Poker is boring as fuck.
There I said it.
As a live spectator sport it’s about as interesting as watching a Razz final table from the rail of the Thunderdome at the Rio.
And it’s not that scintillating a game to play either.
Surely it can only be fun if, (a) you're a loose-aggressive maniac that plays every pot, or (b) you're hitting everything and playing about 1,000 big blinds deep.
Why Talk in Poker?
Considering I am a complete nit and I have never had a big chip stack in my life, my time at the table largely consists of folding.
And the art of folding is not much fun unless you are an Origami expert trying to make the Millennium Falcon.
Daniel Negreanu has said that poker needs to be more fun. The British trio of Neil Channing, Joe Beevers and Vicky Coren skipped Vegas this year partly, they say, because of the lack of atmosphere surrounding the game in general these days.
I played in five events at this year’s World Series, the most I have ever played, and I never spoke to anyone.
In fact, there was very little talk at any of the tables I was seated at. And that’s fine with me.
I don’t want people to talk to me. I’m not there to have fun per se. I’m there to win some money.
If I wanted to have fun then I would have gone to Magic Mountain.
Daniel is a Master at his Craft
People like Daniel Negreanu have been playing for so long they can mix the banter with playing, but it’s not the same for everyone.
Daniel is a master at his craft. He can play most pots with his eyes closed, whereas I play all of mine in that way.
Whilst a $1,500 event might be a waste of time for a lot of the pros it’s a lot of money for us mere mortals.
For me to make sure I was getting my money’s worth, I had to concentrate. I turned my phone off, and for the first time in my life I diligently watched every hand.
I was so focused, so determined, and so stoked up to try the very best that I could. If, instead, I had decided to have some fun, then I don’t think I would have played as well.
I would have missed things. Important things. So perhaps it’s good for the pros to get me talking, but it isn’t any good for me.
So leave me alone. I don’t want to talk.
It's Not Constipation
I am a one-bullet man and once I've pulled my trigger that’s it. My time is precious. The action will be very finite. Every hand counts.
Give me a table of nine players of equal skill. Allow eight of them to talk about the "would they or wouldn’t they bang Daenerys Targaryen" debate, but keep one player focused on the game. Who has the edge?
For a lot of people this isn’t just a game. It’s money. It’s cold hard cash that should really be spent on something else.
It’s another Christmas present for the kids, it’s another few days extra in the holiday camp, it’s a deposit on a much-needed new car, or the double-glazing that you've always promised.
So the next time you see me at the poker table, don’t expect me to say much more than hello.
That look on my face is not the result of constipation. I really am trying to focus, because in all likelihood I am not as good as you are.
And if I decide to spend my time talking shite, that wouldn’t be very +EV now, would it?