Scotty Nguyen’s in the news this week – but not just because of his third place in the most recent Five Star World Classic series in Las Vegas. Talking about his win in the H.O.R.S.E event at the LA Poker Classic, Scotty announced that one of his tactics was to be “smooth talking, getting people to lay down their hands or call me when I want them to call me.”
Being over-chatty – not a good idea for the amateur.
Now I’m not too sure from the article whether he was just talking about being chatty, almost to the point of show-boating, when the TV crews are recording an event or if he was talking about poker games more generally. But, I’m definitely not so sure that it’s a tactic he ought to rely too heavily on; and it’s certainly not a piece of advice that amateur/fun poker players should adopt. Whilst it is one thing being sociable at the poker table; and no one wants to play with folk that are literally ‘poker faced’ all the time, but being over-talkative is a sure-fired way of letting your opponents spot the inevitable ‘tells’ that will occur with this strategy.
The etiquette of talking too much.
In a professional game the standards of poker etiquette are always of the very highest and I’ve yet to see anyone in a pro’ game tell someone to quiet down – but in most non-pro games, I rather think anyone constantly making remarks or chattering away during a game would – well lets say – be invited to shut up. Having a chat with other players is fine – just save it for during the breaks, unless you all know each other really well.
Scotty in the rankings.
Perhaps Scotty ought to reconsider his philosophy on this one too. As a professional he’s currently ranked 148th, despite having winnings so far this year of $350,000+, largely due to having only amassed 712 points. Enjoying what you’re doing is of course important – but then so too is being the best at it! Who knows Scotty – a little less chat and entertaining the crowds and that first $1 million poker win could be just around the corner?