To help novices find their way in the Forum, I’ve prepared a short, schematic description of the people with whom they will probably have to interact.
It is an incomplete list, so please let me know of any groups that have been overlooked, as well as which category you think you fall into.
Las Pasionarias – Their role model is the legendary Spanish revolutionary Dolores Ibárruri, called La Pasionaria, with her famous slogan: “No pasarán”, they shall not pass!
Their posts are always passionate, eloquent, imperative, and contain a veiled message: don’t dare to contradict me, for it will cost you more energy than it takes to digest an Italian Christmas meal!
Obviously, Contrarians (see below) can never resist this challenge, and other readers exult: hooray, the fun begins! What follows is more entertaining than a soap opera. Dozens and dozens of posts, back and forth, nothing but “you said this”, “no, I said that”, “yes, you did”, “no, I didn’t”, again and again, until some merciful soul, worried about their health, closes the thread.
The Saints - They are the epitome of patience and fortitude. Nothing can ever shake their stoicism.
Some of the Saints are staff members, whose rigorous training encompassed a hard mental and physical curriculum, modelled after the 1952 Oxford treatise “How to Become Prime Minister”.
Their hardest test: they must respond to a daily cannonade of insults and provocations. A typical exercise: “You incompetent halfwit, how can you hope to be of any use to Replay players?” - “I hope this helps.” “Have you ever played poker before???” - “I hope this helps.” “You are a disgrace to the honourable Replay site!” - “I hope this helps.”
If after the 150th harassment, a candidate bursts out: “Oh shut up and go to hell, you moron”, they don’t pass the exam and are considered unfit to become a Forum Saint.
Some rumours say that Forum Saints are the top consumers of sedatives in the world.
The Graphomaniacs – Many posters have a brilliant literary talent, and some are even worthy of Marcel Proust and his “Remembrance of Things Past”. Like the French novelist, who could write 7 endless volumes inspired only by the flavour of some “pétites madeleines” (those plump little French cakes), they begin with a single hand of poker and expand it into an entire novel for the pleasure and the education of every Forum reader.
As with all authors, they have their faithful reviewers and critics who analyse with fervour every single passage of the daily novels. The result: a thrilling technical discourse equally interesting for beginners and experts. According to the latest gossips, apparently even Daniel Negreanu and Phil Hellmuth read them!
The Superchampions and Their Fans - Here follows a typical conversation between these two parties. Forum newcomers might find it very useful for their future career!
Fan: You are an outstanding champion, the best of us all. I would really like to get your perspective about limping and glimping and bimping and dimping with AQ AK AA AT TT QQ in both UTG and BB positions. What do you suggest?
Superchampion: If player is big fish, I go all in, if player is small fish, I go all in, if player is medium fish, I go all in. I study player and crush fish with my fish crusher. Fish fish fish.
Fan: Oh my God! You’re so right. I see what you mean and I agree 100% with your assessment. Thank you for your words of wisdom!
The Contrarians – A professional Contrarian will take on principle the position opposing whatever someone else just expressed. Habitual Devil’s advocates, they have only one goal: to suck posters into a discussion and chew them up until, frustrated and exhausted, they give up.
Since their statements are often illogical and irrelevant, Contrarians can be very entertaining, but only if one doesn’t take them seriously. Therefore, dear Forum newbies, be prepared!
You might rightly ask, “How do I recognize a Contrarian?” I suggest a simple test. Post your opinion about a topic of your choice. It can be anything— what position at a poker table you prefer, or what wine goes better with chicken, etc. If somebody responds with hundreds of words as to why you are totally wrong, at first continue to firmly restate your opinion; then, suddenly, repeat the words of your interlocutor. If they don’t notice and try to demonstrate again how wrong you are, you’ll know: this is a Contrarian!
The Whiners – They break everybody’s heart with the detailed retelling of their heavy misfortunes. Next to them, even Jeremiah and his lamentations sound like a comedy show. Their posts are always shrouded in a halo of tragedy: Oh cruel fate! Why me? I’m doomed, I have no defence, sob! Once again the software singled me out as the loser of the day, sob! I lost millions, sob! I only meet donks at the tables, sob!
Compassionate souls, more frequent among poker players than one might think, can’t witness these agonies without weeping along. After reading their posts, the most sensitive readers start thinking that life is just a valley of tears, unworthy of being lived. Some of them might consider suicide.