There is an expression that “What goes around, comes around” and this applies equally to poker as it does to any life you may have beyond the poker table. Some players are quick to hurl insults when beaten by an appalling bad beat, and many of us have been there ourselves – wondering why on Earth “Pokerdonk” followed our incredibly well manoeuvred continuation bet, only to pull out the middle card that completed his straight on the river.
Sometimes you want to scream “FFS! What the hell were you doing? You should never have been in the pot past the flop!” But, creating this sort of animosity on the table is not only bad for your blood pressure, it is also bad karma.
In fact, this scenario might not have ever occurred had you been a bit more generous with the last hand you lost on, as karma has a way of coming back and biting you in the wallet for your previous misdemeanours. Indeed, it would make the online poker environment a much nicer place if you spent a second just to type in a short message of congratulations – even “nh” will do – no matter how much you are seething inside. Not only will the irony of the situation not be lost on the other players around the table, but it will serve you well in the future if you ever again come up against “Pokerdonk” – as he now believes that following your good hand all the way to the river is a successful strategy. See – karma works in mysterious ways!
Good karma is also derived from putting some effort into helping others at the table. Of course, this should be done retrospectively, after having taken them for a monster pot, but a few words of advice about where they possibly made an error will not go unnoticed in the karmic world.
Karma is also obtained by leaving a table in a good frame of mind, wishing those who remain the best of luck, and commenting on how well they played. It does not hurt to get yourself known as a generous player – provided it is not for being generous with your chips – and, anyway, is it possible to have too much good karma?
No-one expects you to forgo bluffing or any other part of your game that may involve a less than “honest” approach, however applying a little table etiquette now and again, and being pleasantly natured, will be judged favourably by the all-seeing-eye and your good deeds will be rewarded with bounteous wealth and good fortune – at least that is the theory!