Wednesday, August 03, 2005


During yet another insightful conversation with a co-worker/co-poker player, we explored the connection between table image and self-image at the poker table.

I had asked DoubleR about how I was coming across while I'm playing poker. I have to confess that I was a little worried that the words "dick" or "jerk" might be part of the description people used to describe how I play live poker. Such thoughts were fueled in part by the feeling that I have a big red bullseye on my forehead during play.

It seems that I've become quite a bit of a target. I'm pretty sure people get some satisfaction from beating me in any one given hand. I'm not necessarily sure how I feel about that though. Was it because I am indeed a jackoff or was it because of my table image?

In talking to DoubleR, he told me his impression was that I come across as a good player, but have a tendency to verbally analyze my losses such that I make sure everyone else knows that I knew what I was doing. Rather than give credit to the other player, whether they deserve it or not, I rationalize that they only beat me due to poor play and luck.

At least he said I wasn't a dick.

But after thinking about what he said, I realized that the reason I do all that rationalizing is for the benefit of my self-image. Inside, I think we all want to consider ourselves good players. But on the outside, that's the last thing we should want. It's been discussed by other bloggers before, differentiating self-image from table image is a required talent at a live game.

To wit, that home game hero of 2005, G-Rob has masterfully constructed his table image such that few people have given him the credit for being a talented poker player that he deserves. And he loves that. His self-image is probably quite different, but he's managed to successfully separate the two such that his poker game is the benefactor.

My guess, and it is just a guess, is that he's been able to do that somewhat because of his career. His TV image, at least the one that I've seen, is not G-Rob the person. On air, he's someone I barely recognize. His job is to become someone he's not. That talent has extended to his poker playing persona and that skill is one he is very good at.

So again, more observations, more weaknesses upon which I need to work in order to improve. I'll admit that I was a bit relieved that I wasn't coming across as a jerk, but I was a bit alarmed at how I was coming across. My feelings are that it was detrimental and I will work on fixing it.

No comments: