Thursday, March 14, 2013

Stereotypes and poker - Part 5 of a 116 part series on "Better Know a Poker Player"*

Part of my multi-part series of "Better Know a Player"- the 116 part series on racism and stereotyping those around you*, I continue with 2 new stereotypes: the Mediterranean / Middle Eastern foreigner and the typical old guy.  Enjoy it, or ignore it as blatant racism.  You choose!

The Foreigner; Iranian / Syrian / Egyptian / Israeli / Mediterranean type
Wow.  Did I just do that?  Lump Israel in with Iran?  Holy smokes!  At least I separated them by putting Syria and Egypt in between.  But you guessed it; yup... they're the same type of hot-head, ego-driven player.  Gamble gamble gamble; it's in their cultures.  I liken these players to the Craisian Asian type, with the aggression factor amped WWWAAAAAYYYY up.  They'll bet draws the same as value hands the same as bluffs - bet bet bet.  They're usually cocky *SSHOLES at the table to boot - telling others either how bad they're playing, or how to play the hands that they have and how they misplayed them in the prior hand.
The verdict: Bread-and-butter.  Strap in because it'll be wild, but call 'em down light and they'll never understand how you did that.  Moreover, it won't discourage them because they have these big ass egos.  It'll only encourage them to bluff harder and with greater frequency.  Oh yeah - and when you do nut on them, just check and call, don't let 'em off easy by raising so that they can fold.  Let them bury themselves... trust me, they'll do it.  When you do read them to be on a draw, bet bet bet.  Don't fear that they'll fold 'cause you ain't gettin' them off as much as an inside straight draw!  Surprisingly, few of these types have little knowledge of the odds of the game - they're just in it to win it!

Typical Old Guy
Much like the old retired Navy curmudgeon, these "Don't F*ck with me" types look at the young whippersnappers as annoyances.  Featuring a tight, static range, these rocks love to call call call and only raise the nuts.  Note that there are a few exceptions to the rule - see here & here, but I chalk that up as variance to the norm... Even those aforementioned old guys would agree that they see other old guys and think value value value.  If the typical old guy is raising at your table, you can pretty darn well put him on a few specific hands (few is 3 or more - but I put them precisely on AA,KK,QQ.  The typical old man neglects to raise AK usually, and "hates to lose with JJ" so winds up limping perhaps as often as raising.)  
The verdict: You need to nut on these guys in order to make your money.  Call a raise from them - they'll raise smaller than usual, afraid to let their "prey" off the hook by raising too large.  Plus, they're totally static & stuck in their dated ways of thinking about how the game "used to be."  Let them continue to live in the past and be scratching their head and be steaming mad about how their limped KK lost to a random hand, while the reality is that the game has changed, the players are smarter and adjustments need to be made...

To be continued...

* Credit to Steven Colbert and the Colbert Report's 434 part series, "Better Know a District" series.  If you haven't seen any of the episodes, click over to his website and watch.  It's very clever - Eleanor Holmes Norton is my favorite interview.

My limited biased cranium has only a few obvious stereotypes in mind.  I don't fancy my self an honest-to-goodness racist, so I'm having trouble thinking up new targets.  I'm happy to take suggestions as to other stereotypical players!


  1. Is this the Pot calling the kettle black?

    "...telling others either how bad they're playing, or how to play the hands that they have and how they misplayed them in the prior hand."

    1. Not quite sure where to go with this anonymous comment, but when have I told a fish how bad they're playing? It's bad for the game and bad for my bottom line.

    2. Think back to some old home games..."You went all in with AQ?" Why would you do that. Remedial lesson next day by email...

    3. Going all the way back, I have to admit complicity. I did indeed berate players in my far back past. As far as the home games, though, I perhaps wrongly treated those games as a learning experience for all, rather than for just me. I think I learned a lot from the home games. I was hoping other people would learn too.

  2. You should add to the MidEast group that they tend to hold grudges. That's not just a Israel-Palestine dig, but its also true, in my experience. They are more likely to take a loss personally and target you, which can be profitable.

    1. True. These guys tend to steam more than most...

  3. I have several friends from Iran who play poker. Much of what you said fits some of them -- particularly the total disregard for math and the desire to gamble. I once asked them about their desire to gamble. One told me that there are such frequent changes in the value of money in Iran that they have little respect for what money represents. They figure they would just get screwed one way or another.

  4. Hi PM,

    Nice post. I have a lot of interaction with Iranians playing at CT. They are "true to their word", they come there to gamble and gamble they do.

    I do know a couple of them that are real solid who attack weakness like it's nobody's business. Ofcouse, after playing couple of sessions with them you know who to avoid and when to put your seat belts on.

    The series starts on 21st, hope to see you there. The promotion for the month looks nice (if you can spare 60 hours or more).


  5. is there anyway u can sell me any chips on seals with clubs, and how soon? email me at 200 will get me started although i should buy more, but cant afford to.

    1. How would I sell you chips? I'm not sure how to do that. I believe allows buying & selling of bitcoins which can then be transferred to SWC and vice-versa. I was actually getting ready to sell 1 BTC (bitcoin) to see how it works. 1 BTC = 1000 chips is selling for roughly $50 right now.

      If you want a suggestion, Tony, SWC has hourly freerolls for 40 chips. Why not trying playing lock down poker and winning one of these suckers. In addition, I'd have to imagine that the field really shrinks in the off hours such as during the day or super early in the morning.

      Finally, be aware that once you hit 500 kill, you are eligible for the 500 chip freeroll which runs every 50 hours. I think you're near that number if not past that number of krill.


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