July 31, 2005

Off-Topic: Types of Poker Players Online

Lately, I've been playing a lot of poker online. Usually, I play at PokerRoom.com, but I can also be caught at UltimateBet.net. (Sorry, guys, free tables only.)

Mostly, I play to relax. I also play to practice for when we play at lunch at work. However, I've noticed a few common types of online poker players. See if you can spot yourself in this catalog...

"All-In" without a clue. These people see people go "All-In" with crap hands on TV, so in their first hands at the table, they go "All-In" with a 7-2 off-suit and lose. Generally, I find every table has anywhere from one to four of these Darwin-award winners.

"All=In" with a purpose. These people prey on the "All-In"-without-a-clue crowd. If they've got a semi-decent hand, they'll go "All-In" on the first hand to get a lot of chips. If they win, great. They can bully the rest of the table because they've doubled-up on the first hand. If they lose, meh...it's only play money.

Lights on, but nobody's home. These guys know that mathematically, they can fold every hand and end up in the top half of the table. So, they intentionally start the round and then let themselves time-out or set themselves to auto-checkfold until the round gets interesting. Some poker sites, like UltimateBet.net, have means of handling these geniuses. Others, like PokerRoom.com, do not.

Racist. It doesn't matter who you're beating, as long as you think they are from an ethnic group you don't like. I was playing a game tonight on PokerRoom.com where one player (IrishPiratex) was calling everyone "a *&#($ Jew" who beat them. Another player (x bacon) started retorting with anti-Irish propaganda. I was in the money, but I intentionally played to lose so I wouldn't have to put up with their bullshit anymore.

The beggars. These guys hang out in the lobbies of the pay room, begging for vouchers so they can either start or continue playing. No offense, but if you're begging for money so you can play virtual poker, perhaps you should be going to a different site.

Kids. Some, like "x bacon", readily admit they aren't old enough to be on the site. Others simply act like kids. Generally, I assume everyone's 30 and subtract two years from their age for every typo I see in their chat, and add two years for every piece of punctuation they use correctly and every capital letter. It's been amazingly accurate for me so far...

People who are actually interested in playing poker. This happens to be the smallest group, unfortunately.

Frankly, I'm sick and tired of 99% of the people I see on these sites. I'm half-tempted to throw together my own poker site with one limitation...invitation only. So, if you're reading this, what would you think of an "Invite-Only" poker site? Think "Orkut for poker..."

1 comment:

Larry O'Brien said...

Appealing idea, but social networks have fizzled. IMO, "supernodes" turn out to be harmful, because everyone ends up 2-3 links away via some link-hungry PR person. Maybe incorporate reputation...

Also, the infrastructure seems decidedly non-trivial. Either you've got server-side costs for every game hosted (scaling costs, albeit potentially offset by membership fees...) or you're facing the creation of a P2P card infrastructure. Which seems an interesting and worthwhile challenge (how to authenticate the shuffle?).