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Are you a Poker Problem? The 5 Worst Types of Poker Players

Are you a Poker Problem? The 5 Worst Types of Poker Players

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Nothing beats a grown adult screaming in your face over you having a Jack when they only had a 9. Or being loudly psycho-analysed (badly) by someone who never finished secondary school

But when it comes to poker, you can’t always have your pick of the table, you might even have to deal with someone who’s blatantly cheating.

Every now and then, you might just have to suck it up and play with some real pieces of work. If all your friends are busy playing in an online poker tournament, you could end up playing a friendly with some strangers because, in the immortal words of Canada Bill Jones, “it's the only game in town”.

To give you a helping hand, here are a few of the problem players you can expect to run afoul of if you get unlucky (and to make sure you aren’t one yourself).

Angry Alan

How DARE you have a Flush, I had a straight, God Damnit!!”

If you’ve played any board game before, you will have definitely encountered this gentleman.

An Angry Alan is the guy who throws the table or breaks the TV when they start losing. Now imagine that blind fury translated into a game where you play for money.

Keeping an eye out for warning signs is a pre-requisite. While there’s a certain ‘fish' quality about an Angry Alan (because it’s hard to bluff when your eyebrow won’t stop twitching at how bad your cards are), the dangers can outweigh the benefits as it’s sometimes hard to tell what this steaming kettle of fury is going to do if you beat him on the flop.

There isn’t really a best way to handle this situation, just keep playing, keep your head down and do your best not to set them off with their anger issues.

Mind-Reading Michael

Hmmm, I can read your face like a book! You blinked .5 seconds slower! Raise!”

Poker is something of a mental game. Everyone knows predicting your opponent’s actions is part of play, so bluffing/tells are what all players look out for. It isn’t like the movies though, where a single bloody tear rolls down your cheek when you’re lying, it’s subtle things like messing with your chips when you don’t want someone to bet. But when it comes to the Mind-Reading Michael’s of the world, they are convinced they can see inside your head and know exactly what cards you have.

And they almost definitely don’t.

But that won’t stop them loudly telling you they can see everything going on in your head while also incorrectly guessing your every play. You would think after a few hands they’d realise they aren’t psychic but, come what may, they’ll assure everyone they’re ‘really good at reading people’ and then over bet every chance they get.

The only real way to handle this one is to ignore it, just let them have their fun and quietly collect your winnings.

Cheating Charlie

“Oh wow, 4 Aces? Again? How lucky am I!”

So, dealing with the elephant in the room – cheating. Now, the majority of poker players are going to be upstanding folks who just want to play a game with friends. Even the two we mentioned earlier, as annoying as they might be, aren’t going to be cheating. But sometimes… sometimes you’ll run into one of them.

One of those guys who SOMEHOW has managed to master bottom dealing and slipping cards up their sleeve but not how to play the game. Maybe they’re bad enough you can catch them and call them out on it, but what if they’re skilled at cheating? Well, there’s not very much you can do. As infuriating as it may be, you’re going to have to just wait until they slip up or (hopefully) Angry Alan leaps over the table and power-slams the cheating scumbag into the floor.

N.B Make sure they ARE cheating though, otherwise Alan just assaulted someone.

Paranoid Pete

“Hmmmm, if I recall, you had a Queen nine hands ago too! Get him Alan!”

The other side of the coin, this poor fellow has encountered a Charlie so often that he now sees treachery and deceit at every corner. You’d better hope you don’t get too lucky as Pete won’t have any qualms setting the bundle of issues and fraught nerves that is Alan on you if they think you’ve been secretly palming cards (no doubted egged on by Michael seeing guilt everywhere on your face). The best way to handle this is probably try and establish, early on, that you’re not cheating as convincingly as possible.

Genuinely Skilled Ginnie

“Showdown? Straight flush, thanks boys.

Ugh, by far and away the worst player to play against is someone who’s actually GOOD at the game. While the other four are all problems of various flavours, trying to beat someone who’s actually good at poker is most definitely the most frustrating experience you can have at the felt.

A very expensive lesson in how bad you are at the game is the last thing you’re after in a friendly. Just go play with Phil Ivey and Johnny Chan already!

There isn’t really a fix for this short of getting better at the game.

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