It pays to be nice when playing Live Poker
If there’s one thing I’ve learned in two decades of playing poker, it’s that unless you have some major tells and absolutely no self-awareness, it pays to be nice when playing Live Poker.
I believe your equity when playing joyfully and communally (chatting with tablemates and acting quickly when the action is on you) is exactly the same as it would be playing stoically like you’ve seen on TV.
In fact, I would argue that your equity is actually much higher in the first scenario. That’s because when you’re playing low-limit live games, anyone you really want to be playing against is doing the exact same thing.
Having played countless hands of 1/2 and 2/5 NL at the casino in my younger years, I can count on one hand the number of times someone was Phil Ivey-esque at the table while also being a complete and utter ‘fish’. Of course, this changes at the stakes where wealthy businessmen begin to saturate the games, with the emotionless demeanor giving away a lot less information in that situation than at your low-stake local casino game.
So rather than isolate yourself at the tables, hiding behind dark shades and an oversized hoodie, consider interacting with as many of your opponents as are open to it and observing the results.
Because my guess is that not only will your overall poker experience improve, but you’ll likely be stunned at just how much more powerful your bluffs become when you’re everybody’s best friend at the table.