How to masquerade as a champion poker player

How to masquerade as a champion poker player

Friday, 2 March 2012

Poker is the only sport in the world where you can actually masquerade as world class while being a bit – well – crap, at least for a short amount of time. Imagine trying that in the Premiership! You’d stand out like Sebastien Squillaci. In poker, though, while the good players will have figured you pretty quickly, with the right amount of cunning, hubris and good-old fashioned self-delusion, you can convince the rest of us (and yourself) that you’re a star. Here’s our simple guide…

Adopt a persona

To get noticed amongst the swathes of unwashed hoodies at TV tournaments, you first need a gimmick. Try wearing a Stetson, for example, and carrying around a box of Cadbury’s Heroes everywhere you go. Then, each time you win a pot, toss your opponent a chocolate and say, “Tough break, kid.” Try it. The TV cameras will be making steamy love to you. Failing that, just be obnoxious.

If you’re shy, however, simply buy credibility by adopting the uniform of the internet phenomenon. This means Ed hardy T-shirts and True Religion jeans and hoodies. Beats by Dre headphones are de rigueur, with one headphone dangling free so you can hear what’s going on at the table. Sporting this trumpery garb, no one will think for a minute that you are actually crap at poker.

Learn to do chip tricks

Nothing screams “noob” more piercingly than a fellow who handles his chips like they just fell from space or they’re covered in poo or something. Never mind, though, because you can master a simple chip riffle in about three weeks, provided you take them everywhere with you and practise incessantly. Start with four and work your way up. If you are completely cack-handed – and some people are – then just sit there and try not to budge an inch, you muppet.

Bink a tournament

This is probably the most important thing on this list. Anybody can bink a tournament; even our editor once won a medium-sized competition, and suddenly but briefly became attractive to the opposite sex [including yo mamma – Ed.] Some people are so lucky that they can actually bink two and thereby their reputation as a poker hero is secured. Make sure you cherish your delusions and dine off past glories for as long as possible.

With a couple of victories under your belt, you might get invited to one of these six-handed TV tournaments where the variance is ridic. This is obviously your best chance of winning anything ever again and will establish you as a professional crap-shooter and poker superstar.

Have a rich daddy

This helps a bundle. After all, where is your bankroll going to come from if you’re complete bobbins? It will allow you to sit in the big TV cash games and make you the toast of the poker community. Of course, you don’t tell people that you have a rich daddy; at the very least you claim to be some kind of business mogul who made money in property, or poultry. Any kind of mogul. Tell them you’re the chairman of Torquay United. The important thing is that people think you’re a “key player”.

Loudly challenge to play everybody heads up

Not a bad tactic here, especially if Daddy Warbucks is supplying you the bankroll to challenge the biggest names in poker. And let’s face it, heads up is a high variance game; if you play Tom Dwan, you might even get lucky. If Tom wins – well, that was supposed to happen anyway. You have nothing to lose. Except Daddy’s silly old money.

It’s simple advertising. Taking part in ridiculous prop bets that can be subsequently uploaded to YouTube is also a good plan for hogging the limelight. Bet people that you can eat an entire art deco walnut-veneer chest of drawers, including the metal handles. It doesn’t matter if you have the worst of the bet because you are an idiot, after all.

Be sexy

Not very many people are sexy and also good at poker. That’s why the media are fascinated by attractive women who play the game and also why, if you are in fact lucky enough to be a sexy woman, you can get twice the mileage out of this gig with half the skill. There are notable exceptions, of course – some sexy people are good at poker [My ears are burning – Ed.] but not many. Being sexy will also make you more likely to get staked and tutored by love-sick pros. Who said life was fair?

Learn some “sick” moves

Checking in the dark is a “sick” move that anyone can do provided they understand the basics of position. It also looks very clever and tricky to the uninitiated while having the advantage of being relatively pointless. It is, thus, the ultimate move for the simpleton to have in his arsenal.

Secondly, always show your bluffs in order to look clever in the short-term, even when you were actually ahead. And make sure you explain to the table exactly what you were “repping”. The moment people hear you say the word “repping” they will know you mean business.

Tags: How to be a champion, Feature