If you play a lot of poker you will notice the games are a lot different at nights, on the weekends, and especially Friday and Saturday night. Also around the 1st and the 15th of the month when people get paid. These are all times when all the people who play for pure recreation are playing, and often times they are intoxicated and definitely not playing their best, which might not be a very high level even when sober. These are the people who feed the game of poker and allow the 5% of players that make their living that way to live. These players will often play reckless, make calls and bets that some would call “stupid” and make all kinds of other strange plays at the table. We love these people. Yet repeatedly I see a few players who constantly berate these players. STOP.
There is one player in particular in the game I play who constantly calls people “fish”, tells them how bad they play, calls them other names, and is just generally rude. This person is a decent player who beats the game for thousands of dollars in a session, but I know for a fact he could be better. Anyone who feels the need to do that to other players at the table doesn’t really understand the game, and is not playing at their highest level. Hopefully he will grow out of it, but the problem is many winning players do not continually try to improve their game. They can beat it for plenty of money and so they will just stick to what works. I am always trying to improve my game and once your table play is at a high level improving your game mostly revolves around money management and self control. Self control when on losing streaks, self control when someone sucks out to one card on a big pot, self control when people are berating players at the table. What that winning player must not realize, or I don’t think he’d do what he does, is that the only reason he can take so much money out of the game is because of all the players that come up, get lucky sometimes, but mostly just donate to the game. Mabye once his rude behavior drives off enough of the players he might have to take a second look at his game and realize his table banter is not doing anything good for the game. If everyone played the way he seems to want them to play by what he says to them then the game would be boring and nearly impossible to beat. Why would anyone say anything that has a chance of making your opponent play better or even take a look at what they might be doing wrong. Fools.
So if you ever have called someone a fish at the table, or have ever told someone they did something stupid, then I think you are the idiot. Of course I have done it in the past, but my game has moved beyond that, and I see that those players are the only reason winning players can win. I want to do everything I can to make sure they have a good time at the table, whether they are losing or winning at the time.