How to tell someone that "Selectively Chopping" is a d*ck move without being a d*ck yourself? (1 Viewer)

Nanook

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This isn't exactly Poker strategy, but it kinda is at the same time. Title says it pretty well: How to tell someone that "Selectively Chopping" is a dick move without being a dick yourself?

Today I was at my local cardroom and there was someone there that I had never seen before. This is pretty rare because, a) I play a lot and b) lots of regs in this game at this time of the day so I am in the sb and it comes around to us and I ask if he wants to chop. I was already suspicious of this guy, but I had only been there for an orbit or something so I ask if he wants to chop and he says: "No not this time" ...

Arg!
I gently ask so do you want to play everytime? He responds with no, I'll play sometimes and chop sometimes depending on my hand. How do you tell someone new that that this is sort of frowned upon without looking like a prick yourself?
 

upNdown

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I don’t think it’s your job to tell him he’s being a dick? Hopefully he’ll figure it out eventually. And I guess you never chop with the guy again?
I dunno, I’m more of a tournament player, so I never really “got” it, with preflop chopping. I alway agree when asked, so’s not to be the dick. But I probably forget sometimes, when I’m in the big blind and I have good cards. Though I’d still accept if asked.
Anyway, if you really want to let him know, I think it needs to be done away from the table. At the table, when everybody’s money is at risk, that kind of advice doesn’t always land.
 

Schmendr1ck

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"Excuse me, sir? Selectively chopping is a dick move." ;)

Does your room have a high hand jackpot? Maybe this guy will chop all the time unless he has a hand that might turn into a high hand. There are a LOT of those guys at low stakes, and I don't mind humoring them. Usually that happens like this:

"Chop?"
"Not this time, I'd like to see a flop." <nod wink nod wink>
If the flop bricks, both players check it down. If he hits, he'll bet exactly enough to make the pot big enough to qualify for the HHJ, then check it down the rest of the way (unless, of course, he's an idiot - seen that one too).

But if he's not going to be consistent otherwise, just raise him BvB 100% of the time.
 

Jimulacrum

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You can't. I'm not usually so blunt about it, but if you're looking for an honest opinion and not just validation …

This is a you problem. You don't like that he wants to chop inconsistently and you're trying to impose it on him via an etiquette point that effectively doesn't exist.

There's no general etiquette about this except among people who like the idea of chopping. The rest of us don't care, don't know about chopping, or don't realize that your clan has a thing about it. Objectively, it's fair either way and doesn't really affect anything. (Exception noted in @Schmendr1ck's post.)

See also: Players who get ornery when another player runs it twice sometimes but not always. :rolleyes:
 

utgtrash

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i mean yeah i agree, chopping certainly makes sense because of the rake, so you can just tell him that, otherwise if a person thinks it's weird to chop when they came to play hands!!!! then whaddya gonna do? tbh if they only chop selectively, they're def not a reg or a pro so i wouldn't worry about it, just win their money in position or out.
 

Nanook

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You can't. I'm not usually so blunt about it, but if you're looking for an honest opinion and not just validation …

This is a you problem. You don't like that he wants to chop inconsistently and you're trying to impose it on him via an etiquette point that effectively doesn't exist.

There's no general etiquette about this except among people who like the idea of chopping. The rest of us don't care, don't know about chopping, or don't realize that your clan has a thing about it. Objectively, it's fair either way and doesn't really affect anything. (Exception noted in @Schmendr1ck's post.)

See also: Players who get ornery when another player runs it twice sometimes but not always. :rolleyes:
Interesting way of looking at it.

I would just play every time if I wasn't worried about offending weak players & of course this would eliminate the issue all together. Maybe I'll just "always play"

I have always asked, just trying to be nice
 

TheDuke

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I'd just move on. BvB is kind of dumb in a raked game but whatever.

He's a new guy and not aware of the usual etiquette/behavior. Given that it's etiquette and not a rule, I don't see the need to create drama. Only an orbit of being seated you're already suspicious of this player? What does that mean? He's a cheat or you don't like seeing new people? Cut new people some slack. Be friendly. It'll help the game grow beyond the same group of regs every day.
 

