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Talking to other players at the table

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What we're going to talk about today, well, I'm going to talk about, and you're going to respond to it is, talk. Specifically, about what you say at the table may influence what others do at the table. Of course, most tournaments have a rule against: Making statements or taking action that could unfairly influence the course of play, whether or not the offender is involved in the pot. Which is interesting when you consider that poker is one of the few professions where you get paid to lie.

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Acting, Magician, and politics being the others :) Weathermen and Baseball Players get paid whether they're correct some of the time or not, in the case of a baseball player, he makes millions of dollars simply by hitting a ball three out of ten times safely. So, the last two here aren't exactly the same thing. So, if you see me at the table, everything I say is a lie. Even when I'm telling the truth. An exchange came up at a tourney I was in recently; I had just lost two big pots in a row, and then announced to the table, "I'm only playing pocket aces." This actually worked for a long time.

Especially the hand where I grabbed my chips, counted them out and said, "$1000." Remembering that it's better to bet with all your chips, than call with all your chips. At that point, the blinds were $100/$200, still with no ante. When new players came to the table, I'd let them know how I'm playing, with a remark like, "Oh, you weren't here earlier, when I said I'm only playing pocket aces." A little while later, someone was foolish enough to go against me when I wasn't bluffing. At that point, I had pocket Kings, and blew out one of the all in guys at the table. Someone who wasn't in the hand looked at me and said, "You lied." To which I replied, "I exaggerated." A classic exchange from Star Trek II if anyone remembers that movie. After my cover was blown, I just started talking about anything and everything, like Mike Matusow. I don't know how he survives at the table without being decked by someone he insults, especially with the above rule. Another hand I threw into the muck and remarked, "The classic two seven offsuit." Did I break a rule? I don't know, as I didn't show my cards, and as you know, everything I say is a lie. A paradox I learned on another Star Trek episode, however, the paradox existed long before Star Trek.

Almost as long as, "Can God create a rock large enough to where he himself could not lift it?" This is not a simple yes or no question, as most would have you believe.... But I digress...It's my understanding that the various online sites have a 'chatroom' atmosphere, wherein you can talk with the other players, and I'm sure you probably have to follow the above rule. But think of the possibilities, you're in a position where you can say almost anything and get away with it. Personally, in this situation, I'd ignore all table talk, and I'm sure the online pros out there among you follow this advice to the letter. There's a fine line between confidence and arrogance as we've discussed previously. I believe guys like Mike Matusow, and Josh Arieh cross this line frequently with their table talk which borders on trash talking their opponents. But if I can get an advantage with a simple statement to someone that stacks their chips twice as high as everyone else like, "Are you compensating?" Then I'm going to do it. I believe there is a way to put everyone at your table on tilt, so they'll start playing badly. It's my job to find out what that is. Sometimes, it's a simple matter of winning a pot with a weaker beginning hand. Other times, you have to go the extra mile, and get inside your opponent's head. And it might be very dark in there....

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