Sign Up For Card Player's Newsletter And Free Bi-Monthly Online Magazine


Poker Training

Newsletter and Magazine

Sign Up

Find Your Local

Card Room


Poker's in the Air, On the Air, and On the Net!

by Jan Fisher |  Published: May 17, 2005


Everywhere you turn, there is poker. There are poker billboards, poker games and cards, chip sets, coffee cups with logos and suits of cards. There are playing cards embedded in toilet seats, Harley-Davidson's with royal flushes and A-A-2-3 detailed on them. You see poker sayings on T-shirts and posters, and hear them in songs and casual conversation in the elevator. Everywhere you turn, poker is in your face. So, is this a problem? Well, I say it isn't, and would guess that anyone reading this column would agree. We players just can't get enough poker. We want to talk it, think it, breathe it, hash and rehash it, theorize, and vocalize all things poker. This is all great, until the fun stops. When does the fun stop? Allow me to get back up on my soapbox for a few hundred words, OK?

I haven't much time to play poker these days, as I am so busy with other projects. Mind you, they all are poker-related, but they keep me very busy. I am not complaining … life is good! The little amount of time I do have for poker is generally spent on the Internet. I like to play low-limit hold'em, stud eight-or-better, and Omaha eight-or-better. I really enjoy the $3-$6 games. I also like the $100 buy-in no-limit hold'em games. Hmm, I pretty much like to play all games! When I am not doing a zillion other things at the same time, I play a little higher, up to $20-$40 Omaha eight-or-better, but usually my top limit online is $15-$30 hold'em or $10-$20 Omaha eight-or-better. There are several things I have found to be totally consistent in all of these games, as widely divergent as they are. One is the poor level of play and how consistently beatable they are. The players like to gamble, for sure. I don't know whether they really play that badly or if it is because they are anonymous, but they are not afraid to take the worst of it time after time for all of their chips. Another thing I have found to be consistent is the bad behavior! Yes, that's right, bad behavior in the Internet poker games. The chat is just unreal sometimes.

Oftentimes I will be in a game in which someone is totally throwing a party. He is raising with anything, betting and calling with nothing, and running down solid hands. These types of people are maniacs who are playing for fun, not to win. They just can't be! They probably have plenty of money relative to the limit being played and don't want to study and learn the game. They might not even realize that poker is a game of skill; they truly may believe it is gambling. So, what happens? Someone will start antagonizing them in the chat. They make comments I can't print here, but they relate to the ability to continually suck out and play badly. They taunt a player and harass him until he is no longer having fun. Do you know what happens when someone does this? The golden goose stops laying eggs – at least in that game. He either transfers to another game or quits playing altogether. Aren't these the types of players you want in your game? Of course they are.

When I sit down in a game, I am there for several reasons: to have fun, to make money, and to be certain that the other players have fun. One bad apple needn't spoil the whole bunch. When a player is being rude or out of line on the chat, you should contact the support team at the site where you are playing. Generally, you can e-mail them with a hand history, or even better, copy and paste the chat to show them what is going on. Most of the more reputable sites will act upon this instantly. They will look at the chat and either warn the player or simply turn his chat off. Imagine how frustrated that must make these offenders. If ever I could be a bug on the wall watching … how funny: A player is sitting at home at his computer, a totally hot sucker who's ranting and raving as fast as his fingers will allow him. Then, bam, he can't type into the chat box anymore. It's gotta drive the guy nuts, don't you think?

Fight fire with fire and help to be part of the solution rather than the problem. If you see chat that is not within the bounds of acceptable language or behavior, contact customer service at the site immediately. They will care, and they will do something. Oh, by the way, you are going to run into these same types of things in brick-and-mortar cardrooms, so don't be afraid to advise the floorman when someone in your game is out of line! The floorman can and will stop the insanity! Now, please help me down from the soapbox. Thanks. Class dismissed. ♠

The Oasis Open is just around the corner. Please see the ad in this issue. Also, check out for your poker cruise plans, and e-mail me with your pokerrelated questions and comments.