ArielVer18

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Like most people, your preference is to chop every time or play every time, right? Then let him know.

"The two of us either chop every time or play every time. Chopping means we get our money back. Playing means both of us lose to the house. Your choice."
 

Jimulacrum

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It'll help the game grow beyond the same group of regs every day.
Exactly. Think about it from the perspective of the new guy.

You sit down for poker for the first time. Maybe you're a slot player finally giving poker a chance. You're a little anxious/uncomfortable but trying to settle in. Your BB comes, and some random guy you've never met in the SB asks you if you want to chop the blinds. You don't even know what he means. He explains, and you think it sounds cool and give it a try.

Then, a couple orbits later when it gets to BvB again, he asks again, and this time you decide you'd rather play the hand. Now he has a scowl on his face. He gives you a hard time, insisting that because you agreed to it the first time, it's etiquette that you have to do it every time now. A couple other players at the table nod in agreement. The guy in seat 2 (me) rolls his eyes and audibly groans.

A small number of players will really like this idea and go on to become chop zealots of their own. A very small number. Think of the percent of the time you see chops offered at the table when possible. The chop zealots are a subset of that percent. (Not all who offer chops are zealots, but a zealot will always offer a chop.)

Others will give in to the social pressure and chop every time, and perhaps even accept this point of etiquette the way a working-class person accepts a salad fork at a rich person's house (i.e., I don't see why I need an extra fork for this, but the host insists). Others will decide they never want to chop if it makes it obligatory or comes with the baggage of arguing with some stranger.

Still others will decide they'd rather not play a game where the people they're playing against offer them "optional" plays and then badger them for actually exercising the option. It's weird and off-putting, and feels like maybe the opponents are trying to take advantage of new players' lack of experience. And they'll return to slots / craps / roulette and avoid poker.

I'll admit that this probably only has a small effect on retaining new players, but that effect is in the negative direction overall. It's not helping. It's only hurting.
 

CrazyEddie

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I gently ask so do you want to play everytime? He responds with no, I'll play sometimes and chop sometimes depending on my hand. How do you tell someone new that that this is sort of frowned upon without looking like a prick yourself?
Don't tell him "it's frowned upon", you're not the Poker Cop. Just tell him that you'll either chop every time or play every time but you won't chop at all if he's not going to agree to chop every time.

If he asks why, let him know that chopping only when he feels like it gives him an advantage over you, so you won't agree to it, but agreeing to chop every time splits the advantage fairly between the two of you and so you'll agree to that.

No need to be antagonistic about it. Be helpful and friendly instead.
 

Jimulacrum

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Don't tell him "it's frowned upon", you're not the Poker Cop. Just tell him that you'll either chop every time or play every time but you won't chop at all if he's not going to agree to chop every time.

If he asks why, let him know that chopping only when he feels like it gives him an advantage over you, so you won't agree to it, but agreeing to chop every time splits the advantage fairly between the two of you and so you'll agree to that.

No need to be antagonistic about it. Be helpful and friendly instead.
I actually like this approach a lot. It's straightforward and gives the player a simple, fair decision.

I know I may come off as anti-chop from my other posts. I'm not.

My entire objection is to the social pressure. Without opening this particular can of worms all the way, it's like tipping in the service industry. It's officially optional, but if you try to actually exercise the option, certain people will get upset and resort to name-calling and other bullying tactics.
 

upNdown

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Exactly. Think about it from the perspective of the new guy.

You sit down for poker for the first time. Maybe you're a slot player finally giving poker a chance. You're a little anxious/uncomfortable but trying to settle in. Your BB comes, and some random guy you've never met in the SB asks you if you want to chop the blinds. You don't even know what he means. He explains, and you think it sounds cool and give it a try.

