There are very few things that put me on a tilt.

Wait. Are you paying attention? In a game where information is everything, each statement has to be carefully scrutinised, so let me repeat this again – slowly: “There…are…very…few…things…that …put…me…on…a…tilt.” 

What you should immediately derive from this statement is that there is something that put me on a tilt, find what it is and exploit it.

Let me save you the trouble. I’ll tell you one of those things that put me on a tilt: Profanity. For those of you who are not from an English speaking country, profanity means swearing - you stupid gits. And if you are not from England and you have no idea what git means – google it you bunch of idiots.

I understand that sometime people use bad language. If you are on the bubble with an A/A and get called all in by A/K that strait you on the river – I would not expect a whole sentence to describe your feeling. I think that rather then saying “Oh gosh, Chaps, that was a stroke of bad luck”, you more then likely to use a short four letter s-word. However, when someone sits at my table and constantly abuses everyone, that’s when I go off my rocker.

A while ago I was playing micro stakes single table SNG’s and found myself sitting often with the regulars. One of those, whose name I will keep anonymous, would hurdle a bundle of abuse at anyone who joined the pot with him – whether he won that pot or lost it. In his opinion everyone was incompetent in the game while he was good enough to school Phil Ivy. He used the f-four letters word, the s-four letters word and a double six letters words (the first begins with an ‘m’ and the second with an ‘f’) every other sentence. It was horrible. I mean, he was a reasonable TAG player, but nothing more then that – and even if someone did play bad and got lucky against him from time to time – we were playing a 1.5$ game for heaven sake! None of us was going to make the WSOP main event final table any time soon.

After a while it just become too much. Yes – you can turn chat off – but why should I sacrifice my freedoms because of someone else’s doing? I like to chat! I want to know what the weather is like in Australia, and if there is enough snow on the Alps for a sky getaway and where the best place for a Belgian waffles in Brussels (I’ll do almost anything for a freshly made Belgian waffle with two scoops of ice cream). Turning chat off is sacrificing one of my liberties and I’m just not going to do it. It’s like agreeing to have cereal without milk, or an Oreo cookie without milk, or coffee without milk. Hell – it’s as bad as not having milk at all!

In my opinion the only way to handle a bully is to give him a taste of his own medicine. But the problem is that I don’t really do Profanity. Really. I know it sounds strange. I grow up in a quite desert town, where people worked hard during the week and families met in the swimming pools and parks during the weekend. Where we all had barbeques in the shade and kids were encouraged to be polite and supportive. Bad words meant distension – the TV was used as an example of what not to say and how not to behave. It was a shock when I finally moved into the big city and shared a flat with a stranger that came from the real world. And the first night in that shared flat I did not think to myself “s***, I feel f***** horrible.” What I did think was “oh Gosh, that’s a stroke of bad luck. It seems like everyone in the big city think that they should speak like those people on TV”. Yes – I know. Sad.

So to learn what is necessary, I turned to the movies, and there no better teacher then Ben Kingsly in ‘Sexy Beast’. His dead eyes, vile, slithering, spitting delivery of abuse is second to none. He is scarier then Jason in Friday the 13th and leaves a longer lasting impression too. It was the kind of movie that parents in my childhood would use as the most extreme example of how not to behave and what not to say – in short, it was perfect for my purposes. Then I set down and wrote. The result was A Microsoft word double page of uncomfortable reading. I took the time to proofread it. I did not want it to look unprofessional. I take pride at my handiwork.

It wasn’t long before I bumped into that unpleasant individual again and true to form he picked up where he left of – swearing at every hand and every person. I was wondering if anyone else had a chat on or maybe they just barred that individual player. Some of them did not obviously – they made the mistake of trying to answer. I waited my turn and it come a couple of minutes later. I picked up a pocket pair in the cut-off and with two limpers before me and small blinds, limped in to mine a set. The flop missed me completely, and as a king showed and the abusive player raised heavily I throw my hand away. This resulted in me being told that I’m a “(s-word) idiot and a (f-word) donk who need to read a few (f-word) books before sitting down at the table”. I waited a couple of seconds, copied the first paragraph and pasted it, waited another few seconds and pasted the second one. The table went quiet. You could hear the cards drop on the digital cloth from a hundred miles away.

I did not actually use profanity as such. Not in it’s normal sense. I just constructed the life story of the guy. From the moment he was dropped in his childhood, through years of below-average at school, total failure with the other sex and full description of physical features. I discussed his inability to excel in sports or find a job. Even the spec of the computer he can afford. He tried to say something but I just kept cutting and pasting. It was relentless and everyone – I mean everyone around the table was cheering me on. We even had friends of people around the table coming to observe and cheering me on as well. It lasted a couple of minutes - must have been two very long minutes for that guy.

And it worked. I never saw the guy typing a single additional word into the chat box. Neither did anyone else I spoke with. For all I know he turned off chat forever, probably stopped drinking milk as well.

Yet, I felt awful. I was pasting, reading and winching at my own words all at the same time. After all, if I have just proved that being horrible works, then I have just justified horribleness. And we don’t really want to live in a world where everyone is an awful person. In a tiny way, I made the world a worse place.

I mean – let say someone is a really bad poker player. Why should a good poker player have a go at him? After all, having bad players at the table is a good thing for a good player! I’m sure the bad player is a really nice person. I would like to get to know him personally, buy him a pint of cider and invite him to my home game. We don’t want poker rooms full of good player - so we should be nice to the bad players. In fact, we should be nice to the good players too. They are also nice people. The fat players and the thin players, the ones with lots of hair and those with no hair at all - and those who have four hair strands that they loop around their bald head – they are nice as well. The players who throw their chips into the stack and those who slide them over in a nice pack; those on the left and those on the right, the students that grind morning and night; the dealer and the people on the rail; those that are clean and the ones that smell – all nice. Really. And let’s not forget the site operators, the guys that decide what freerolls to run, the big rollers and 25 cent crawlers and everyone else which makes us have oh so much fun - The people behind the bar and those who make the food at the kitchen, the casino workforce and those who throw info the mix hundred dollar bills without giving a toss. They are all nice, all of them, each and every one.

And somewhere, there is a person I don’t really know - who has his chat turned off and munch on his milk-less cornflakes, and drinks his black coffee and think I’m really an awful person. I want to apologize. I did not mean to be horrible. I’m not sure he will believe me, but I hope he will - because most of the times, as long as I had six hour sleep and a good morning kiss from my missus, I am nice too.