By: Kent Anderson


You're kidding, right. Who is this guy? It's like he learned everything he knows from one of those 15 seconds of fame pseudo heroes who bumped into the chip lead on day two of the World Series. You know the guy. He yells vernacular atrocities like, "Ship It" after he sucks the case four to make the wheel. As his bad play continues to be rewarded with luck you're blood begins to boil like a kettle in hell. You're thinking, "I'm gonna spit roast this no talent goon. Someone needs to teach him a lesson and when I do…" Players like this can drive you crazy and if you're human they will.


The problem with becoming annoyed, angry or feeling like you're going to "get" another player is that it takes you out of your game. I've seen many players lose their heads because of "That Guy". If there is one certainty in poker it is that after you lose your head, you will lose your checks. Sometimes another player doesn't even have to say anything to get under your skin. I had just sat down at a table a few months back and the guy next to me immediately annoyed me. He was another version of, "That Guy". Beginning with the cockeyed way he wore his cap to the cocky way he shuffled his Out of Luckchecks and placed his bets. My mind was already out to lunch, entirely occupied with fruitless thoughts about this guy and he hadn't even opened his mouth yet. I knew I should change tables, but my ego kept me in a non-productive situation. I was going to "get him". "Yeah buddy, you're done, you should have spent more time on your game instead of your chip tricks." Of course I didn't get him because I had already allowed him to get me. The best thing to do is check your ego at the door. When you can achieve this state of Zen, all the rubbish and perceived rubbish will roll directly off your back. It's bad enough to let one of these lemmings affect your thoughts and it's a catastrophe to let them affect your bank roll.


A pitcher doesn't only throw fast balls down the middle of the plate. A successful outing will include different pitches in different locations. The same holds for a good poker player. You want to give the other players a lot of different looks so they never quite know what you have, might have or don't have. Once you are comfortable dealing with "That Guy" you may want to experiment with being "That Guy". Having dealt with him you already understand the range of emotions he can stir up and their debilitating effects. The key in my mind is perceiving how your actions and words are affecting your opponent. Understanding these nuances will afford you opportunities to strike. This tactic like all tactics won't always work, but if you have it in your repertoire, you can pull it out and use it when the time is right. Just remember, when you blow your stack you will usually blow your stack. Until next time…

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