I figured the other aspect I might address is how to deal with poor sportsmanship.
Most people find it extremely disturbing that lucky players gloat about how poorly they play. You have one of two choices:
You can fire back, but that is akin to trying to wash a bad smell out of linen with garbage.
Or, instead, you can simply just make a note on a player that he/she lacks understanding of odds and likes to overplay their hands.
Obviously the latter is MUCH more devistating. Because then when you encounter that player again, you know where and when you can do the most damage to them, and possibly even remove them from your hair. At very least you can simply needle them until they are steaming.
But the real disturbing aspect in it is more on a humanitarian level. Poker is supposed to be a gentleman's game(ladies are included in this, don't feel left out). In other words, you play it politely. The only aggression that should be at the table is in the form of your bets and raises. (Mind you, if this was wild west poker, I would have NO problem. But the other loudmouths I have seen, well, let's just say the man with no face must be their favorite novel, because stuff like that actually happened back in the day)
It's not really the fault of the game, but it is more a psychological aspect of the player themself.
So lets say you really want to get under someone's skin, but you want to remain polite at the same time, and not ruin your table image.
A proper response to someone who gloats about sucking out on you, when you in fact had the better overall odds and the pot odds to call, is simply "Yup, my bad". And leave it at that.
The reason for this is that in the suckout's mind they think that if they can steam you, they can get the rest of your chips. Sadly, this is mostly accurate. But if you give them a neutral response, and then use your superior skills to regain whatever you lost in that hand from other players, you can then lie in wait like the grim reaper ready to collect their chips because they have no idea how to hold onto them.
You can even go so far as to specifically avoid being in a hand with them. This irratates them more than anything, but if they say anything in chat, you then have the advantage, and the superior image at the table. My favorite response is "Why would I call you with crap cards? I have more sense than that, unlike how some play." This is a double edged sword, with neither edge pointing towards you. It lets the needler know that you are waiting for cards, and will make them think before calling your raise, and lets the rest of the players know that you in fact DO know how to play this game a bit, if it is not already obvious.
The important thing to remember is, you are in this league to learn and have fun while learning. Yes, there are multitudes of players that have seemed to abandon all reason and just start tossing when they see paint, but that is part of the obstacle course of this game. Don't think that the PRO's, even before they were PRO's, had to do any less. If anything they have to dodge or outplay these type of players every time they sit down to play. Because if you think there aren't retarded inexperienced players at higher cash stakes games, I would be willing to bet my entire bankroll that you are wrong.(All 1.68 of it.)
The main point I am trying to get across here, is NEVER, EVER, under ANY circumstances fire back a retort, even if it is in good humor. Why? Think about poor Phil Hellmuth. Pokerstars AND Full Tilt won't touch him with a ten foot poll, sponser wise. They bring him into cash games as ENTERTAINMENT... the jester at the table. Granted he is a decent professional player, but would you really want your image to forever be that? A hothead with the lack of discipline to keep the inner thoughts inside?
This game is all about the long term overall end result. Virtually every aspect of it, on any scale. When it is my turn, if I ever get one, to sit with the best of the best, I know that I will have earned that place, and my game will carry me through.
How far do you think the poor sportsmanship cocky players are going to get? Some of them may get far, but they will not be remembered for their playing ability, just their attitude, and rudeness. So before you go firing off at a poor sport gloater about how at least they won this, and by the way, their girlfriend/wife/mother says hello and to stop gloating about playing like a donk because it makes the letter on their jacket look more faded than it already is after 15 years, be the better player and just play the game, and play it better than what they do.
Thanks for reading!
P.S. I REEEEEALLY don't recommend needling me if you couldn't already tell. It doesn't work because I am half insane already. For handicap I play with 3 screaming kids running around me, and late night I play while the wife wants to talk to me about whatever. I carry on the conversation simultaneously just fine. I am your worst nightmare, a distracted poker player who can still play at 90% or more of their game, and is all but immune to the best needlers.
If that wasn't bad enough, my favorite responses to jeers and taunts are things like "ice cream", or "who's on first?". Complete random nonsense to you, total sense to me. If you think I made a bad call or play, chances are I hit wrong button as I was running by chasing a kid. Finally, to top it all off, I do talk with the regular top ranked players in the league on occassion, Scorpie, Utica, Cote, etc. as well, and they have offered some great advice to me, and are my favorite opponents that I can hold ground with. Much respect back to them.
But I suppose that if your that devil's advocate player that still wants to try and needle or steam me, I can't stop you. But you won't get my attention unless you play extremely poor, or extremely well. The latter I will probably give you chips and respect, but if the former, you may soon find yourself asking the mirror about what went wrong? Along with: dear god is life really this horrid? With maybe even a bit of Oh, happy dagger! in there.
My name is donkeystreet, and if you get my attention, you can think of your chips as a short-term loan, with exponential compound interest. (catchy commercial huh?)
Sorry about the postulation and "chest-beating" but it is all said to be fun and entertaining...........
Or is it?