battle.

I suppose that is what you get when you allow weak liberals to make rules who spend more time worrying about the lowest common denominator.

Obviously verbal abuse and intimidation is entirely inappropriate but the game of poker is a battle of minds as well as cards and the way the mental side of things has been restricted, particularly in the UK, is systematic of the pussy regulators operation of the judicial system that sees Car drivers with multiple driving bans get an additional notch on the "how many times of you been banned bedpost" and other offenders "looked after" because of their "unfortunate childhoods" load of pussy tosspots if you ask me.

Anyway my personal view is that excluding intimidation and abuse you ought to be able to say virtually what you like and your personal honour and integrity should limit the words you use.

When I say that I mean that from a personal perspective I hate people that tell lies and that extends, generally, to the poker table.

If someone asks you a direct question about your hand then not necessarily telling the truth or indeed outright lying (though I would not do this myself) is, I suppose, acceptable, as you have been directly asked a question and you may feel obliged to answer in a certain way (truthful or otherwise) so as to avoid disadvantaging yourself.

However, too overtly offer an unsolicited lie is, in my opinion, an indication that you might be a low life scumbag that should not be trusted, period.

Ultimately my view is that whatever the rule happens to be (whether it is too liberal or too up its own bottom) so long as you are aware of the rule before you start to play then your choice of action and words should take account of the rule.

That does not excuse casinos or card room staff in saying "the rules are on the wall its your responsibility to read them before playing"- that is a the approach of a monkey with no interest in customer service and any person that proffers that as an acceptable response to the issue should be sacked and slapped (if this can be done legally).

The Card-room staff of any poker environment should regard themselves as there to ensure fair play, organise and also to keep players informed of the things they need to be informed about. If the local rules of any given establishment differ from the norm (and I appreciate that "the norm" is not always easily identifiable) then when that environment hosts a poker event that brings many poker players from outside its usual clientele it is the responsibility of the card-room staff to inform those players that may not be aware of certain "local rules", not the responsibility of the players to locate a raggy piece of paper on a wall written in small print so they know what they can and cant do.

So, if we establish that all players are aware of what is required of them and what is and is not deemed acceptable in the venue they have chosen to go to, they cannot complain if a rule they feel is unfair adversely affects them.

To use an analogy of what I mean. If the law of the land is that if you drive while banned you are publicly flogged then, if you choose to do that you cannot complain and indeed deserve a public flogging.

Equally if the law of the land was that following that well deserved flogging if you drove again while banned you were used for medical experimentation and then executed then that too would be well deserved and not deserving of any complaint (though no doubt the whining bitches would do some whining after they were caught). I would personally support these and similar regulations but the point is that if you know the penalty and commit the offence it is not reasonable to then complain about the punishment (except in extreme mitigating circumstances).

In a recent GUKPT a player when facing an opponent about to make a bet said, unsolicited, if you bet I will call. The player about to bet was made aware that such a verbal statement was binding and moved all-in, with I think, the nuts, and his opponent was then forced to call. He was apparently not aware how binding his verbal was and in the overall context of the situation you can understand him being unhappy about this, although the rules were available (on a raggy piece of paper in small print in a corner somewhere) but his verbal was unsolicited, I can see both points of view on this.

Later than same day a player who was at this table when this ruling was made did the exact same thing and for some reason felt aggrieved that the same ruling was made- my view on that would be – if you act like that much of a donkey you deserve to be lashed on the ass on a Blackpool beach.

I often hear players saying things like "do not expect a poker player to tell the truth" and this is reasonable however it is often confused with and assumed to also mean that poker players will often lie.

Only small minded people with low IQ's are unable to distinguish the difference between "miss-representing the truth" and "lying". They are completely different things and although unscrupulous and dishonourable people will often do both it is narrow minded to assume that if you an individual (most poker players) does the first they will automatically also do the second.

Miss-representation is an integral part of poker, lying is just something that scumbags do in order to advance their own agenda whether that is at a poker table or in any other part of life.

It has been said that you can get a good idea of a person's nature by how they behave at a poker table and this is just a good example of that.

In a recent cash game a player made a bet and while a personal friend of his was about to make a call he all but told him to fold because he had Aces (he actually had Ace high) and he did not want to take his money. The important thing here is that it was a personal friend and he was using poker representation to encourage his opponent into a particular belief he was using his personal friendship as a weapon to further his own financial position.

I left shortly afterwards and was later told that he ultimately lost his money and after borrowing more off another friend (I guess he uses that word quite lightly) again managed to get into a significant pot with that person.

This time he actually told him that he had two pairs as his "friend" was about to call his significant bet with top pair top kicker. His friend folded and he tried to muck his cards but the dealer accidently exposed them to reveal a missed gut-shot.

Forgetting about the outrageous telling of cards and soft-play etc this is not part of poker this is low life scamming and taking advantage of a supposed friendship for financial gain. It is not part of verbal sparring or banter. He was quite fortunate that this did not happen 15 years ago when poker was a lot less main-stream and there was a much higher proportion of shall we say "people that don't vote or pay income tax", had it been he may well have had difficulty in getting back to his vehicle without using his hands and knees.

Thu, 27th January 2011

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