I love poker not just for the fact that it’s fun, it’s great mental exercise and there’s a nice social aspect to it. Like chatting up people at the table, talking about the game, talking about sports, life. You meet a lot of interesting people at a poker game. So it’s this reason that I was able to convince a poker buddy to try B&M one night for a round of hold ‘em.
It was a $2/$4 NL game and me and my friend have been talking about our home game (that he’s been attending just for 3 weeks now). Anyway, we got so caught up that before you knew it we were talking poker strategy on the table. We were oblivious to the other players and were playing our game and we were winning. We weren’t the chip leaders at the table but we were right there.
Anyway we were discussing strategy and what to do with AK if you flop nothing like 369. I explain that the strategy should be raising preflop and c-bet on the flop. If you get called, shove all in. Suddenly, I noticed that this guy on our left had been eavesdropping on our conversation, which was already more than 30 minutes long. The next thing I know is that he’s folding or re-raising and not being passive but suddenly playing aggressive and takes down four pots in a row!
Now I don’t know how much our talk contributed to him picking up our play, but it was obvious he was listening and we weren’t aware he was. Now I think I’d just keep the poker strategy talk away from the table if I’m trying to learn or teach someone how to play. People on the table should never hear how you think about a hand, even if you weren’t talking to them, they’d hear it anyway.
Now I know that there’s such a thing as talking as a strategy in a no limit hold ‘em game. Talking to a friend about the mistakes someone at the table is making can make the players more aware of their play, giving me a psychological edge. If it were a loose player calling with nothing but air, hearing someone analyze a hand correctly will make him tighten up.
But as for talking about YOUR strategy to a friend or maybe giving advice to total strangers, that’s just not supposed to happen. Not only are you giving away your advantage, you’re also teaching others how to be better players and we don’t want that. It was a big stupid mistake on our part, and I don’t think we’d ever let it happen again.