The world of poker tends to take place inside a bubble, insulated from the outside world where people pay bills, clean up after themselves, cook dinner and tell their kids not to shout. Consequently the poker world is a difficult place to explain to those outside it, and vice-versa.
There are various reasons why anyone would like to become a pro player. An independent lifestyle awaits, spent living by your own rules and travelling the world with friends. But it seems there are additional perks no one really noticed before, detailed below and which have been demonstrated this week by a handful of players who will not have heard of.
But, if you're a little more civilized you might want to try and fake it as a short cut to authenticity. This handy cut-out-and-keep guide should see you well on your way to being the pro you never wanted to be.
Shut out the outside world
If modern civilization is in terminal decline the only way out of it, in the short term at least, is to block it out with a lot of noise. That's where headphones come in, and the shiny devices required into which they plug. This allows you to avoid conversing with people who may wish to say things to you, such as "raise" and "do you have an ace?" and is excellent for your table image as a moody mastermind.
While you have your headphones on you should feel free to dance in your seat, weaving your head from side to side and moving your lips. People will not think you're a simpleton and will instead assume you're a fun loving character listening to some great tunes. They're sure to ask what it is and ask if they can hang out with you. This applies at breakfast in the hotel too.
Use social media to your advantage
Twitter is a great place to keep friends and followers updated on your progress. But don't forget it's also a vital tool for criticizing the people at your table, on the premise that they won't think to check what you've said.
Keep ready to type abuse
Be sure to comment on their style of play or their face if that bothers you more than their cards. Social media is a 21st century poker tool. Use it. And be sure to whinge if everything goes wrong.
Ditch personal hygiene
Unlike Joe Shmoe going to the office every morning, you can wear what you like to work; from the hotel robe to a powder blue tuxedo (no one has yet worn the powder blue tuxedo). You also don't have to change as days go by. Simply refer to your outfit as "my lucky powder blue tuxedo" and people will understand. They'll even respect you for appreciating the need to keep the good ju-ju on your side.
Make some noise
No one likes the quiet player at the table who keeps himself to himself. So to avoid suspicion and possible ostracism, be sure to be emphatic when you win (or lose) a hand. Raise your hands in the air and yell words like "Mamousch!" or "Oiyeahbleef!" and "Howaybajaah!"
Keeping yourself to yourself will arouse suspicion
All, if yelled loudly enough, are suitably obscure so as not to offend. They mean everything but then again nothing, giving you plausible deniability should the player on whom you've just inflicted a bad beat bursts into tears. Remember you must forget what you know as a civilian to be true - all of this is quite normal.
Mimic the greats
Nicknames are a common part of poker, and perfectly normal. While ElkY in full peroxide battle dress might turn a few heads on any high street around the world, in this room his shine is perfectly normal. Try as we might to call him "Bertrand", he will always be ElkY.
Don't think that
Bertrand ElkY is the exception, just because he looks fantastic. Durrrr and Isildur1 have also pulled this off. Why not you? The cheroot chewing Elmar "The Wolf" Durnburger has a cult following. Start referring to yourself by your nickname and soon opponents will never call you by your real name again.
Verbally abuse people
This point specifically targets dealers who should be considered below reproach. Take the example of one player earlier today who used gracelessness while blaming the dealer for some insignificant trifle. Continue like this until the tournament director gives you an official warning, ignoring the equally uncommon behavior of the dealer who has remained calm and not gone for your throat. It shows opponents that your game transcends skill and uses brutish force as well.
That's all there is to it. We look forward to seeing you at the next EPT.
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