Thursday, May 24, 2007

National Characteristics in Online Poker...

Time for a brief interlude... only room for so many strategy posts in a row after all. Regular readers might already know that I am widely travelled - having been fortunate enough to see many corners of the Earth both on business and pleasure... so the list below is a tounge-in-cheek view of players from different countries you encounter online... in no particular order.

The Canadians: Drawing out on a Canadian, particularly as a big (80%+) underdog is considered as a serious insult... spiking that Ace on the river not only insults your Canadian opponent - it insults their Nation, their entire familiy, their friends, friends of their friends, colleagues and even pets (both past and present)... best switch off that chat for a while just to be on the safe side!

The French: A re-raise, even all in, is no more consequential to your French opponent than the offer to top up their glass of Merlot over a liesurely lunch. Expect them to casually flick their galouis (cigarette), raise just the one eyebrow and hit the call button.... every time!

The Scandanavians: Norway, Finland, Sweden and Denmark might be separte countries with their own cultural identities in the real world... in the online world they share an abnormally high number of 'raise' buttons. Yep, while the rest of us get 'Raise' 'Call' and 'Fold' on our poker client a quirk of international internet technology means these guys get 'Raise' 'Raise More' 'Raise Lots More' 'Re-Reraise' 'Check-Raise' and 'All-in'.

The Americans: To many American online poker players there is one and only one explanation for them losing a hand - any hand - online poker is rigged!!! Losing a 70/30 instills some serious doubts, losing an 80/20 is concrete proof!! - After all the same guy lost one only yesterday! The US has both the best and the worst online players - make sure you know which ones you are playing against!

The British: While a tournament buy-in has some tangable value in many parts of the world, in the UK you can not even buy a nice cup of tea for the price of an evening MTT. Combining the low relative costs of poker with our 'stiff upper lip' approach to calling large river bets ("We will call them on the beaches..." ) and us Brits are likely to be losing big pots a level or 2 higher than many opponents!

The Germans: Solid defence, aggressive mid-game and constant yet uncreative attacking pressure... oops digressed onto the subject of the German National Football team for a moment. But then again.... those Germans are frustratingly good at whatever they do - expect to see them being the ones to beat online a couple of years from now... bah!

The Australians: A traditionally lucky sporting nation (particularly at cricket*) the Ozzies have more than just chips / dollars invested in each pot. Since winning a hand is a source of great national pride (and winning a SNG good enough reason to fire up the barby) they are likely to call with some, erm, less than solid values. What the rest of us miss by working only with chip EV or $EV is that 'National Pride EV' makes that bottom pair a clear call.

*please feel free to send cricket-related insults to my inbox -

Any more? If you have any thoughts on nations I missed out then feel free to drop me a comment!

Cheers, Mark


KajaPoker said...

What about the crazy guys from the Middle-East? Lebanese, Israelis, Iranians, etc.

I would expect them to be all or nothing types - Farha, Elezra, Deeb...

What do you think?

Mark said...

lol, you are a braver man than I am Kaja!!

Nice blog btw, will link next time I do the updates...

Cheers, Mark

KajaPoker said...

Maybe I am only so brave because I am one of them??? Keep 'em guessing....