I know that I, personally, am guilty of making judgements based on race, accent, or style. I believe that stereotypes do exist in poker, and I hold that they're all correct until proven otherwise. It's negative EV if you close your eyes and imagine your opponent as looking like vanilla ice cream instead of what and who he truly is, whether he be chocolate, green tea or rum punch.
Since this is my blog, and I can write what I want to without fear of reprisal or being called racist (people can still call me that, I guess), elitist, etc., I'm going to keep a running log right here & now intending to catalog the various stereotypes dancing through my head. This is going to be a multi-part series. I think it is important to note that yes, this is a bit biased, but away from the table, I honestly believe that I treat all people the same regardless of color or creed. The only thing that prejudging does at the table is help me get a leg up on my opponents initially.
Let's start with the Asians first, because they're easy to pick on:
The Craisian Asian
The typical crazy Asian is the gambol gambol gamble type. He loves to throw good money after bad - even if it's clear that he's beat - in order to suckout for the euphoria of the win. He's typically middle- to late- aged, skinny, scraggly beard... you know the type - perhaps a long hair coming out of his mole? This guy will play literally any two cards - they're SOOORRRTED (suited) or they're CORRRREEEECCTING (connecting). QJ and JT is the nuts PF. They are action junkies to the extreme. They take the culture to heart, believing in rucky (lucky) numbers, thereby playing J4o as a limp / call. They love calling gutters, so beware when that weird 3 straight turns like 6 8 K -> turned 9. I'd imagine most of them are simply degenerate gamblers who are constantly losing money; they're in it for the thrill.
The verdict: These are bread-and-butter payoff players. You'll feast on them, but strap in because it can sometimes be a bumpy ride when they do hit their improbably gutters on the river. Make sure you value bet the shit outta them!
The young, Asian internet- type
Proceed with caution! Usually, they know what they're doing. Donning a hoodie pulled low to cover their foreheads, they're aware of their table image, and like to feed off the impression of their elder brethren. However, they are not Craisian. They are generally smart, know how to fold, and know how to represent. Their bluff stories usually make sense and their value bets are just as well-thought out; sized appropriately for the hand they perceive you to hold. They also understand odds, so size your bets appropriately for this kind of player. You're not going to get a ton of value out of them. Generally avoid pots with them when possible.
The verdict: As I said above, keep clear of these guys. They know what they're doing, and if their iso-ing you, raise an eyebrow and question whether they view you as the fish at the table.
The black, thug-types; i.e. gold caps, goatee, low hanging pants, etc.
Somewhat intimidating at first glance, these players are generally nice people, looking for a night of entertainment. Give them the entertainment they're looking for; talk it up with them. Buy them a drink! They've played at home games and fancy themselves knowledgeable players, but at their cores, they're loose / passive. They play level one poker, much like the Craisian Asians, however, they're not nearly as aggressive and loose. Their value bets when they do nut on you are usually uncharacteristically small in comparison to the pot - they tend to miss a lot of value from their big hands in that regard. I believe they value bet small because of the rampant fear among the loose passive community that they're going to lose the fish on the hook.
The verdict: Bread-and-butter players. They will pay you off every time without fail and begrudge their "bad luck." However, when these guys are doing the betting, make sure that you have a hand. Don't spaz out when they bet small and you think you can come over the top of them. They're pretty certain to have a premium hand.
To be continued...