Thoughts from the Felt: A Guide for the Single Guys

Published On: 8 January 2009 / Modified:
Created By: Sean Lind
Vanessa Rousso
If you sleep all day and spend all night playing cards, the only ladies you're ever likely to meet as a single grinder will be at the table. Here, then, is a guide to help you pick up more than the pot.

First, I'm going to be honest with all of you hopeful single-guy grinders: the poker room is not the ideal place to pick up a girl.

Ironically, the largest obstruction you have to overcome is one you helped create (however unintentionally). With the common ratio of guys to girls in a poker room being outrageously weighted toward the men, you're starting out as just another guy for them to ignore.

A Sea of Testosterone

When it comes to being hit on, very few men have the same experience as most women. Our world simply works in a way that, more often than not, men make the advances, and women choose whether or not to reciprocate.

In Seinfeldian terms, we have given the women all the hand in this relationship. Since there is little use in trying to change the system, you're better off spending your time learning how to work with it. If you're caught in a current, both swimming directly against it and letting yourself get swept away by it can be equally detrimental.

You have to find a way to cut across the current - only then do you stand a chance of reaching your goal. One of the standard rules of picking up in any situation, is you simply cannot be the same as every other guy in the room. Until you stand out, and give a girl a reason to notice you, chances are she won't.

If the girl is even somewhat attractive, there's a very good chance she will be getting hit on constantly by dozens of different guys.

Poker girl
Give her a reason to want to get to know you.

When someone is being incessantly hit on, they tend to start blocking everyone out. It takes too much time and energy to divert this many affronts. This is why even the nicest girls can seem bitchy at times - it's nothing personal, just a quick way to ward off unwanted attention.

To add to that, look around at the average guy in a poker room: a degenerate, often grumpy, poker-obsessed grinder. The simplest way to stand out from this crowd is to look sharp (a shave, a shower and clean clothes go a long way), and for heaven's sake, talk about interesting things other than poker.

No Girl Likes to Be Hit On

Obviously, when making a generalization like this, there will always be exceptions to the rule. What I mean by this is that almost no girls like to be blatantly hit on. If a girl is interested in you, or you're simply interesting, she may enjoy your flirting with her, but that is different from expressly hitting on her.

By hitting on her, you'll be creating an awkward situation, with no mystery or reasonable doubt. For the most part, hitting on someone (by way of pickup lines, or being greasy) comes off as creepy or hostile, rather than endearing and attractive. Never make it your goal to "pick up the girl"; make it your goal to show her your best side.

The advantage to playing poker is that you have a captive audience in any girls who happen to be on your table. You should be in no rush to catch their interest, as they're going to be there for a while. You don't need to bombard them with flirtation and conversation, since you have the time to let your association with them grow organically.

This is very useful to you, especially since the girl will be trying to focus on poker while at the table. The game itself will serve as a constant distraction and interruption. Let the game take priority, and engage in entertaining chat when opportunities arise. If you can increase the enjoyment for both her and yourself, you've already ensured a good night, regardless of your session results.

Carter Gill
Remember to smile.

Key Pointers to Remember:

  • Remember to smile; it will make you easier to talk to.
  • Look sharp - not only will you look better, but you'll feel better, allowing you to be more confident.
  • Be confident, but not arrogant.
  • Humor is your best weapon. Everyone likes a guy who can make them laugh.
  • Your goal should never be to take a girl home that night. Having this as your goal will not only make you seem slightly desperate, but since you'll go home alone more often than not, it will perpetuate a feeling of ineptitude, eliminating your confidence. Just like poker, picking up girls is not results based! Your goal should be to have a good time, and practice your social skills. The better you are at talking to people, the easier this, among other things, will become.
  • Avoid complimenting a girl's looks when you first meet her. Even if the compliment is heartfelt and honest, it can easily come across as nothing more than a line. Above all, you don't want to seem like a guy who uses lines to pick up girls.
  • Be yourself. I can't stress this enough! No matter who you are, you have many attributes which are desired and sought after by girls. All you have to do is give them a chance, and a reason, to see them in you.
  • It's a good idea to try to engage the other players on the table as much as the girl you'd like to get to know. Showing that you're sociable and entertaining in public is always a good asset.
  • If you're playing in a pot heads-up with her, don't be a dick, but don't take it easy on her. Making her think that you don't see her as being skilled enough to play at the level of the boys on the table is an insult, even if you were legitimately trying to be nice (this doesn't apply if she's a rank beginner who is obviously, even to her, outmatched by all on the table).

The moral is that above all, you need to be yourself, and focus on being entertaining and fun to sit with and talk to. Not only will you have a better chance at succeeding in getting a date, but you'll have more fun yourself at the table. When you're having a good time, you're more likely to earn more profit than glum or upset players.

And hey - if that profit includes a beautiful babe's digits, so much the better!



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