You’re either a good online poker player, or you’re not. You can’t fake skill on the internet.
There’s an enormous difference between live and online poker when it comes to the use of skill. In a live setting, anyone can fake being good at the game. It might work well for them, or it might not—for a while at least. But online, there’s no use in pretending to be something you’re not.
In a live game, you’re visible to everyone at the table. Because of this, you can do all sorts of things in an attempt to intimidate opponents. Online, you’re nothing but a name. No one has any information to go on. Your talents are not presumed, but rather made obvious by your actions on the felt.
You Can’t Fake Online Poker
Let’s say you enter a cash game and immediately announce in the chat window that you’re going to crush everyone at the table. You can tell them you’re a big time pro with 6-figure cashes; that you have multiple titles under your belt; that you’ve competed with, and destroyed, the best of the professional poker world. You’re going to get the same response every time—guffaws of laughter. Everyone will think you a fool. Whether you really are skilled or not, they’ll all make a point to target you until your stack is wiped clean.
Odds are you’ll get the same response at a live poker cash game, but there are other ways you can make a positive impression at a real table. You can wear sunglasses and a hoodie, suggesting that you’re the quiet, unreadable and wholly observant type. You could buy-in with a large stack of cash, indicating that your bankroll runs deep; perhaps because you’re independently wealthy, or maybe because you’re really that good.
Alternatively, you could walk in dressed in frumpy clothing with a hebephrenic grin on your face. You might try to act nervous and maybe even apply a little spritz of water to your brow to make it look like you’re sweating. Everyone will think you’re wet behind the ears and an easy target, when the truth may be that you’re a seasoned pro, hustling to take them for all their worth.
As for online poker, your best bet is to enter quietly and simply start playing, just like everyone else. This will beget no initial opinion of you. In the online realm, you must prove yourself worthy of respect before you’ll get it. You can only do this by playing a good, tight time and by winning large and/or consistent pots.
Any way you choose to go about it, remember this… When you make your presence known in any way, the impression opponents get will only last so long as your skills on the table back it up. No matter how successfully you manage to intimidate your opponents upon entry, if your game play doesn’t reflect it, the facade will fade quickly enough.
If you really want everyone to know you’re a good online poker player, join a site that ranks their players, either by number or some corresponding symbol, based on individual experience and win rate. If you’re as good as you think you are, your rank will reflect that over time.
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