It’s time to speed up play at the poker tables

Today’s mini-tirade will focus on a particular pet peeve of mine at the poker tables: Tanking. While I completely understand that some decisions are extremely difficult, and you may not want to snap-fold every single time you get raised and have an absolute airball, there is something to be said for keeping a game that is inherently slow and boring moving at least at a snail’s pace.

For one thing, you’re not giving away information when you snap-fold pre-flop with a deuce-five offsuit, so just look at your cards and muck them. Additionally, you don’t have to pretend that every-single-time you get your hand caught in the cookie jar you actually have a tough fold to make; go ahead and pretend you’re making a difficult lay-down from time-to-time, but please don’t do it every single time.

Imagine a catcher who framed every single pitch for the umpire no matter how badly it misses the plate. It would drive you nuts right? Actually, it would probably lead to riots in stands. Well, this is exactly what this unnecessary tanking in poker is doing. To be honest, it’s actually worse than framing every pitch; for some players it’s more like a pitcher throwing over to first base five times in between each pitch when nobody is on base!

What aggravates the most about this is that virtually every hand –before you’ve even had a chance to collect your hole cards—the dealer is pointing at you or saying it’s on you, but after you look at your hole-cards you can basically take as much as time as your heart desires to act on your hand. It seems counterintuitive, we are rushing each player along when everyone has something to do –from collecting their cards to peeking at them if they desire—but when only a single person has an action to make we all get to sit there with our thumbs up our ass while they count to 30 before mucking their Jack-Deuce.

It seems as though poker players of the Internet generation have lost their way when it comes to creating a friendly, accommodating, atmosphere. In some ways it’s simply not their fault since they’ve never had to keep a game going, and know very little about the lean years –the term Prop Players come to mind—and why it’s sometimes more important to make the game fun and inviting, even if it means you might just possibly be giving off the slightest little piece of usable information to players who have 10,000 hands logged with you.

I’m not asking for a shot clock or anything of that nature; more so I want poker players to be aware that what they think is helping their bottom line (it may add a very minimal amount if looked at in a vacuum) is probably costing them a ton of money in the long-run by turning off potential players.

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  • Posted in: Poker, Poker Strategy & Tips
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