Poker Ramblings of cmitch

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I know that Tommy Angelo advocates "Mum Poker." It definitely has it's place, but I think talking at the table, especially, to those that like to talk also has it's place as long as you are mindful about what you are saying. People like to talk about themselves and generally, the more they talk the more information they are giving you. When I sit down at a cash game I always try to strike up a conversation with the guy on my left and right. If you know their thinking/how they play then you have a huge advantage. They won't tell you flat out how they play, but they are usually more than willing to tell you if it is the first time at the WSOP/playing live poker/etc or how great of an internet/live player they are. If you ask where they are from, they may volunteer more information like where they play poker on a daily, weekly, every few month basis. You may even be able to give them just enough information about yourself for them to think you don't know as much as you do. You don't have to lie - just don't tell them everything.

Even though I rarely play live I can think of a couple quick examples off the top of my head:

Example 1
Last year, I was over in Tampa at a deposition of the opposing expert witness in a hurricane damage case. I'm a consultant that sometimes works on legal cases. I'm definitely not a lawyer and don't dress like one, but I dressed like one that day. After we butchered the opposing expert, I headed over to the Tampa Hard Rock. I was minus the coat and tie, but I still looked like a business guy that wandered into the HR to gamble after work.

After a couple of hours, I wound up in a SNG (equivalent of an online turbo SNG). A few orbits in, it folded to me in the SB. I completed with I think 2 face cards. The BB, who through conversations thought that I could send some work his way, over shoved all-in. I folded. Not a big deal - nothing too unusual about the hand for a live SNG, until he started to give me lessons on how to play poker. He told me to never just limp from the SB because the BB can just shove and you will have to fold. He went on to further explain some of the "finer nuances" of poker to me. I politely thanked him for all his advice.

There was no reason to let him know that I had ever played poker before. He created a better image for me at that table than I ever could have created on my own. The entire table now viewed me as a businessman without much knowledge of poker.

Example 2
Last year, I sat down at a 2/5NL game in the Rio after one of the donkaments thinned out enough for them to open cash tables. The guy to my immediate right and I were talking a lot about poker. We talked about FTP and PS. I let him ramble on and on and I was soaking it all in. He went on to tell me how easy and juicy live cash games are. "All you have to do is raise and then c-bet and everyone folds." I noticed that he was getting way too liberal with this plan and was always firing 2nd and 3rd barrels whether he connected or not. His pattern became predictable, even more so because of our hand discussions.

About and hour or so into the game, I called him down very light on every street including his river bluff. His line made no sense. He wasn't playing his made hands the way that he played this one. He went ballistic and couldn't believe how horrible my call was for calling him down so light. He wasn't talking to me anymore. He was no longer my "friend."

5 responses to "Live Poker - It's OK to talk"

  1. "The entire table now viewed me as a businessman without much knowledge of poker."

    Wait, so where's the deception? lol

    Alan aka RecessRampage

  2. :)


  3. I have found saying "I never get Aces" every time someone shows them on a night where KK has held up 5 times for you can tilt the table.


  4. Talking does have its place in the live game for sure. I play small stakes for various reasons but I am also very clued up on strategy etc.

    If I play live and it comes out that I play small-stakes I find it easier to get paid off with all sorts of hands.


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