Where Have All the Villains Gone?

Where Have All the Villains Gone?

Monday, 12 May 2014

True Irish Baller on the demise of the trash talkers.

Poker is, and always will be, a game of mental warfare. Players should use every tool available to them in order to gain an edge over the opposition. In recent years, the trend seems to be to respect all other players, and have very little interaction whatsoever with your opponents. This applies for both online and live. Simply put, the game has gotten too respectful.

One of my earliest memories in poker (still one of my favourites) would be Tony G’s verbal massacre of Ralph Perry in the Intercontinental Poker Cup.
Tony G is a master villain. He knows his trash talk – his bullshitting ability gives him an edge, and almost compensates for other areas of his game in which he’s lacking. He plays his part perfectly, and so is often the most entertaining player at the poker tables.

Even online, in the past, there were constant call-outs and trash talking in chat. Heads-up for rolls was a regular occurrence, and insults were flying left, right and centre. These days, it’s simply a case of everybody mind-numbingly button-bashing 24 tables and not even having the chat window open. In 2008/09, the game was awash with trash talk and cock-measuring. The Baller’s favourite Irish Baller, John “Dagunman” O’ Shea, had a now famous thread on forum boards, where he would call out another player for a range of heads-up matches.

I personally love a bit of trash talk. The view that you’re running the fish away from the game doesn’t wash with me. If anything, it’s the 24-tabling, zero personality robots that are killing the games. They are there purely to take the money. At least when the trash talkers engage in the chat-box or in a live setting, it may encourage some needles from both sides. It can also help you tilt the opposition, and maybe even add to your edge if you’re good at verbal conflict.

At the moment, in poker, there is a totally distinct lack of characters. You only have to look at the list of PokerStars pros (although for some reason Ireland has none….well played, Stars… NOT) for example of my point. There is a reason why there are very few poker TV shows around at the moment. Simply put, they are boring as fuck. The majority of the players on them are socially inadequate, and it’s not hard to see why. They don’t have much verbal interaction on a daily basis. They are simply unable to entertain, or a lot of the time, even hold a conversation about anything.

It seems like, at the moment, players feel that they should all fit a certain stereotype. Be respectful, be courteous, be well-mannered – or in other words, be incredibly fucking boring. All the Baller has to say about that is YAWN. The game is dying slowly. The recreational players are dying out gradually, because they are just not enticed to play the game anymore. Simply put, if you’re not willing to work on your game, you will be a fish (especially online). You will have next to no interaction with others, because pros are playing too many tables. Losing money isn’t enjoyable for anyone, but losing it in a boring manner is just complete hell.

At this current time, the game is distinctly lacking villains. Guys who will create talking points, people who will divide opinions and encourage conversation and general interest in the game. All these clean-cut sponsored pros aren’t going to achieve that. We want to see heart. We want to see trash-talk. We want to see ego. Most importantly of all, we want to be entertained. After all, that’s the only way we will encourage new players to take part, and to continue our games success in the future.

Tags: True Irisg Baller, Tony G