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Don't Berate the Fish
Posted at 11/09/2005 02:07:52 AM in General Discussions by Wiggie.
I believe that most people are full of themselves to a certain extent. I don't think anyone can deny that they like the feeling they get by outdoing someone else, whether playing a sport, a game, or even just being proven right after an argument. Everyone thinks they're very clever and we all love to show how much smarter we are than the next guy. Poker is a terrific outlet for showing off how smart and tricky you are. No doubt, it's a nice ego boost when you outplay somebody and take a big pot from them.

On the flip side, there's nothing worse than doing everything exactly right in a poker hand and having some idiot hit a two-outer on the river when he never should have been in the hand in the first place. This is where I see so many online players let their egos get the best of them. They feel that they need to defend their poker skills and point out how horribly their opponent played the hand. Often, their criticism is completely incorrect and just proves how little they actually know about the game, but regardless of whether they are right or wrong this is a terrible thing to do for their bottom line. Any decent poker player should know that you make money when your opponents make mistakes. Sometimes their incorrect play will win the hand for them, but if they keep making mistakes, which bad players tend to do, the other players at the table will profit. Going into a tirade on a bad player will often either cause him to become self-conscious and attempt to tighten up and play “correctly” or he may just become embarrassed and choose to go elsewhere to avoid harassment. Obviously, you do not want either of these things to happen. Would you seriously rather have a “good” player who knows better than to play every hand, or do you want the guy who will chase every gutshot draw to the river no matter what you bet?

It comes down to swallowing your pride a little and doing what's best for your bankroll rather than trying to prove you are right or getting validation from other players. This seems like such an obvious thing to avoid doing, but I see someone doing this nearly every session I play. I've noticed that the players who are the most vocal about the horrendous play of their opponents are typically not much better themselves, but have probably skimmed over a Sklansky book so they spout off a few terms and think they're the second coming of Howard Lederer. Please don't be that guy. It doesn't do anybody any good, and no one wants to be told how much they suck, even if it's true. A happy fish is a generous fish, so for your own good, please don't tap the bowl.


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