Modern cinema is a great tool for teaching poker because it crosses cultural barriers in a way that few teaching elements can. All one needs to do is listen to the advice that can be found in the lines of a variety of films and then remember their relationship to playing poker. Now, this doesn’t mean you can repeatedly use a line from Goodfellas in conversation while playing, but it does mean you should keep in mind the concepts that go with the line.
The 2004 comedy Anchorman: The Legend of Ron Burgundy is considered by many to be one of Will Ferrell's best roles. Outspoken and brash, Ferrell's hilarious role in the film offers plenty of comedy lines, but few can compare to the conversation between Ferrell's Ron Burgundy and Christina Applegate's Veronica Corningstone. Fortunately for poker players, some wisdom can be gained through this hilarious exchange.
Burgundy: I don't know how to put this, but I'm kind of a big deal.
Burgundy: People know me.
Corningstone: Well, I'm very happy for you.
Burgundy: I'm very important. I have many leather-bound books and my apartment smells of rich mahogany.
Keep your ego in check at all times.
It doesn't matter how well you play or how much money you make if you are a jerk to those around you. You have no reason to be arrogant and conceited at the tables because we are all just fellow poker players trying to have some fun. Your arrogance can ruin the game for others.
Regardless of your win-loss record, people will judge you for the way you interact others, so don't be an ass. Do your best to keep your self-serving, conceited, controversial, negative, spiteful and nasty opinions to yourself. Remember the old saying: "if you don't have something nice to say, don't say it at all."
No one likes a jackass at the tables and your poor behavior puts a big target on your back.
Don't get tilted by obnoxious players.
A small number of players use their psychological skills to unnerve their opponents so they will make mistakes. We may refer to the interaction in poker as battles to be won, but it's a game, not war.
If you feel a player is trying to goad you into a hand or you see them trying to play games with others, be patient and wait for the right moment to let loose any anger you've been saving since the annoying player sat down.
The best way to close down a big mouth or to flip the script on a hard-ass at the table is to take the person's stack and then smile as they hit the rail. This is the sweetest revenge you can inflict on a big-mouth.
Don't take yourself too seriously; have fun at the tables.
Poker is a sport that requires you to give up your ego if you want to win. You have to learn to take shrug off losses when play doesn't go your way. You're not going to win every tournament, and you're certainly not going to win every hand, so don't get frustrated when you don't.
Although we all want to be winners, we should follow the oft-heard advice that it's the journey that counts, not the outcome. So do your best to keep your ego in check along the way; it will help you cope when the deck does run cold.
Poker is only a game and life doesn't end if you lose. Have fun while you're playing; you don't know when you'll play your final hand.