Your Broadway straight just beat a set and you scooped a massive pot of $1,457. That might not be a massive pot for some people, but it would be a massive pot for me on any day of the week and regardless of how much income I’m generating away from the table at the time.
After the Big Win
Some players won’t be able to contain themselves after a big win like this. They will shout with joy, pump their fist, pound their chest, talk trash to the losing player, or talk to themselves. None of those reactions are professional, and it proves that this player has never won a pot of that size before.
While the above reactions are possible, the most common reaction to winning a big pot is incessant talking from the winning player for as long as he possesses those chips, or God forbid adds to them. This means you will have to listen to this character yap for hours, which is irritating. You could say he’s doing it on purpose to get you on tilt, which could be respected in a way, but the truth is that he’s feeling good and needs to release that energy because it can’t be contained.
If you’re just arriving at the table and you see a guy with a lot of chips who won’t shut up, he didn’t buy-in for that amount; he won those chips. He’s feeling like a bald eagle soaring above the countryside in a world where guns don’t exist.
As you know, guns do exist, and this character can easily be poached. The bigger the bird—or stack—the easier the pray. Well, it was cool to write it like that, but there’s another huge factor, which is how much this shenanigan yaps. The more he talks, the more emotional he is, which means it will be easier to take his chips when things start heading south.
You can’t control the cards, but you can fuel this opponent’s demise. Once that snowball starts rolling for a player like this, that snowball can’t be stopped. Therefore, once he loses even a tiny pot, be sure to casually point out how he made an error – even if he didn’t make an error.
If he didn’t do something wrong related to the hand, then you can mention to him that it’s easy to tell when he has a hand because of his facial expression. This doesn’t need to be true. It will still plant a negative seed in his mind and he will begin doubting himself. The next time he has a hand, he’s going to be self-conscious, which will prevent a clear mind. If he happens to lose that hand, all hell will break loose, the dam will break, and those chips will flow to the rest of the table. You just have to hope to be in one of the boats closest to the bottom of that dam.
How you comment to this player is up to you, but once you make some kind of comment that plants doubt into this player’s mind, those chips will be gone within a few hours, and it’s usually less than an hour.
I have used this tactic many times, and it’s extremely effective. Recently (past few years), I have shied away from what some people refer to as evil poker tactics, but I might end up resorting back to them because the game is tougher now and I always want to maintain an edge.
By the way, this applies to cash games, not tournaments. I don’t say much in tournaments, and you have to be more cautious with what you say in tournaments because you could end up with a one-round penalty.
The next time you win a big pot at the poker table, don’t celebrate. You will only be making yourself a target. If you remain quiet, it will show that you’ve been there before, which will lead to more respect from your opponents. It will also send a message that your chips aren’t going anywhere.