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Poker Etiquette: Part 1

Let’s change it up a bit, and look at my bad habits – non card related.

I am a very animated poker player.  I chat with people, I joke, I get silly, and I get loud.  This usually means that people I play with, and myself, have a good time, even when losing money.  The majority of the games I play are home games with friends and other poker addicts in the Kitchener Waterloo area.  Although I can’t be sure, I would say that most of them enjoy playing with me both for the challenge and the show.  It has been  pointed out to me however that although my “persona” at the table can be light-hearted and entertaining, I should be aware of where I am, and with whom I am playing.

First, be aware of your surroundings.  I’ve played in bars, homes, halls, outdoors, and casinos.  You must be aware of the expectations of each.  Bar games are incredibly lax in what you are required to wear, and how you‘re expected to act (not to mention the rules).  Showing up with your “Head Foundation:  Please give generously” shirt on may be humorous to you, and your buddies, and some of the other bleary-eyes patrons.  However, going to a person’s house, this could be construed as somewhat inappropriate.  A good friend of mine hosts regular games in town, and he has 5 children.  Further, his is a fairly conservative family unit, and we all know that he does not appreciate swearing, so we try not to (I really do try Trevor).  You should always ask yourself if what you are doing or wearing “fits” your surroundings, or at the very least, will they prevent you from getting invited back?

Second, be aware of what may offend or be inappropriate to others. I’m not going to soapbox about drug or alcohol use, you do what you do, and I do what I do.  However, I know that not everyone would appreciate finding out that you have a bag of weed on your person when you are in their house – check first.  And speaking of alcohol, beer and poker seem intimately related, however, I know that I have played on some damn nice tables that cost a goodly penny, and if I had forked out that kind of money I would be quite upset if some drunk spilled on it (Sorry Rob).  Going to a casino, requires a bit of  tact  as well.  I was recently in Vegas, and they had no problem with me swearing at the table for hours.  However, at one point, I said the word “penis”, and they called the floor.  I hadn’t considered the dealer’s personality and boundaries.  No other player complained, but the dealer was offended, and I was almost removed.  Although this was in Vegas where there’s another casino just out the door, there’s likely to be fewer where you live, so getting banned is probably a bad idea.

To Be Continued…..

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