Be careful what you tell poker opponents

September 23, 2013, Lee Childs  

As I discussed in the September issue, Twitter and other social media are great for poker, but they have a few pitfalls. The main downside of using social media for play-by-play commentary is the information you’re giving to others about your game.

As poker players, we need to do as much as we can to not give away tells or any information about our hands. Obviously, we aren’t going to be tweeting during a hand, but if you give a detailed report of how a hand played out street by street, you’re just giving away too much information.

I realize most casual players won’t have a lot of poker-playing followers that will use this information against them, but if you play with anyone on a regular basis, you wouldn’t want them to know what’s going on in your head. The same goes for any random opponent who may decide to look you up while you’re playing together.

So, be sure to give a little thought to the information you put out there on Twitter and Facebook. Giving detailed information about how you think about hands and what you do in certain situations will give you less of an edge at the table.

Doing so also may educate your lesser-skilled opponents, just as talking strategy at the table will. Too many players do the latter as well and it’s a huge leak that can only result in a loss of money for you in the long run.

I have started to be much more vague about the hands I play unless they’re extremely straightforward and what would be considered to be standard all-in situations, etc.

Also, I’m sure to never talk about what I had in a hand unless it went to showdown or I decided to show my cards to everyone, which is almost never.

Otherwise, I may be telling some players at my table, or players at my future tables in this same tournament, information I didn’t intend to share. This can only cost me money, as I don’t know who is getting that information and how it could be used against me.

When thinking about what you want to post online, think about whether you would want anyone you play against to know that information.

Even if they’re not at your table right then, they could be in the future and that free information could cost you the tournament or a major pot. Decide to Win!

— Lee Childs is the founder and lead instructor at Inside the Minds. For information about his group training sessions and personal coaching, visit inside-the-minds.com.