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"Slope" and I Ain't Talkin' Calculus...

By: beatdiggs @ 21:39 (EST) / 452 / Comment ( 5 )

A "Play My Hand", but not the kind you are used to at PokerSchool Online

So I've been on the grind; reading, studying, playing, researching HUDs, going over leaks, etc.  You know, all the things we aspiring poker players should be doing to improve our game.  And one thing I noticed was that I was not taking reading tables seriously enough.  I knew that it was something I needed to do, but had been too focused on just playing tables.  However, after reading a blog entitled "Labeling Your Enemies" or something like that, I finally decided on a finite short list of what I thought was relevent to get the job done efficiently.  I started taking notes and made a definitively colour scheme for each villain-type with its vitals.  And let me tell you, there are a lot of blues out there!  (a.k.a. Calling stations)  And it has been quite beneficial thus far.

Anyway, so I am going through my table taking notes (two at the time actually) and colour-coding the villains.  At the time, there had been some banter going on at one table about marijuana, smoking spliffs, and some other really corny nonsense that I can't bother to remember.  I finally finish doing the rounds and start to focus on who to isolate (pretty much everyone!) and noticed that one of the guys who was talking was gone.  Great.  Back to business.  Then, the other guy remaining blurts out something like "Aaaahh man, who farted?!"  So, at this instant Ireplied with an equally corny, "it's probably just your upper lip!"  and a playful wink indicating that I was clearly joking. 

And then it happened.

"Shut up Slope!" 

Clearly he was irritated by the comment and the ever-friendly wink icon proved ineffective.  But, at the same time, I asked,

"What do you mean by "slope"?" 

I honestly had never heard the term, but started thinking about it and was pretty damn sure it was a racial slur of sorts.  I am currently living in Japan and figured it to be some derogatory remark about the Japanese and/or Asians in general.  So, I checked the trusty Urban Dictionary online and sure enough, my hypothesis was correct.  At which point, I replied;

"What's with the racial slur?"

"You best shut up or else, Slope!"

"Or else what?"

"You remember what happened after Pearl Harbour, don't you?  My father was there...."

At which point I lose it!  This is a poker room!!!  This is poker!  Where does racism, Pearl Harbour and any other historical incident equate into the game?  What did I (or anyone else playing on this site for that matter) have to do with Pearl Harbour and its aftermath?  I go on to explain that I am not of Asain descent (like that even matters) and told him to keep the racial slurs out of it.  Now, I'm not going to lie, I did berate him more than I lead on, but that's besides the point. 

After berating him for a while, the table gradually fell to 3-handed play and he fell quite silent.  He started folded A LOT more which ultimately told me (with my new-found table-reading skills!) that he was keen on knocking me out.  Clearly being on full tilt, I channel my energy into playing the game with the same goal in mind.  After a few smaller battles, I flop a set with deuce-deuce in hand, he pushes all-in, I call and take down the pot with an emphatic 'Quack, Quack'.  He falls out of the tourney the next hand to the other remaining villain.  I immediately and very formally apologize for the spectacle and assured him that it was out of character on my part.  I am typically very quiet at the tables, but will engage from time to time in some friendly conversation if engaged.  Also, living in Japan, I have grown to be patient with ignorance of the innocent variety.  But flat out racism???  Never.  Also, this guy was clearly older and I always treat the elderly with the utmost respect  But when you throw around racial slurs so liberally, like Chi-Ali says, "age ain't nothin', but a number."  

Looking back on it now, I have no regrets with what I said to the man.  However, I'm not sure if I handled the situation the best way possible at an online poker room.  People are there to play poker and having to go through all that really isn't much fun for anyone anymore. 


What would you have done in a similar situation?  Did I handle it the best way possible?  What would be your advice and/or actions?  Let me know if you have had similar experiences and how you handled them.

Lastly, if admin ever reads the article, I would be more than open to any suggestions to the appropriate actions.  I am certain that PokerStars does not condone this sort of activity and I would greatly appreciate any advice for the future if, and hopefully not, it comes up again. 


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