I was in an unusually cantankerous mood the other day while playing poker and it seemed like every stupid thing someone did or said at the tables just tested the boundaries of my patience. They were hitting on all of my poker pet peeves. Genius, I would call it, if these opponents knew me. I’m a good enough player to not let it put me on tilt, but that doesn’t mean I don’t get annoyed. Where should we start? Oh, here’s one…
I Like to Click Buttons
It’s great that the online poker rooms give us all sorts of ways to make playing the game easier. Four-color decks, pot total displays, best five-card hand displays, and the like. And then there’s that really helpful “raise” button. I mean, how great is it that we can just click a button and raise automatically without even having to think about it?
Please. In a No Limit Hold’em game, I can’t stand it when someone just clicks the “Raise” button. Last year, in reference to what a min-raiser is telling me by making that move, I wrote, “Hi, I don’t think about what I am doing and might as well show you my cards.”
It’s just silly. It’s pointless because it doesn’t get anyone out of the pot, making it harder for the lazy raise button clicker to win the hand. It also allows opponents to narrow the player’s range because 98 times out of 100, the min-raise means that he has either a monster hand or a marginal holding and nothing in between.
Just like a pseudo tough guy isn’t going to scare me when he pushes his chips into the middle with force, a mouse jockey isn’t going to intimidate me – and hopefully not anyone else – with bizarre raises in an online game. My favorite is the unnecessary mega-chip raise, the kind when the weirdo makes a raise that requires 12 chips instead of one or two. You’ve seen it before – instead of just raising to 500, which is a one-chip bet, he raises to 497 so the poker software displays something like four 100’s, three 25’s, two 10’s, and two 1’s. It’s either a tactic to try to make the bet look a lot scarier than it really is or just someone being lazy with the bet slider.
The “I put you all-in” bet is pretty fabulous, as well. There’s nothing I love more than when I have 1,400 chips left and my opponent bets exactly 1,400 chips. Wow! You must have a fantastic hand if you are putting me exactly all-in! I mean, there’s no other interpretation of that bet, is there?
Just Muck Already
The pre-flop action folds around to me in the small blind and I have junk, so I fold, giving the player in the big blind a walk. He then proceeds to show his 8-3 offsuit to the table. Oh, no! I should have raised! I would have won a big blind! You made me feel like such a fool!
On the flip side, I get similarly annoyed when the big blind flips over aces, kings, or some other indestructible hand. Boy was I lucky that I folded, as I would have gone broke for sure! Seriously, just muck already.
And now for my favorite person at the table, our friend, the table captain. Oh, table captain, you are such a remarkable piece of work. For those of you who have no idea what I am talking about, the table captain is the guy who thinks he is head and shoulders above everyone else. Every move he makes is perfect and every move his opponents make is idiotic. Play cards that he wouldn’t play and you’re a “moron” or a “tourist.” Suck out on him and he wants to know where in the hell you learned how to play poker. If he has a bad session or tournament, it’s because all of the donkeys are so unpredictable.
While, at times, the table captain is actually a pretty good player but just a jerk (see: Phil Hellmuth), acting like such a brute is one of the dumbest things he can do. Heck, I have wanted to slap the occasional opponent in the face for playing terribly and taking my chips, but I don’t. You know why? Well, for one, I have self-control and understand that everyone has the right to play however they want. Additionally, it isn’t in my best interest to criticize a bad player because there are two main things that it might accomplish: one, they might become aware of their poor play and decide to get better; two, they might get upset and leave the table, preventing me from taking their chips. If you find yourself getting unlucky against an awful player, don’t be a table captain. Just smile, tell them “nice hand,” and let them keep thinking they are playing well so that they will continue to make the same mistakes.
I have more pet peeves to discuss, but my blood pressure is starting to rise. Time for a cold shower.