Anyone else struggle with their table persona?
I am very much not myself at the table. I'm normally quite social and easy-going... but when I sit at the table, I'm almost anti-social. I'm terrible at small-talk with strangers.
Truth be told, I can't imagine I would like most of the people with whom I end up playing. The grumpy old guy, the hoodie/sunglasses superstar, the guy with a giant backpack and sweatpants, the guy with the breath from the black lagoon... I don't know. A lot of people at the table either annoy me or feel like their posing... like they're trying to be something they're not - playing some poker character.
Then there's me. I wouldn't like me either. I'm mostly quiet. I don't often give people much of a reason to DISlike me, but I'm not very good at the skill of faking conversation. I know it's in my financial best interest to keep the table lively and fun but I just don't have that kind of stamina. Maybe someday.
I find it hard; I'm looking to take these people's money. I'm looking to help them make mistakes. If things go well for me, that means things went badly for them. And in trying to do that, they are the enemy.
But I don't treat people like shit (anymore). I say anymore because in my early days, I, like a lot of players, thought I had a clue and everyone else was stupid. I certainly know better now. But I'm not perfect now and I wasn't perfect 6 years ago, either. I'm not proud of some of my horseshit comments back in the day, but I've matured, grown, and moved past that.
Often times, I play quietly, small earbuds in, listening to the Mets game or some non-poker podcast. Sometimes it's music but not often. I'm often scrolling through my phone to catch up on the news and other random stuff going on in the world. So I'm this bland nobody that seems disinterested in anything but winning money... well, that second part is the truth; but it's bad for people to think of you that way. I'm aware of it and I'm working on it.
I have a blast at my home game with my friends, but when I step into the casino, I don't have much to say to many people. It's a shame, I know I'm missing out on making new poker friends and finding real-life poker friends is a big time +EV poker AND life move.
How about you? Do you struggle? Is it natural for you to small-talk all day at the table? Do you find casino poker social and fun? Or do you find yourself more on the anti-social part of the spectrum while playing?