Dear Table Captain -
It's hard to be this awesome, I understand, and not let the world share in it. When you've got this much poker knowledge packed in your head, hey, some of it's just gonna bleed out.
Well, look here, these days, there seems to be more and more of you.
Almost every night, I play cash games at fairly low levels, $25 NL, just trying to build my bankroll, just like you. And every time I sit down, there's you, Capt. Kirk, Capt. Solo, the Skipper, bursting with poker goodness.
"How can you call that?" you say, sometimes when you lose to one of the few special, golden tickets that gave the other guy the chips that are rightfully there's. Why do they even run the hand anyway? Man that sucks.
So, in an effort to make you feel better, you start to chirp.
"Donkey," you say. "Idiot. God you're terrible."
If the player responds, who can hardly be blamed, given that no one really likes to be called names, you fire back. You talk about how you make $20 billion a night playing $25 NL, or, rather, you would make that much if only you didn't lose to such donkeys every night.
Here's the thing.
I don't get it.
We've talked a lot - like, a LOT - about how you're ruining it for the rest of us. Every moment you educate the fish, that's one less piece of bankroll getting unplumped. Let's face it. We need bad players, and yet, they're disappearing.
We're overfishing the oceans. That law approved by Congress last year - yeah, I don't want to bore you, I know this isn't as exciting as Guitar Hero, but you really need to hear it - has left an oil slick over all our waters. And yeah, that slick is only getting larger, as we continue to troll for more and more fish (and that includes me, of course).
This will require you looking beyond yourself for a moment - I know, tough tough tough - but have you noticed it's harder and harder to find them anymore?
You have noticed that, right?
Yeah, I know, everybody is a fish but you. You're awesome, after all.
But I have noticed.
I've also noticed a lot of solid players - including myself - getting berated in the chat box as well by you.
If you do have a better nature about you - and I'm doubting it, but I'm always willing to try - then you might consider that you're taking the joy out of the game (and it is a game). You might consider that no one wants to hear your bleating. You might also consider this.
Last night, in my very first hand, I was dealt 8-3 os. I checked my option, and I got two pair on the flop. I slow-played it just a tad, and on the river I took half a guy's stack when he called my big bet with TPTK.
It was only $10, mind you, but man, did you freak out.
"The amazing 8-3 os. Of course. I should have known."
Blah blah blah blah blah.
And what did I do?
I did not bother to point out that it was my first hand played.
And I took another $20 off you because you thought I was a donkey.
So here's the thing. When you're so busy berating others, sometimes you hurt yourself.
Yeah. That's how I'm appealing to you. I'm talking about YOU.
Hey, if that doesn't work, maybe you only respond to more fire to your fire.
So, OK, pretend this is a chat box.
I only have one other thing to add.
P.S. This post is the second is an occasional series of letters I write to poker players. The first was written to a first-time poker player.
P.S.S. Don't forget the Mookie on Wednesday and the Bodoggy on Bodog tonight!