No matter where you play – online, live, in an established online poker room or in your best friend’s garage – if you sit at a full table, there are certain types of players you always seem to face off against at some point during a session. You might even know everyone at the table ahead of time and consider them friends, but if you haven’t played poker against them before, there’s a good chance they’ll morph from the pal you know into a poker stereotype that will make you roll your eyes in bemusement or gnash your teeth in frustration!
Try as we might, it’s impossible to escape the three types of player that are found at EVERY poker table…
1) The Insanely Angry Guy
This guy has a hair-trigger temper at the table, and it doesn’t take much to set him off. Outdraw him in a standard spot? He explodes. See through his obvious bluff? Cue total meltdown. Have the nerve to outplay him? Prepare for a profanity-laden tirade, calling into question the legality of your parents’ marriage, your status as a member of the homo sapien species and enough ‘F’ words to shock the crustiest of sailors.
Angry Guy truly hates the world. He’s angry at you. He’s angry at the other players. He’s angry at the software, the dealer and even the waitress. In his heart, he’s angry at himself. You wouldn’t trade places with him for all the stacks in the world, he’s that angry – it can’t be very healthy, now can it?
2) The ‘Gamble-Gamble’ Guy
Some people play poker because they like the challenge of taking on other players and trying to outwit them; others play because they know they’re good at card games and enjoy making a few extra dollars playing their favorite hobby. Others play because they live for the thrill of the gamble, and whether they end up or down isn’t as important as the excitement of getting their chips into the middle and seeing what happens!
Gamble-Gamble Guy isn’t stupid; he can work out when he’s ahead, when he’s behind and can see when a call isn’t the right move for someone who plays ‘by the book’. He doesn’t care about the book though, he knows there’s much more fun to be had throwing caution to the wind and gambling it up. Only has three outs and is getting even money to call? Why not – think of the rush if one of his cards hits!
Better to embrace the risk, go big or go home and have fun than play like a nit and grind out small profits, that’s the motto he lives by.
3) The Wannabe Pro Guy
You definitely know this guy. In a live setting, he rocks up wearing a hoodie, massive headphones and sunglasses – for a $10 Sit & Go with friends. Online, he can’t resist butting in after each hand; a question mark here, a smug smile there, just to let you know that he’s seen your play and judged it – and you’re not up to his high, high standard.
He’s read the books. Or maybe just the one, but it was Super System 2 , so obviously he really REALLY knows his stuff. He thinks he’s the next Isildur1 or Phil Hellmuth, he’s just been unlucky so far, and he can’t believe he has to play with mere mortals like you. Yeah, it’s a tough life, playing your way to the top!
In over a decade of online and live play, I’ve come across dozens, nay hundreds, of players who fall into one of the three stereotypes above. Are there any major player types I’ve missed? Let me know!