Then, a couple orbits later when it gets to BvB again, he asks again, and this time you decide you'd rather play the hand. Now he has a scowl on his face. He gives you a hard time, insisting that because you agreed to it the first time, it's etiquette that you have to do it every time now. A couple other players at the table nod in agreement. The guy in seat 2 (me) rolls his eyes and audibly groans.

A small number of players will really like this idea and go on to become chop zealots of their own. A very small number. Think of the percent of the time you see chops offered at the table when possible. The chop zealots are a subset of that percent. (Not all who offer chops are zealots, but a zealot will always offer a chop.)

Others will give in to the social pressure and chop every time, and perhaps even accept this point of etiquette the way a working-class person accepts a salad fork at a rich person's house (i.e., I don't see why I need an extra fork for this, but the host insists). Others will decide they never want to chop if it makes it obligatory or comes with the baggage of arguing with some stranger.

Still others will decide they'd rather not play a game where the people they're playing against offer them "optional" plays and then badger them for actually exercising the option. It's weird and off-putting, and feels like maybe the opponents are trying to take advantage of new players' lack of experience. And they'll return to slots / craps / roulette and avoid poker.

I'll admit that this probably only has a small effect on retaining new players, but that effect is in the negative direction overall. It's not helping. It's only hurting.
And you’ve inspired me to stop chopping.
I think chopping is dumb, but not so much that I want to explain myself, or annoy my tablemates. But if just resigning and going along with it helps to normalize it, I don’t want to be part of the problem!
 

CrazyEddie

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And you’ve inspired me to stop chopping.
I think chopping is dumb, but not so much that I want to explain myself, or annoy my tablemates. But if just resigning and going along with it helps to normalize it, I don’t want to be part of the problem!
Gauge the field. If it's a bunch of grumpy old geezers who are going to get bitchy if you don't chop, then decide whether you want them to be happy with you or angry at you and then choose accordingly (both are valid strategies!).

If it's a bunch of carefree happy players splashing money and having a good time - agree to chop if everyone's doing it so that you fit in and don't harsh the vibe, but politely decline to chop if there's at least one or two other people that have also already declined to chop because if that's the case then it obviously doesn't matter.

Edit to add:
"I dunno, what's everyone else doing?" is an excellent answer to the question "Do you want to chop?" - It takes the pressure, responsibility, and blame off of you and redirects it to the group. It also gives you an easy way to gauge the nature of the table, and creates an opportunity for you to decline even if everyone else is chopping. Just by raising the question and seeking the input of the group, you've portrayed yourself as a reasonable person, and so if you then say "I dunno, guys, I kinda just want to play some hands, let's play it out" you've found an excuse to disagree with the group while appearing to consider their opinions and validate their input (even though you're actually ignoring it).
 
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Jimulacrum

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Gauge the field. If it's a bunch of grumpy old geezers who are going to get bitchy if you don't chop, then decide whether you want them to be happy with you or angry at you and then choose accordingly (both are valid strategies!).

If it's a bunch of carefree happy players splashing money and having a good time - agree to chop if everyone's doing it so that you fit in and don't harsh the vibe, but politely decline to chop if there's at least one or two other people that have also already declined to chop because if that's the case then it obviously doesn't matter.

Edit to add:
"I dunno, what's everyone else doing?" is an excellent answer to the question "Do you want to chop?" - It takes the pressure, responsibility, and blame off of you and redirects it to the group. It also gives you an easy way to gauge the nature of the table, and creates an opportunity for you to decline even if everyone else is chopping. Just by raising the question and seeking the input of the group, you've portrayed yourself as a reasonable person, and so if you then say "I dunno, guys, I kinda just want to play some hands, let's play it out" you've found an excuse to disagree with the group while appearing to consider their opinions and validate their input (even though you're actually ignoring it).
^ This guy is good for your poker game.
 

grebe

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I ran into a similar situation at @Seeking Alpha Social Club game last Saturday with a new guy. He was small, I was big. He asked if I wanted to chop, I was a little shocked....being there is no rake. I said I would do it if we always did it. He paused for a second, then I asked if he had looked at his hand....he said yes. I said, then let's just play poker. No hard feelings and we now understood where we stood. It's not that big of a deal, because I think that was the only time it came up the whole night....Kevin's game doesnt lend to many walks, lol.

