It can help keep you more focused on the game, it gives you the opportunity to notice tells and other physical cues and it introduces table talk to the equation. Some people fear table talk, and others thrive on it.
Table Talking in Poker
If you’re not a talker and are afraid that talking will give something away to your opponents, you do not have to talk back. Ignoring talking while you are in a hand is not considered rude. It is understood that your opponent is talking to you to try to gain information, and you are in no way required to give it. You may choose to try to give misleading information, but be careful. If you only talk when you are strong or only if you are weak, this can be a big tell.
Using Poker Table Talk to Your Advantage
If you want to use table talk to your advantage, you can do it in two ways. You can “needle,” which is intentionally antagonizing an opponent in the hopes that you will upset him into making a mistake, or you can “probe,” which is asking a question in order to try to determine the strength of your opponent’s hand from his answer.
The Art of Poker Table Talk
Needling is an art. Cursing or insulting your opponent randomly is not a needle, it’s just rude. However, if, for example, you know an opponent is a very by the book, solid player, a good needle after you suck out on him might be to say something like “yeah, I don’t think I had the odds to call there, but sometimes you just feel it, you know? My gut is always right!” as you rake in the chips. You hear these kinds of phrases at all the big live tournaments whether they are playing Texas Holdem or the more advanced poker variant HORSE poker.
When you probe, you are not as interested in the content of your opponent’s answer as HOW he answers. If a third heart comes on the river and you say to your opponent, “you made the flush, huh?” you’re not expecting a yes or no. Does he seem relieved by the question? If so maybe he was afraid YOU hit the flush. Does he clam up? Maybe he hit the flush and doesn’t want to dissuade you from betting out. As a budding master of table talk, you’ll have to decide what it all means.
PokerRoom Opening in Anticipation of US Online Poker Legalization?
Poker players everywhere are rejoicing at the rumors that PokerRoom.com will once again be offering cash poker games. This online poker site that was a staple for online poker players starting in 1999 was forced to close its doors in 2009 due to underperformance.
The question that has everyone talking is why would PokerRoom revamp its presence after stopping operations almost 2 years ago? While there is no official word that PokerRoom will be re-opening, the speculations are that PokerRoom is joining OnGame network once again in anticipation of the US legalizing online poker once again. The fact that PokerRoom has opened up a Facebook and Twitter account are also alluding to the fact that PokerRoom is strongly considering re-opening.
OnGame network, which is the network that PokerRoom would belong to once again if they decided to open, is ranked number 5 in the world right now. OnGame network does not serve the United States as of right now due to the Unlawful Internet Gambling Enforcement Act that was passed in 2006, but should online poker be legalized in the US once again, they would definitely be granted permission to operate there once again.
The ultimate decline to PokerRoom occurred when they decided to pull out of the US as soon as the UIGEA was passed. Regardless of their pulling out and ultimately declining, PokerRoom has remained one of the most well respected online poker sites in the world. Before closing their site, PokerRoom received approval from the Ecogra, a London based player protection organization.
Well respected as well as the first online poker site to create a Mac client, PokerRoom is a household name when it comes to online poker playing. This reputation will prove to help PokerRoom become popular and profitable once again should online poker playing once again become legal in the US.
Poker players both past and present will be more likely to play online poker with a reputable name like PokerRoom. Both players that played on PokerRoom before its closing in 2009 as well as new players who most likely are aware of the trustworthy reputation of PokerRoom will more than likely turn to PokerRoom for their online poker playing.
PokerRoom’s reputable past will prove to make it even more reputable in the future. It might not instantly become a top 5 site, but it will definitely be a top runner, giving other US poker rooms a run for their money.