poker pet peeves

esfandiari, gus hansen, devilfish, matusow, dont know who, phil laak

just happened to chance across this poker painting. its called “bad boys of poker”, pretty nice but dont know who the second guy from the right is.

anyways over the past week, i’ve been hearing more complaints about bad poker etiquette than i have heard in a long time. really a weird coincidence, seeing as alot of these complaints have come from people who i dont usually talk poker with. since i’m in a list making mood of late, here’s my top 3 (in no particular order) poker pet peeves.

3) slowing down the game/ not paying attention when its your turn

ok i have to admit this doesnt irritate me that much, EXCEPT when i’m losing alot. its one of the great double standards of poker, when you’re winning everyone can take as long as they want, tell as many stories or jokes as they want. but when you’re losing, its like FOR GODS SAKE CAN YOU JUST HURRY UP!

2) asking for donations when you win

this is actually a home game pet peeve. but anyways, visualise this situation: you’re up $124 and its time to go. you could A) cash out exactly $124, B) give the $4 to your friend and cash out $120, or C) play one last hand to get rid of the $4. personally i’d do either A or B. but do you notice how when its time to cash out, some people always ask for chips to round off their chip stacks whether they’re winning? i mean if you’re losing i can understand, but if you’re winning? the most ridiculous scenario is when you’re winning a few buy-ins, and you ask for a donation from a guy who’s lost a few buy-ins.

1) slow rolling

for those of you that dont know what slow rolling is, its when all the action in the hand is over (when the remaining players have to show their hands), and you deliberately give the other players the impression that they have the best hand. and finally when they show their hand, you show a better hand. notice it is verydifferent from slow playing (which is part and parcel of poker), where you can give other players the impression that they have the best hand and there are still opportunities for betting in the hand.

now i know this may sound ironic cos i have been guilty slow rolled before. ONCE. i got into a pot with baey at mark cheng’s house, and when we had to showdown our hands i told baey i had king high, although i had second pair, king was my kicker. when he showed his ace high, i said oh i have second pair. i dont really know what i was thinking, i usually dont do that, but i actually thought king high was good enough in this situation. anyways it was totally out of line, both baey and yoon gave it to me afterwards, and i apologized after.

the rule in most casinos is that the aggressor (the player who makes the last bet) has to show his hand first. in singapore home games, or in crown or atlantic city, if you think you have the best hand, you’ll just declare your hand (like for example if i have top pair i’ll just say “top pair” or “i got a pair”) and if the other guy has me beat he’ll tell me, after which i’ll just muck my hand. the funny thing is in austria, ALMOST EVERYBODY slow rolls. seriously its karma i tell you.

here’s an example: all the action is over, i show mid pair with ace kicker. the german guy in the hand with me frowns, curses and swears then looks at his cards. he shakes his head and shows his hand to his friend behind him. he places his cards face down on the felt, and goes on to complain some more in german. finally, he flips up his cards, showing a straight. GOD DAMN IRRITATING!!!!!

there are actually some other poker pet peeves people have brought up, but i’ll talk about them another time cos i think they’re debatable:

– players acting out of turn (like betting out of turn to get a free card, cos its likely players will check to him)

– splashing the pot

– teaching the guy who just lost a pot how to play better when he didnt ask for any advice


~ by Tim Young on October 2, 2008.

3 Responses to “poker pet peeves”

  1. i cant stand it when ppl do number 2 too! its so annoying, and totally uncalled for!

  2. i can’t stand when people supposedly/play act that they’ve forgotten their hand, and then refuse to tell you what they have when you ask politely. nonsense excuse that they have to maintain their table image. its just a card game for crying out loud, and we’re playing with FRIENDS???!?!! . goddamn hustlers desparate for a few more bucks. bugger off.

    anyway tim i think that day really quite uncalled for when u let go on baey (the slowroll thingy)

  3. hongxi: on the bright side i dont think anyone’s gonna be asking me for a donation for a while

    yoon: haha dont so angst la ya i can imagine you being irritated with that actually

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