A basic guide to poker players

I like playing poker. I used to do it quite a lot online, and I enjoyed it very much. I’m playing now in fact, but I won’t get paid if I win anything unfortunately, it’s a work thing. I find the biggest problem with the game is the people, though – all of them, to be specific. If you play poker online you fall into one of two categories: you’re either an utter moron with no understanding of the game, or you’re brilliant. I fall into neither of these categories, and while that might seem like a contradiction, it isn’t, because SHUT UP I’M RANTING.

Basically, the rise of poker’s popularity means that ‘being aggressive like that Phil Ivey bloke’ somehow got translated into ‘playing any two cards like a complete fucking maniac’, and it isn’t. If you’re not aware, or if you’re wrong and you disagree, poker is a game of skill – there is an element of luck, of course – that’s why good players are considered good players, not the luckiest bastards alive. Players like Phil Ivey and Daniel Negreanu are very good players because they’re intelligent and can read the game and other players brilliantly, not because they pick random cards and hope for the best. There’s very little that makes me as angry as watching someone smugly say how well they played a hand because they got lucky, the shits.

The ‘I won with 7/3 off-suit, I’m like Daniel-motherfucking-Negreanu’ crowd are easily the worst of it in online poker, but the critics give them a hell of a close run. The school of horrific expressions once came up with a cracking one: “There’s more than one way to skin a cat”, and while I agree with some of the wonderful feedback that’s given over the chat box – minus the ‘LOL’s and casual racism – some of us couldn’t care less with how you think we played a hand, especially when said ‘constructive feedback’ is just after I’ve beaten you in a hand; There’s nothing like bitterness to encourage helpful advice.

Amazingly enough, tonight’s entry isn’t fuelled by a bad experience at the tables – it’s been quite a good one actually – but playing poker, or even thinking about playing poker, brings up horrific memories of these idiots, and it’s generally the reason I avoid it these days. I almost wish I lost a lot when I used to play, then I could say I’d quit gambling, but the rage induced by the above morons is enough to stop me playing a game I enjoy and won fairly regularly on; poker players have ruined poker for me, what a set of utter bastards.

Sorry this entry is slightly late again, but I was working/play poker, so it took me about a week to write. That’s also why I’m not reading it back, so I expect it makes no sense whatsoever.

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