When I first started playing real money games, I took notes diligently, though not terribly effectively. Mostly I was recording the knee-jerk, misinformed impressions of a novice. Thus later on, when I’d read some note I’d taken say, a year before, I’d instantly realize a flaw in the note. Often what I’d find is that I’d drawn some jingle-brained conclusion about a player’s style based on the way he or she had played a single hand, and even that generalization was sometimes off-base.
As subsequent experience and knowledge made me skeptical of the earlier notes I’d taken, I found myself less and less inclined to take notes at all. Only very occasionally would I write anything, and usually didn’t devote too much energy to doing so.
Pot-limit Omaha became my primary game of choice somewhere around the spring of 2007, and while the game has definitely become more popular online over the last year-and-a-half, there are still usually a relatively small number of tables going at each level on most sites. I do, therefore, often come to recognize certain players as regulars at the games. Regardless of the site, I’ll usually find at least one player per table with whom I have played before, and most often those familiar names/avatars represent decent players who’ve put in a number of hands and have some clue about how to play.
At some point last year, I started taking notes again, although I am now realizing that frequently the only time I was inspired to take a note on a player was when that player said something to me -- usually derogatory -- in the chatbox. Had a moment later on when I noticed that whenever someone at the table had the little designation on the avatar indicating I’d taken a note, that was a person who’d once insulted me. I remember having a cluster of sessions in there somewhere where it seemed like every time I sat down, someone at the table had taken enough offense at one point or another to call me a name.
If that had happened early in my online poker days, I’d have been mortified. But by then I’d played long enough to know better.
For most sites, when you take a note on a player it saves to a file on your hard disk, so it is possible to go read all of your player notes, if you wish. For PokerStars, look in the main folder for a text file called “notes.” For Full Tilt Poker, look for a file with your username and the “.dat” suffix and open in Notepad. Depending on what kind of note-taker you were/are, doing so might provide a kind of snapshot glimpse of your online poker playing progress.
I did just that today, and while there were a few notes like this…
“called me a donk once”…I didn’t find as many of those as I thought I might.
“cursed me once after I felted him”
“got sarcastic after I won a small pot from him in a PLO freeroll”
“once got all pissy w/me after I got lucky vs. his AA in the Hold'em part of a HORSE game”
Saw one note about a player calling me a “hureson” after I’d hit my wrap draw on the river against him in PLO. Had to look that one up. German for bastard.
Actually, what got me on this subject was I had a hand yesterday which resulted in a player cursing me (again, in German). For those who are interested, I’ll just post the hand in the replayer and let you decide about my play, his play, and the validity of his post-hand comment. (I set the replayer to show MrAnger’s cards at the start.)
Said MrAnger afterwards: “arschloch, wichser, play lotto idiot!!” Then he left.
Maybe I am an arschloch. Or a wichser. Or an idiot. But which of us here is closer to playing lotto?
We all know you are much more likely to be called names online than in live play. And while that can certainly be unpleasant to experience sometimes, when it does happen, it has to be viewed as an overall positive for you.
You win a hand, and someone calls you a donk. There are two ways of looking at it: (1) Yr name-caller is correct in his or her assessment. Perhaps you are a donk. In which case you have been given some indication it is time to work on yr game. That’s good. (2) Yr name-caller is off the mark. You are not a donk, but in fact have some clue about what yr doing. But someone thinks you are, and is sharing with you and everyone else that critique. That’s good, too, yes?
Have to say, I didn’t mind one bit being left to play with the Bystanders after MrAnger’s outburst -- if they think I’m a mindless gambler, all the better for me.
Kind of goes back to the point with which I began about those first impression, knee-jerky notes I had been taking when I first started playing. More misleading than helpful, those. Chatbox crudities often work in a similar fashion, I’d say.
Or maybe that’s just wichser-thinking.