I hadn’t played any home games in a very long time. The guys that I first got into poker with when we were young teenagers had stopped getting together for a while so I was left without a fun home game atmosphere to indulge in. But recently, they have started up again, although still infrequently and it has been a lot of fun.
I’ve find that playing a leisurely game with friends whose style you know and are between fairly and highly skilled is a lot of fun. Some have significantly more advanced technical skill in the game than I have. I’ve been able to hang with them over the years with a combination of unorthodoxy in my play, friendly intimidation, and off the table gamesmanship (see an earlier post entitled such).
The point is, that this kind of environment, at least for me, is a way to keep the game fun and connect to why I became interested in it in the first place. It was an ENJOYABLE challenge.
Which brings me to a home game I just played last week that was anything but enjoyable. The reason being a phenomenon I’m sure many other people are aware of and perhaps have even been guilty of; the home game poker know-it-all. I had the misfortune of having one of these mind-searingly, irritating individuals at a game my buddies and I were playing at a Bar-B-Q.
Now at a serious game with other serious players, annoyances and generally unpleasant or at least annoying things are sometimes unavoidable. They are tolerable to an extent because of the situation. One is not playing in that game to make friends or even necessarily to have a good time. For serious players, in a serious game, it is work.
Sometimes, like with any job, one simply has to put up with it and get down to business. But when I’m trying to relax and have fun with the game with friends, I want to HAVE FUN! The poker-know-it all removes any semblance of fun.
This person is obnoxious with his constant calculation of odds, recitation of obscure anecdotes, and knowledge of advanced tactics. All of which, mind you, are often slightly inaccurate, as a person who needs to flaunt their knowledge usually has a poor grasp of it. When there is a complication or question about how to divide the pot because of multiple all in calls, or changing chips amongst players, he always has to have his hands in there whether he is involved in it or not.
This is so he can show off how quickly he can manipulate chips and calculate what amounts go where. Since this person is usually a relative stranger to any group, he has no idea the skill level of the people he is sitting with. So the fact that he assumes he is so much more advanced in skill level is that much more irritating.
So I beseech all of you reading this. The fact that you are reading a poker website makes it very possible that you may have at some point in the past exhibited traits that would conform to the archetype of the poker-know-it-all. I must admit that I have done so more than once before.
If you have, stop! This person is not enjoyable at all to play with and his presence only serves to ruin what should be a relaxing game with friends. So don’t worry about showing off how much you know, or how much you’ve made at your respective online poker site. Just take the opportunity to have fun.