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Table Talk

Some players like to talk at the table.  That’s fine, poker is a pretty social game.   However talking is not one of my strengths.  I’m not a fan of small chat in general, and am usually pretty quiet.  If a guy is talking smack at my table I’m usually outmatched if try to verbally spar with them.  So my approach is to say pretty much nothing.  Keep the table nice and quiet, and let my chips do the talking.

It was interesting last night, I had a table just like that.  It was friendly, but mostly quiet and kinda boring.  I loved it.  It was interesting as there was one player on the table who I’m good mates with.  He’s one of the most friendly, social and likeable guys I know.  We’d never played in a serious tournament together, so I wasn’t sure what to expect or if he’d want to talk it up.  I suspect that he saw that I was quietly focussed so we hardly even chatted at the table.  This was great for me as I am pretty sure I was able keep my identity well hidden.

The thing is when you start talking articles, websites, PokerNews, PokerNetwork, WSOP, travelling, etc, other players pick up on that conversation and quickly figure out who you are or at least build a profile of you and your play.  Even just some friendly side chat can inadvertedly give away information about yourself.  I don’t want to give away anything.

The other thing is I’ve found that, in general, I have less fear of guys who are friendly at the table.  There’s always exceptions, but think about it, who would you rather at your table – Daniel Negreanu or Jeff Lisandro?  Negreanu’s friendly banter and image works for him, but sweet Jesus, Jeff Lisandro would put the fear of God into me.

So while chatting it up works for some, I’m pretty content to get focussed and get into a zone where I take everything in, give nothing away, let my chips do my talking and try to make it uncomfortable for anyone who wants to play with me.

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