Is sports betting ruining the pokeration? (1 Viewer)

Taghkanic

Straight Flush
Supporter
Joined
Jul 11, 2017
Messages
7,701
Reaction score
11,177
Location
Hudson Valley, NY
On a trip decades ago to Eastern Europe, my cartoonist friend Mo spotted his all-time favorite piece of graffiti:

HOME FUCKING IS RUINING THE PROSTITUTION

I mention it only to explain the odd title of this post…

So when sports betting was legalized in New York, I initially saw this as a boon to my poker game… because guys who are following their bets online and on poker room teevees play distracted, and play worse.

I don’t gamble on anything but poker (and don’t really consider poker gambling), so I can be that much more attentive to how people are playing compared to the next guy.

But I’m starting to feel the +EV of the distraction really isn’t worth it.

In some of the home/private games I play in regularly, more than half of the table has their head buried in their phones, checking their bets and parlays and offers and hedges. Or are swiveling around to check plays and scores on TV screens. Or endlessly (and to my mind not at anll interestingly) discussing these bets and upcoming games or matches.

Result: The pace of play has slowed to a crawl. If I thought it was bad before, having to tell people the action is on them three times, or repeat over and over again that there was a raise ahead of them, after they finally wake up and throw in only a limp… Well now it’s ten times worse than ever.

And conversation, if it even counts as such, seems now to be almost entirely about wagering on sports. As someone who enjoys the social aspect of poker, this too is a detriment to the game IMHO.

For my own game, I’d already instituted rules saying no watching movies or games on your phone, and no playing online concurrently with the live action. This caused some grumbling but no loss of players. And it has improved the game speed a ton.

Not sure checking FanDuel or whatever is so easily stopped or policed. But I may try. Can’t get other hosts to do anything about it.

Do others find this to be a problem? Or should I just lump it and recognize this is never going away?
 
Last edited:
On a trip decades ago to Eastern Europe, my cartoonist friend Mo spotted his all-time favorite piece of graffiti, which he constantly mentions:

HOME FUCKING IS RUINING THE PROSTITUTION

I mention it only to explain the odd title of this post…

I don’t gamble on anything but poker (and don’t really consider poker gambling.) So when sports betting was legalized in New York, I initially saw this as a boon to my poker game… because guys who are distracted by following their bets online and on poker room teevees play worse.

But I’m starting to feel the +EV of the distraction isn’t worth it.

In some of the home/private games I play in regularly, more than half of the table has their head buried in their phones, checking their bets and parlays and offers and hedges. Or are swiveling their heads around to check plays and scores on TV screens. Or endlessly (and to my mind not very interestingly) discussing these bets and upcoming games or matches.

Result: The pace of play has slowed to a crawl. If I thought it was bad before, having to tell people the action is on them three times, or repeat over and over again that there was a raise after they finally wake up and throw in only a limp… Well it’s ten times worse than ever.

And conversation, if it even counts as such, seems now to be almost entirely about wagering on sports. As someone who enjoys the social aspect of poker, this too is a detriment to the game IMHO.

For my own game, I’d already instituted rules saying no watching movies or games on your phone, and no playing online concurrently with the live action. This caused some grumbling but no loss of players. And it has improved the game speed a ton.

Not sure checking FanDuel or whatever is so easily stopped or policed. But I may try. Can’t get other hosts to do anything about it.

Do others find this to be a problem? Or should I just lump it and recognize this is never going away?
This was considered. Dealing at a backroom game in New Jersey, we would have people just walking out mid game if the NFL/NBA wasn't going their way. Of course we had others spewing their stacks because they'd made lots that week on the -insert team here they don't shut up about-, but I didn't like how it changed the atmosphere. Like you said, poker was a sideshow.

Most of my beginner nights that I host, I explain that scrolling on your phone, especially when in a hand, is slow and rude. At higher stakes I don't have the luxury of having a player pool without the sports bettors.
 
At higher stakes I don't have the luxury of having a player pool without the sports bettors.

That’s my conundrum. $2/$5 isn’t very high stakes for some people, but in my rural area it’s hard to find enough regs who want to play higher than $1/$2. So I can’t afford to lose players in my own game, and don’t want to skip some of the juicier games near me.

But I do want to find a politic way to at least urge people to not let their parlays ruin the poker.
 
Now I guess I have to add a new field to my mental poker dossier on each player…

When someone is not paying attention to the action, and is told over and over it’s on them, when they finally act they will want to get back to their sports betting app as fast as possible…

In this situation, is s/he the type of player who will:

A) Call almost any bet? or
B) Fold to almost any bet?
 
In this situation, is s/he the type of player who will:

A) Call almost any bet? or
B) Fold to almost any bet?

If they’re betting on sports, parleys, and all manner of other stuff. IME, they tend to be calling stations and chasers.

They are gambling, not playing GTO (more often than not).

At least from what I’ve generally experienced. They are more apt to chase a long odds draw.
 
Last edited:
If they’re betting on sports, parleys, and all manner of other stuff. IME, they tend to be calling stations and chasers.

They are gambling, not playing GTO (more often than not).

At least from what I’ve generally experienced. They are more apt to chase a long odds draw.

Agree in principle… But I think the distraction is the even bigger factor.

For example, I was on the button with AKo. I raise to 9BB over Two limpers, both sports betters.

Blinds fold. Limper #1 has to be told three times it’s on him. He at last says “I already called.” Dealer: “There was a raise.” Bettor looks up slowly and sleepily, tosses in one chip to call.

Limper #2, also head in phone, heard none of this so the same routine happens, except he folds.

My impression was that #1 thought calling was easier, and #2 thought folding was easier, both more focused on getting back to their app than the action.
 
Agree in principle… But I think the distraction is the even bigger factor.

For example, I was on the button with AKo. I raise to 9BB over Two limpers, both sports betters.

Blinds fold. Limper #1 has to be told three times it’s on him. He at last says “I already called.” Dealer: “There was a raise.” Bettor looks up slowly and sleepily, tosses in one chip to call.

Limper #2, also head in phone, heard none of this so the same routine happens, except he folds.

My impression was that #1 thought calling was easier, and #2 thought folding was easier, both more focused on getting back to their app than the action.
Good point, I agree - the level of distraction is probably the much bigger factor.

My favorite is when they didn’t even realize they hit the st8 - lol :ROFL: :ROFLMAO:
 

Create an account or login to comment

You must be a member in order to leave a comment

Create account

Create an account and join our community. It's easy!

Log in

Already have an account? Log in here.

Back
Top Bottom