Poker Rules and Etiquette 102
September 2011 was when I published my first rules of etiquette, and having just returned from the Borgata for the spring open I realize its time to update the rules so here goes.
1. One player per hand – Even the most innocuous comments should be kept to yourself until the hand is complete.
Obviously you cannot ask a player for advice on how to play your hand. In fact, you shouldn’t be showing your hand to anyone else while you are in the hand, but this discussion is going to focus on speaking while a hand is in progress.
I was playing the 7 pm bounty tournament when the following hand arose. I raised from UTG with As9s. I had one middle position caller. The flop came out A x x two hearts and a diamond. I bet and the player called me. The turn was a blank and I checked to the caller who bet about 1/3rd of my stack. I made the call. The river was the K. I shoved in thinking he might have a low two pair, and wanting to represent AK. He tanked for a bit, then said he didn’t want to be the first man out. The player to my left then told him he could re-enter. I immediately asked the player to not say anything. I was called and was happy to see my villain had a bare King.
The player who spoke asked why he shouldn’t say anything, and I explained that his comment could induce action that I don’t want. He responded that all he did was point out it was a re-entry tournament. I told him he was correct, but if my villain didn’t know that maybe he would fold, however once my villain found out he could re-enter he might call and I might be bluffing. Now the table erupted commenting about how the comment was meaningless, how I was being grumpy, how I should thank the player for inducing the call…
The fact is the result of the hand is meaningless. If you are not in the hand, shut it. There is no need for you to talk. There is nothing you have to say that is relevant to the hand going on between two other players. Keep your comments to yourself until the hand is over, then talk all you want.
2. Take a shower…please – I’m all for trying to gain an edge at the table, but if your weapon is your own personal hygiene, please leave. Seriously, if the way you get an edge is by making your opponent’s eyes water so badly that he cannot see the cards, you need to leave. If flys actually drop dead when you lift your arm up to toss chips into the pot…Have I made my point?
You are sitting shoulder to shoulder with 9 other players and it really is not fair to them if the last time you bathed was when the nurse gave you a sponge off in the hospital nursery.
I was at a 2/5 table and doing well when a gentleman sat down. Well I immediately smelled what the Rock was cooking but I had a dilemma. I didn’t want to give up my seat as I had established image, was playing well and was located at the table center, one of my favorite spots. For the next two hours I had to tough it out until finally another seat at the table opened and this man moved…Hmmmmmm…
So, if you are sitting at the table with me, and I’m in a hand, instead of talking, take the time to rinse off and put on some deodorant. I would then be happy to talk with you after the hand is over.
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