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Table Talk or Trash Talk?

Being a trash-talker is often seen as a bad thing in Poker. But here’s the thing, when trash-talk becomes speechplay, that is when the trash-talker becomes the smartest guy on the table. The basic objective of trash-talk is to gain information from your opponents, inducing them to call when you’ve a monster hand, and inducing them to fold when you’re on a stone-cold bluff. 


A lot of players have often lost their composure facing trash talk and done exactly what the trash talker wanted him/her to do. For example, William Kassouf, famous for his trash talk, successfully made his opponent fold pocket queens on a river bet, when all he had was 9 high after a busted double-gutter (double belly buster). Watch the full video here . The key aspect of facing a trash-talker is to smile along with him, to either wait for him to get busted, or if you’re in a live tournament setting, wait for him to get a penalty. With respect to the latter scenario, poker pro Jamie Gold shows us how to deal with trash-talkers in this video (the second fight) right here


Interestingly, the same video has one of the most brutal showcases of trash talking (the first one), in order to induce an opponent to call. Tony G, one of the loudest mouths in poker, with his meek Ace Deuce, successfully taunts his way into an all-in situation against his opponent, with an even meeker King Jack off-suit. One can really learn from this video about how important it is to not let anyone under their skin. 


Talking about Tony G, audiences love it when someone shuts him up, especially when it’s a woman. That is exactly what happened in one of the episodes of Pokerstars: The Big Game. Vanessa Rousso, one of the best female players in the world, found herself looking at pocket rockets, and Tony G had a meek 6-5 off-suit. Tony flops two-pair, about to crack Vanessa’s aces. Tony G is continuously heckling her. He is t aunting her about being scared of him, he is taunting her to make a move, and I am super worried for Vanessa here until she turns a set of aces! The river is another 5! Both players have full houses. 


Tony says “You can shut me right up”. 

Vanessa coldly looks at him and asks “How”? 

“By going all-in of course! You gotta show some guts.Can you take it, or are you gonna give me a weak check”?

“All-in.”

“Call.”

“Aces full.”

“Well that shut me right up.”


Watch the full video here


As you can see, staying calm actually provokes the provoker. While it’s easier said than done, smiling away is the way to go. Although, sometimes one can beat the trash talker in poker, but can come off looking worse after the hand is over. For example, in this video, William Kassouf, who has cowboys, is constantly thrashing Griffin Benger with his words, who has bullets! Benger starts hitting back, calling Kassouf an abusive and bad person. Kassouf shoves, Benger calls and Kassouf is cold decked but that doesn’t stop him. He keeps reminding Benger that he let him get under his skin. Benger’s aces hold, but his excitement is too overwhelming for us to actually like him after the hand is over. So what do we learn? Keep your cool when up against trash talk, because if you don’t, the trash talker won’t be remembered more than you will be, and not for the right reasons. 


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