It's good for the game.
How many times have we heard that statement? Whether it's a straddle, showing a bluff, accommodating the fish or making a decision quicker than William Kassouf.
Here's the thing, while some of these aspects are good for that particular game of poker that you are in at that precise moment in time, the reality is that most don't do anything for the game outside of the table.
What's my point? My point is that, without a doubt, there are a number of things good for the game, and being an opinionated, self-centered, often egotistical and narcissistic poker player, I'm going to tackle some of them. We all have an opinion on each of the topics I'm about to discuss.
Accommodating the Fish
I'm not going to spend long on this at all, there is a plethora of information available to anyone needing any advice as to why you should be friendly to weaker players; however, let's touch upon a few important points.
FACT: We all started off as fish and, I personally, spent hours upon hours losing money both live and online. Did I care? Nope. Why? Because I was paying money to have a fun experience. Remember that, a fun experience.
We all started off as fish.
- Poker is a game; games are meant to be fun. If you make your game fun, the fish won't mind losing money to you. Don't berate them for bad calls, join their celebrations for winning.
Most of us play online and live. When you play online, you get a short period of time (varying by sites) to make a decision. If you need more time, you have a few minutes in a time bank that you can use.
Why is it that we can all do that, across multiple tables, but the second we are playing live we need three minutes for every decision?
Sure, now you can pick up on physical tells, use your speech play, etc., but seriously, stop with the tanking! I don't get the argument against this besides the logistical aspect.
Faster play = more hands seen = greater chance of being dealt a top 10 percent hand in the same time period.
It is faux pas to call the clock on a player.
There are so many ways to police tanking. Unfortunately it is faux pas to call the clock on a player. Let's start by changing that!
Again, a simple one. The more poker is exposed to the general public and easily accessible to watch and learn from other players, the higher the number of players.
Guaranteed Prize Pools vs. Added Money
If you haven't had a chance to listen to recent interviews with John Duthie, track them down. In essence, he is an advocate for the players. He launched the EPT, negotiated strategic partners for each casino and agreed to give exclusivity to PokerStars who later decided to scrap the EPT — in my opinion — for their own publicity rather than the player experience.
Online sites/casinos...give a little back to the community who gave you that profit.
Sure, guaranteed prize pools are great but, as John Duthie said, it's time to lower your profit margins, online sites/casinos, and give a little back to the community who gave you that profit. You don't need to make six-figure profits all the time.
Socializing at the Table
So, here's the thing: I listen to music while I play poker and occasionally wear sunglasses. However I want it to stop. Going back to the first point, a lot of people play poker for fun, let's accommodate them. In turn, getting rid of headphones and sunglasses makes poker more sociable, which will likely lead to quicker decisions. Win-win.
Asking the Players
For those of you fortunate enough to play at a live tournament, you will frequently be given a questionnaire to complete about your experience. How was the food? How was the hotel? How were the dealer? How was the tournament director?
Really? How was the food? Come on sponsors! How about you ask the players questions?
Come on sponsors! How about you ask the players questions?
How was the structure? Would you prefer shorter days and more of them? Do you prefer full-ring or 6-Max? What did you think about the prize pool distribution? Would you like to have shot clocks implemented in future tournaments?
Ask the people that play your tournaments and get the answers that you need, not that you want.
There's a number of other things that are good for the game, but this blog is getting lengthy already so please post other suggestions in the comments for things that would be good for the game. Let's tackle this head on and make poker great again.
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