Johnny Chan on Having the Right Image at the Poker Table
In an article that Johnny Chan wrote for Card Player Magazine, called “Loosen Up and Have Some Fun,” he wrote about how important it is to have the right poker table image.
He states that he is constantly amazed at how little attention so many of the professional poker players pay to their table image. He feels that these players fail to judge how they appear when they play.
Johnny Chan feels that this is especially true in the middle limits, where he sees many players who want to present to the look of being tough. The demeanor that they project is very cold as they wear their baseball caps and dark sunglasses. In this article, Johnny Chan addresses the image that these players are trying to project. Obviously, they are trying to seem very tough and serious, which they hope will be intimidating to the rest of the players. But what these young players need to realise is that the table image they are projecting is going to attract the kinds of poker players that they don't want to play with.
In this article, Johnny Chan gives the following scenario. He asks us to make believe, as a recreational poker player, you are given the choice to play at one of two tables. The first table is full of tough looking young poker players with scowling faces, wearing dark sunglasses and baseball caps, none of the players are talking, and there is certainly no laughing. The entire table is very serious and it actually looks like none of the poker players are having a very good time. The second table has players that are dressed in comfortable clothes, and some may even be wearing baseball caps. Players seem to be having a really good time, and they are talking and laughing while they’re playing poker. Johnny Chan poses the question as to which of the two poker tables you would want to play at.
Johnny Chan takes this as a scenario one step further. If you were playing at a table where all the players were acting tough and trying to present a mean image, would you stay at that table if you had lost a few racks? Most likely you would wonder to yourself what the heck you are doing there, losing your money to some people that acted like they couldn’t care less about you. It’s not you are losing your money to some guys that were friendly and made you want to stay and try to win it back. Johnny Chan believes that you not only would leave the table, but you would also decide not to play with those players anymore.
According to Johnny Chan’s advice, it is very important that as a poker player you understand how your behavior and your image make the other players at the table feel. Most professional poker players will choose not to play where they are not comfortable. You should want to project a table image that will make recreational players feel comfortable and want to come back and play with you again. So take Johnny Chan’s advice to loosen up and have some fun.