Come on, read know you want to...

Its Monday morning, I've won 3 of my last 5 tournaments, and I'm ready to play some really good games this week.  In fact, Saturday will see me in a $100 buy in deep stack tournament that will feature FOUR people who play the main event at the World Series every year.  Can't wait to blog that.


1.  I'm really getting tired of people asking me "How much you got left?"  Here's the thing.  My chips are out in front of me.  If I'm not pushing them in, then it doesn't matter how many are there.  And I am under no obligation to tell you how much is there.  In fact, most times I will REFUSE to count them, because 95% of the time you aren't going to do anything anyway.  You're just trying to see how much I have. 

One guy a couple of weeks ago asked me how much I had, and there were two people left to act between us.  I was really nice when I told him to *** off.  At least I thought I was.  He didn't seem to take it so well. 

2.  On those same lines "How much is in the pot?"  Did you know there is a reason the dealer rakes all the chips in and makes a big messy pile, rather than just stacking them?  Because they aren't allowed to tell you how much is in the pot.  You either pay attention or you are out of luck. 

3.  "I've got a great calling hand".   Know what a great calling hand is?  One you call with.  If you have to tell me it's a great calling hand, you aren't trying to convince me, you're trying to convince yourself.  A lot of people think 7-8 suited is a GREAT calling hand.  Guess what?  Its not.  Its less than 30% against pocket anything over 8.  Its good, not great.  A better thing to say is "raise" or "fold" or "call".  (In that order, if you haven't read my blogs before)

4.  "Somebody call so I'll be priced in".  It's wrong, and if you say it when I raise, in an attempt to get someone else to act, we're going to have a discussion.  Shut up.  Period.  Case closed.  You are not allowed to say ANYTHING to another player to get them to act in one way or the other, unless that person is the ONLY other person in the hand with you.  Asking someone to call so you'll be priced in is the same thing as telling them you are going to call, so they'll be priced in if they call.  I cannot say this loud enough:  STOP IT!

5.  In fact, how about shutting up altogether when you're not in the hand?  Is that too much to ask for?  I don't need running commentary, or guesses about what I have or what I might do next.  It's me against someone else.  If you want to discuss my, don't fold.

6.  One of my personal favorites:  "If they were suited, I'd call".  Seriously, that's all it takes?  A 3% difference is the difference between you calling or folding.  God I'm glad I'm at a table with you.  And thanks for all the chips.

7.  "What are the blinds again?"  Very frustrating to those that are actually playing attention.  Same thing goes when you go to bet after the flop but look at the display to see what the blinds are.  That automatically tells me you aren't going to be enough.  You should be betting based on what is in the POT, not what the blinds are.  It goes back to PAY ATTENTION.

8.  Here's one I hear a lot, and it bothers me.  Not at the table, but in other places.  "I'll play a $25 game, but I'm not good enough for a $100 buy in tournament".  Know what?  It's the same game.  If you can't afford to lose $100, then I have no beef.  But if it is because of your skill level, you probably aren't good enough to play in a $25 game either.  So be honest about what you say.  That's all I'm saying here. 

9.  "He's/She's a great player".  I don't like to hear this, because I don't know what it means.  A great WHAT player?  Hold Em?  Omaha?  Cash?  Tournament?  I have a good friend who is one of the best cash players I have ever met.  Seriously, he could make a living in Vegas (or Colorado casinos when they raise the limits) if he wanted to.  But he's not a good tournament player.  In fact, he's out of the tournament normally before we lose one table.  On the other hand, I couldn't play a cash game well if my life depended on it.  I've had some great cash days, and some really bad cash days.

So the question is:  Is he a better player than me?  Most people that I know would say yes.  I don't correct them though.  I just shake his hand as he leaves the tournament table, and goes to the cash table to kick tail.

10.  "I'm all in".  The most misused phrase in all of pokerland.  I would estimate that 90% of the time you could say Please don't call me when I bet and it would mean the exact same thing.  Most all in bets are a sign of weakness, not strength.  Sure, I'm occasionally wrong about this, but not very often. 

Saturday night, for example.  I'm in the small blind with K-7 of hearts.  I just call.  Big blind checks.  (Hint:  weakness).  Flop comes J-8-2 of hearts.  I check, big blind bets, other player folds.  Now, I've got the King high flush.  If he had the Ace high flush, he would have raised preflop....probably.  But if he has the Ace, I know this guy, and he'll call me chasing the nut flush.  So  Turn....ouch...5 of Hearts.  Sure wish it was the Ace of Hearts.   So I....check.  He IMMEDIATELY moves all in.  If I had the Ace in his position, I would have checked also, hoping for a bet on the river.  But no, All In.  So I say "You're just gonna have to show me an Ace".  And he does....the Ace of Spades.  With the Queen of Hearts.  Bye bye.

So it wasn't the cards or the was "the bet" that killed him.  I knew the moment he went all in, when he didn't have to, that I had him beat.

There ya go, another list of things I hate to hear at the poker table.  Time now to finish work and get ready for another tournament tonight.



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