After I could no longer play for real money at Hold’em Poker, because of their response to the recent anti-gambling legislation, I decided to return to an old haunt, Dream Poker, a site that PokerMoments is an affiliate of, and also a site at which I initially did well at with their $10 no-deposit bonus, but then lost it all.
I was pretty consistent at winning at the Hold’em Poker site, so I expected to do the same at Dream Poker, but I have been disappointed with my performance. I’ve already lost my first deposit of $50. I put in another $50, and I’m presently down a few dollars, and this is after a number of days of playing, where at one point I was up around $40. My confidence in my game is certainly down, and I think the players at Dream Poker at the $.05/10 no-limit tables are in general better than those at Hold’em Poker.
While the Dream Poker players may in general be better players than those at Hold’em Poker, they seem in general to be worse at poker etiquette. I’ve been on the receiving end of a few obnoxious comments, one of which got me so annoyed that I violated my stated policy that one should not get into it with a big mouth.
My loss of self-control occurred after I had won a hand (I can’t remember what the hand was or how much it was for, but I doubt that it was more than $6) and the losing player asked me why I called with “garbage”. I answered his question respectfully, trying to show that my call was not without merit, but apparently I misunderstood his question, and he called me an “idiot” for this, and then went on a rant about how he hates playing with idiots. All of this trash talk got under my skin and I politely said to him that he should leave the room if he is so annoyed. He replied that he didn’t want to leave, to which I said that this was hardly rational. Anyway, the guy kept on bitching and moaning about me and players like me, and wouldn’t let it go. Some other player at the table chimed in and pointed out that he only lost a little bit of money and that it wasn’t worth all the anger, and then the guy redirected his emotion towards this person and away from me. The experience left a sour taste in my mouth that lingered for several hours after the game.
Subsequent to that encounter I was called an American shit (American s*) by some player whose bio said that he was an Irish engineer. What did I do to deserve these kind words of affection? I didn’t call the guy’s $.01 raise. He first called me a “chicken”, to which I responded “smart chicken”, and then the anti-American remark followed. I suspect that this Irish dude was just trying to get me to tilt. Who knows? I’m always put off by any anti-American sentiment (not the first time I’ve noticed this sort of sentiment at Dream Poker), and I was equally annoyed that I didn’t have a clever reply. But I turned the other cheek and didn’t respond.
Today I was playing and there was some player (I’ll call him X) who called some other player (I’ll call him Y) a “fish” after Y beat X by pulling a flush on the river. Y asked X why he was a fish, and X said that it is because he went fishing. Y pointed out that X didn’t bet, so his fishing was justified. X then said that this sort of playing (fishing) ruins the game and then went on to say “fishy” three more times. To my astonishment, some other player even concurred with X’s view that fishing ruins the game.
I found X’s view to be quite silly. First, fishing isn’t always bad, especially if you have good pot odds, as Y pointed out to X. Thus someone who fishes is not necessarily a fish. Second, isn’t it good that you’re playing against fish? How do they ruin the game? If anything, fish make the game fun and profitable.
All this negative chat got me thinking about the following question: What is the best sort of retort that you can make when someone criticizes you or your poker playing?
Shhhhh (one that I like and have used).
Here are some more retorts that I’ve been mulling over:
Kiss your mother with that mouth?
Now I’m not advising that one stoop to the level of your opponent. In fact, as I said above, I think one should try to refrain from petty name-calling. But if the anger takes over and you have to say something, then by all means choose the words with the sharpest edge.
Got any other ideas?