Customer Service

I’m just one week in to life as a live pro and the run good is real. So far (I’m writing this 6 days into my week), I’ve played 5 sessions at $1/3 NL and have been fortunate enough to book wins in all of them for a total profit of $3,505. My total volume for the week thus far is about 33 hours, so assuming I’m able to put in about 2 more hours I shouldn’t have any trouble reaching my volume goal. I’ve also already completed my goals related to running and meditating. In regards to my studying goal, I’ve put in about 6 hours thus far, so I’m likely to fall a little short there. There’s really no excuse for this, but if I’m being totally honest I think I usually feel less motivated to study when I’m winning. It’s kind of like a “if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it” mentality in relation to my game. Obviously though, I have leaks that could and should be plugged and winning is no excuse to not be doing what I can to improve. I won’t say anything else about it, but next week reaching my studying goal will take priority over the other goals I have set. My other goals for this upcoming week will remain the same, and they can be found in my previous posts.

I want to talk a little bit about the idea of “customer service” and how it relates to poker. I believe a lot of EV can be gained from being friendly with recreational players at the table. This doesn’t mean we have to go out of our way to make friends with the biggest fish in the game, but that we should be respectful and do what we can to make the environment more positive and appealing to recreational players. Even more importantly, we should avoid talking strategy and berating below average players for their bad play at all costs. People can play how they want, and as a winning player, I want people to play badly. So if some fish sucks out on me, I’m not going to get angry at them and explain all the mistakes they made and how lucky they got. Instead, I’ll suck it up, tell them nice hand, and allow them to keep making the same mistakes so that I can capitalize and eventually stack them. Here’s an example of why we should be friendly with recreational players from a session I played earlier this week:               

A middle-aged European tourist sits down at my $1-3 NL table and buys in for $200. He quickly quadruples up after flopping a straight and getting all in with 3 other players and holding. After a few orbits, it’s pretty apparent to me (and likely most of the table) that this guy is a total whale and he is eventually going to be giving away his $800+ stack. He’s limping and limp-calling raises super wide, probably between 60 and 70% of hands and has shown he’s unable to find the fold button on the flop or turn with any draw and most pairs.

Another player at the table was a 40-45 year old white guy. He was pretty tight-passive pre-flop and somewhat passive post-flop, but seemed to have an okay understanding of what pre-flop ranges should look like and was very aware that the tourist was playing way too loose. I can’t remember exactly how this hand went down, but the two of them got involved in a decent sized pot together. On the turn, the board was something like T949 rainbow and the 40-45 year old WG check raised and was called by just the tourist. The river brought a Q, the WG checked, and the tourist put him all in. The WG tanked for a couple minutes and finally called it off with 9x and was showed KJ by the tourist for a straight. The WG completely lost it, telling the tourist things like “I never would have made such an idiotic call on the turn with just a gut-shot” and “keep playing the way you are, because you’re going to give away all those chips.” This went on for about five minutes after the hand and I could tell the tourist was beginning to feel uncomfortable. I tried to defend him and told the WG that people can play how they want but it was too late. The tourist racked up his $1k+ stack and headed for the cage.

This cost me and the rest of the table (and the WG!) a decent amount of EV. Had the WG just kept his mouth shut, the tourist likely would have continued to play and spouted off a good portion of his stack. The lesson to be learned from this is that no matter what your status is as a poker player, it pays to avoid creating a hostile environment and to keep the game friendly. So yea… I’ll end my rant here you’ll hear from me next week. Until then, peace and much love.