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How Not to Fish

I was reading some old Poker Penguin posts (thanks to a link and recommendation by Dr. Pauly), and one of his posts reminded me of a recent altercation I had online. I was playing 1/2 limit on Titan, and playing poorly at that. As you may have noticed, my play online has been suffering. I think it is due to emotional playing and scared playing. Regardless, I was playing poorly and one player in particular was benefiting from it.

I chat a decent amount when playing online, so I was unimpressed when my opponent said, "Thanks for the money." I knew he was trying to rile me up, and I was playing zombie poker anyway (as opposed to emotional poker...note that both = bad poker). I responded, "My pleasure."

At this point, I thought that was that. I gave him a cursory response that said I ain't playing that psychological game. But he had to push the envelope. "Why don't you just mail me your money?" WHAT, MOTHERFUCKER? Okay. Relax. He is trying to get under your skin. It really wasn't working, so I gave him another blank response, "What's your address?"

But then I thought for a moment. Here is this guy who is making money from me, and I am going to let him talk smack also. I was playing poorly, and I knew I would only hurt myself by playing into him. I quickly clicked the Sit Out button. "You jackass," I started. "I may have given away some cash to you, but you could've had more. SUCKER!" I waited in the room for a moment, but when there was no response, I left.

You see folks, I DID win by walking there. I saved myself money. I would've continued to play zombie poker and throwing a party for another hour if Dr. Crane didn't get all uppity and try to play with my emotions. As a result, I packed it up and went elsewhere. Dr. Crane did two things by talking smack. He helped me realize that I was playing poorly, and he announced that my table image was weak. And if your table image is weak, you are going to get a lot of callers and re-raises, which doesn't mesh with my aggressive style.

That is how NOT to fish. When you have a fish at the table, you can talk a little smack. But listen to his responses. Because if he sounds broken in spirit, you need to pull him back in. Try a, "Ah, I'm just kidding. Sorry about that. Just trying to liven up this place a bit." You'd be surprised at how many times a player will suddenly flip to being you pal after you just called his mother a whore. If they don't, they'll often pull this line, "Well, that isn't cool." To which you reply, "I'm sorry. Seriously. No offense intended. I guess my sense of humor doesn't come across well in text." And suddenly, you are apologetic, and they are back to thinking that they are the player of the century and they put you in your place.

Have fun with the fishies. If you're lucky, you just might find me and win some cool cash.

posted by Jordan @ 10:04 AM,


At 12:50 PM, Blogger Bill said...

You find a low limit table with some loose weak player, VP$IP of >75%. You start to run up on him a bit and then he sucks out on someone with 9-4 off.

The loser goes off on the guy. The fish is pissed and leaves.

I am pissed and go off on the loser.

Embrace the fish, understand variance. Shear the sheep, don't butcher 'em.

At 2:21 PM, Blogger Jordan said...

I feel the same way. Usually, I am the guy who is pissed off about another guy scaring the fish. In this one instance, though, I was the fish. And, as it turns out, I think I learned a lot from the occasion. It isn't a lesson I want to learn again though.

At 2:40 PM, Blogger SirFWALGMan said...

Cool man! Nice post. I like getting into fights with people who start with me.. it cheers me up and makes me play better. That is just me though.


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