- against other faceless souls from around the world; and
- against your own emotions, and ability to resist a click of a button where it is so easy to carry on calling.
The air is thick with raucous laughter and strange accents and dialects. It’s sometimes hard to know what these locals are saying except for the swearing which is loud and clear. The alcohol is flowing freely and they are winding themselves up for the game.
Now you are seated, the smoke swills around your head and up your nose and you are shoulder to shoulder with a lot of people who are having a good old joke about everything under the sun. They are fooling around. Once the cards are dealt you are comfortable letting them go to the muck but then you pick up a strong hand. Now you are the raiser and the centre of attention. These locals are looking at you and they don’t know what to think. They do not know your game like they know each other’s. So they start to make comments to you.
How does it feel? You are no longer the king of your domain surveying all you own in front of a monitor in your own home. Instead of a subconscious click of the mouse, your thoughts feel like they will be on show if you so much as bow your head. Can you think straight now and do the right thing?
You check and fold to a local’s bet. You hear comments like “he’s weak, just bet and he will fold”.
You raise and take the pot uncontested. The locals pass comments like “That was a daft raise, what if I had AA. He would have been dead”.
You re-raise a local’s raise and he says “You keep doing that to me, you ****!”.
Somehow, when this comes from a group of real people talking in your face, it is not the same as the throwaway comments you cheerfully throw back in an internet chat-box. No sir! You are face to face with the local players on their home turf, their own back yard.
Now all you have to do is play your natural game!