Poker, being one of the most social games out there, lends itself to drinking very well. I know when I'm settling down with friends for a poker game, there tends to be a rack of shot glasses nearby.
Also, poker, being a game of risk and reward, tends to be a game where the players can sometimes get a little on edge. Some call it "on tilt". A better way of describing it is to say that sometimes, when there is significant risk on the line, and the results don't exactly go your way.....well, tempers can flare.
Now, add these two things together.
Anger and alcohol simply don't mix very well.
So what does mean to you, and why am I talking about it? Simple: I want to prevent poker fights. They're stupid, cause hard feelings, and the anger is many times directed towards the worst players. They're the ones making the stupid calls that piss you off....ya know? But fighting with them makes them stop coming to the games....which affects my wallet!
In the end, what I'm asking you to do is assess your "poker demeanor". Do other players enjoy playing with you, even if you regularly win....or would they rather you not show up even if you donate hundreds of dollars every time you sit down. If you are a berating person who is constantly talking bad about other players, or just talking bad about other people in general.....you might not really be everyone's favorite player.
On that same token....if you are constantly getting just blitzed at the poker games, and then saying and doing stupid stuff....you probably aren't wanted at the table either.
Its a social game. Be social. Be nice. Remember a bad call will go your way the vast majority of the time. If you go all in with Trip Aces, and someone sucks out a straight on the river....sure....it was a bad call. But you WANTED that call.
What I'm really trying to say is: Nothing about poker is worth getting mad about. Ever. If you can't afford to lose the money, don't bet it.
Same goes if you win a big one. Don't gloat. Especially if you made a stupid call to win it. Just rake in the chips and press on.
Now, if you must be a jerk at the table, the below rules apply:
1. Comment on the play, not the person. Don't say "you're a jerk"....just say "yeah, nice call". They'll get the point. Or you can even say "Dumb call, but it worked out for ya".
2. Never comment on the other person's family members. They're off limits. The poker table is no place for "your mama" jokes.
3. Never berate someone when their boyfriend is sitting at the table. I'm only going to warn you once on this. And that was the warning. There will be no warning at the table if you talk down to my wife.
4. Never offer advice as to how someone else SHOULD HAVE played the hand. Especially as they are raking your chips into their stack. That being said, don't do it when you're raking my chips either. Besides, you're probably wrong about how I should have played it anyway.
5. Learn to win and lose with the same lack of expression or emotion. Try it. Its amazing how good you'll feel.
6. Never ask me if I want to step outside. I'm not going. And if by some miracle I am willing to...go on out...I'll meet you in a little bit. And when I do, I'll have stopped off in the garage to get a bat. So don't offer to begin with. I'm either not coming or I'm going to cheat in the fight.
7. Lastly....just shut up. Seriously. Lets just play poker.
POKER BLOG DISCLAIMER
THE ABOVE WAS NOT DIRECTED AT ANY SPECIFIC PERSON. IT IS BASED ON RECENT EVENTS, OF WHICH I HAVE ZERO INPUT ON WHO STARTED WHAT. I HEARD THAT AT A GAME WHERE I ROUTINELY PLAYED THAT THERE WAS ALMOST TWO FIGHTS ON SATURDAY, WHILE I WAS ON THE ROAD HOME FROM VEGAS. SO I HAVE NO WAY OF KNOWING EXACTLY WHAT HAPPENED. BUT I WILL GUARANTEE THAT SOMEWHERE IN THE ABOVE INFORMATION YOU WILL SEE SOMETHING CLOSE TO WHAT HAPPENED. I SIMPLY WANT IT TO STOP.