So, in your situation I would just tell the guy we always chop or never chop. And that's that.
 
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I ran into a similar situation at @Seeking Alpha Social Club game last Saturday with a new guy. He was small, I was big. He asked if I wanted to chop, I was a little shocked....being there is no rake. I said I would do it if we always did it. He paused for a second, then I asked if he had looked at his hand....he said yes. I said, then let's just play poker. No hard feelings and we now understood where we stood. It's not that big of a deal, because I think that was the only time it came up the whole night....Kevin's game doesnt lend to many walks, lol.

So, in your situation I would just tell the guy we always chop or never chop. And that's that.
Was I there? I don't seem to remember that....or much of anything for that matter. :wtf:
 

jpietrella

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I don't have much to add to this beyond to say I agree that even though it's mildly annoying, this is more of a you problem than some unspoken etiquette he needs to be taught.

For the record, I'm pro-chop and I do it regardless of my hand because it saves time, frustration and seems to keep grumpy people happy. Move seats, raise him every chance you get at a chop, fold every time there's a chance at a chop or just play your hand as normal assuming he's going to play. Take your pick.
 

DeusEx

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I have a hard time believing that people can't decern how this is a dick move, or basically saying 'fuck you' through their actions;
I would not wait, I would call it out to ensure there is no naivete, as such given the option and declined, I give no pause to being a dick henceforth, as well as setting a precedent that you get what you give.
 

BukNaked36

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When in SB, I always offer and never get offended either way. It's their option.

When in BB and people offer to me, I always chop out of courtesy. I've chopped with aces a couple of times.
 

Jimulacrum

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And you’ve inspired me to stop chopping.
I think chopping is dumb, but not so much that I want to explain myself, or annoy my tablemates. But if just resigning and going along with it helps to normalize it, I don’t want to be part of the problem!
Personally, I don't think chopping is in itself a bad thing. The point people make about avoiding rake is fair, I guess (though you're paying rake every other hand too).

But if you simply don't want to do it and you're done giving in, I'm glad I've inspired you to stand up for yourself. :)
 

JustinInMN

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Pretty sure @Nanook plays in the same room that I (try to) frequent. In 18 years, I've probably only dealt with selective choppers maybe a dozen times at the most. And I just deal with it the same way. I no longer offer to chop blinds with that player.

The other way to deal with it is to just stop chopping yourself. I know in some places that's seen as anti-social, but in the mid-to-high stakes games at our room, it's more common, and these games are now time-charge, not rake, so the house basically has its cut at the start of the down, playing a heads up hand doesn't feed them any more.

Chopping in a raked game, especially low to mid stakes where rake is multiple big blinds and only two players contesting the pot, makes a lot more sense. In a time game, other players at the table are out maybe half-a-hand. I don't think it's that big a deal to play.

I think the chopping etiquette should simply be one-chop-always-chop among participants. I have chopped AA before, I didn't die, you won't either. Jackpots and promos are lame excuses to make selective exceptions. If you really want to maximize your chances at these promotions, you shouldn't be a chopping player in the first place.

And on an aside, if chop situations come up too often, it's a sign you are in a bad game.
 

upNdown

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I think it’s funny that multiple people say they’ve chopped with AA. Why would you even look at your cards? If I’m chopping, I don’t want to know.
 

JustinInMN

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I think it’s funny that multiple people say they’ve chopped with AA. Why would you even look at your cards? If I’m chopping, I don’t want to know.
Posterity, and in part if I chop a monster, it proves I am serious about chop everything.
 

DrStrange

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I have to wonder what the original poster is thinking? Please tell me this is a joke, right?

Chop if you want. Decline if you don't want to chop. Please don't waste the table's time whining about this. How big a problem can it be?

Truth is, you likely should be looking for a new table if the game devolves to a blind vs blind situation very often.

Why make this trivial thing an issue at the table? -=- DrStrange
 
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