When I started playing here, I was a rock. Mum, never showing, always mucking.
I stayed like that for a couple months, thinking that it was the best way to preserve my advantage (if you can call it that) of being mysterious.
After a while, I started to pay more attention to the chat, and would greet familiar players, say “nh” and “gg” and “gl” and stuff like that, you know, the formal pleasantries.
More recently, I’ve gotten more talkative. I just feel like there’s more to poker than staring at cards, and it helps to pass the time. I don’t try to annoy people, and I’m not rude to anyone. I guess if people are annoyed by chatty poker players, I might not be able to avoid someone like that, but mostly I’m trying to have a fun time.
I’ve been a regular enough that some of the other regulars recognize me and say hi when they see me at a table, and I like that. Even though I don’t know who anyone is on this site in real life, it’s all right to have a side conversation. Mostly I just talk about how I’ve been playing lately, either I’m up or I’m down. Maybe it tips someone off as to how to play me, I dunno. I don’t really worry too much about that.
In the last 2 days, though, 2 people have commented to me something I would consider negative in chat. One, a high-ranked player, called me a “bingo player” at a 9-seat SNG, when we were 3-up, and they were the short stack. Then I eliminated them, and they called me and the remaining player in heads-up both bingo players. I really didn’t care, because I surely wasn’t playing anything close to bingo, and if they thought that’s what I was doing, then that probably explains why they weren’t beating me in this game. I didn’t take the bait, and let them feel bad about losing to a couple of bingo players.
Tonight, another player was taunting me, pretty mild stuff, just implying that I wasn’t a very good player. Now, I don’t think I’m an especially good player, but I’ve been enjoying playing, and enjoying getting better as I learn the game and try out different strategies and so on.
I did fairly terrible tonight, playing 8 SNG tables and finishing no higher than 5th in any of them, but in most of them I was the chip leader at some point, in some cases for a fairly long time, before hitting a bad beat or making a stupid play that crippled me or knocked me out. After busting them in this tournament, I couldn’t help but taunt back a little bit, and asked them to tell me when they thought I was good enough to call myself a good player, and they just replied that I wasn’t that bad, but that no one likes a bragger.
Was I bragging? I didn’t think much about it, but it made me think. I can’t easily go back and read the transcripts, but I don’t think I was especially rubbing it in when I won hands. I might do that once in a great while, if I think someone is playing obnoxiously and I trap them and knock them out, and sure yeah I’ll cheer myself a little if I win a very big pot or a very close hand. A couple hands tonight I won with cards that were pretty poor – rags from the blinds that flopped into something, a suck-out or two, pairing my low card and betting it like the big card, or bluffing a scare flop with nothing. I almost never show my bluffs, and I don’t generally want someone to know, or think they know, when I’m bluffing, but at a tight table, sometimes it’s good to show a bluff or two, to get a tight opponent to call you more, or to burn them a little when they fold a good hand so they go on tilt.
That’s all part of the game and you have to play the whole game if you want to be able to play poker, I think.
I don’t want to ruin anyone’s fun at the table, other than by taking all their chips, but I genuinely want people I play with to have a good time and like me even when I’m taking their chips. The very occasional jerk aside, I never try to rub it in when I beat someone. I want them to feel good about playing me, so they will come back and lose more chips
So anyway, how social are you at the table? Do you chat much or not at all? I’ve found it’s more fun to talk, but sometimes you gotta be careful what you reveal, and sometimes I like to just clam up and focus.