Higher-Limit Condescension

The vast majority of my irritation at the poker table stems from stupidity and simple lack of self-awareness.  Almost nothing sets me off more than rude unaware narcissism.  What I will say, however, is that these traits are typically not displayed in a purposely malicious human being.  In other words, the person displaying these incredibly annoying habits is not usually intentionally vindictive.  They’re just dumb.  There is, however, another, perhaps less sympathetic, irritation that until recently I hadn’t intellectualized.

What I’m beginning to find consistently true is that players who generally play a higher-limit game, say 15-30 or 30-60, treat players at lower-limit games with an unjustifiable arrogance and condescension.  It seems to be subconscious economic discrimination.  To be clear, I don’t believe every higher-limit player does this.  But I do think that enough of them do it as to call attention to the problem.  I don’t think that the guilty players even realize what they’re doing; but I do, and anybody paying objective attention to the mannerisms and attitudes of these players would as well.

I came to this realization today at the 6-12 table, as two 15-30 players joined the game.  They sat down and immediately began discussing, purposely loudly, how lame it was to be at the 6-12 game.  They’d raise and say things to each other like, “It’s only twelve dollars.”  Well, excuse us, Donald Trump, but we were enjoying our game until you condescendingly needed to point out how pitiful our bankrolls were.  Sorry to be wasting your time with these useless dollar amounts.

There is also a less tangible superiority complex displayed by these players.  It’s difficult to explain with any convincing accuracy, but suffice it to say, these higher-limit players take every opportunity to tell another player that he’s stupid, or to deride his play with condescending remarks.  If this higher-limit player loses, he will never chalk up his loss to bad play on his part or to good play on the part of his opponent.  It’s always luck.  After all, how could a lowly 6-12 player beat a seasoned 15-30 player?  It must’ve been luck.  Everybody at these games is stupid.

These things could perhaps be forgivable.  But then a hand came up involving these specific players that really made me angry, despite not being involved myself.  It was heads-up between a random player and one of the higher-limit guys.  Random player bet the river with the flush he made on the turn, and the higher-limit player raised him when the board paired on the river.  Random player called.  Without turning over his hand, higher-limit player says, “Two-pair.”  Random player turned over his flush for what he thought was the win, as higher-limit player then turned over quads.  A classic slow-roll, and not only that, but a slow-roll using the fucking dumbest sixth-grade line of all time.  Random player just smiled and kept quiet as higher-limit guy outwardly celebrated his victory with a scream and fist-pump.  The problem is, players at lower-limit games are typically more casual and friendly, and this player would not (because of friendliness) or could not (because of lack of knowledge on etiquette) defend himself.  His buddy just laughed at his friend’s clearly shitty maneuver.  What is most infuriating is that this is something he’d never in a million years do to another 15-30 player.  Why?  Because he respects other 15-30 players.  They, apparently, put up enough money to earn this asshole’s respect.

The two got up shortly thereafter to join the must-move 15-30 game, and as they got up, they had a very telling exchange that I think only I heard:

Guy one: “Hit and run.  That was a funny little two-pair line there, buddy.”

Guy two: “Yeah, whatever.  It’s only 6-12.”

“Only” 6-12, I suppose, implies that the people at this game are not worthy of his respect, and as such, do not need to be treated with the courtesy of a human being.  It was such a disgusting line.  It was as though these aristocrats were forced, against their will, to fraternize with the commoners for a few moments, and they couldn’t help but condescend the players and treat them with the same respect they’d treat their six year-old cousin in a game for nickels.

Bottom line:

Dismissing somebody, without any evidence or justification, as stupid and unworthy of your respect is indeed a higher crime than simply being stupid.

Being a higher-limit player doesn’t necessarily make you a better player than your lower-limit counterpart, and it certainly doesn’t make you a better person.  I was disgusted with the audacity I witnessed today, and simply wanted to voice my irritation.  Please, don’t be a fuck-head to somebody simply because you place more dollar bills on a green piece of felt than they do.

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8 Responses to “Higher-Limit Condescension”

  1. Chet Says:

    As painfully as these guys acted I think it is more attributable to their personalities than the fact they play higher limits. I don’t play a ton at canterbury, maybe 100 hours logged between 30-60 lhe and ho game. There are quite a few douches in the game who act like this as well, but I don’t attribute it to the game they play. Some of them would describe the amount they bet on black jack or sports (most likely losing endeavors) in the same bragworthy way. “I mean I was betting $100 a hand and he was betting 10 and wanted to stay on soft 17!!” They are just asshole douches.

  2. JayMind Says:

    Totally fair take. You could be right. There are plenty of douches without reasoning in this world.

  3. Thomas Sharp Says:

    Have played these guys for more then 3 decades, they really think 15-30 is a big limit game….That is the real fucking Joke, 6-12 15-30 really the same game, What am I saying….. they are the same game. The fact that the guy hit a 1 in 4,165.00 hand being 4 of a kind only shows he has no real clue as to how the game is played. Once the flush was on the board he was less then 18% to hit his full house and less then 1% to hit quads and he still played to the river, and to then act like he had played the hand well and slow roll. Well my guess is he is a young person with no understanding of the game, the math or the respect due ALL players at the table….Guys like this may as well stay at home and jerk off….These people just piss me off to no end…..Wow this one hit a nerve..
    I would bet this guy asked to chop the tip to the dealer as well….
    Jay…… Love your insight……..

  4. Dan deebo Says:

    I played 30-40 hours a week for 3-4 years playIng 6/12 8/16 and 15/30 at Canterbury before Running Aces opened. I honestly think the 8/16 Plays bigger than the 15/30 at Canterbury. It’s a combination of very good limit players, gamblers and a holding ground/pitstop for 15/30 and 30/60 players waiting to get to their higher limit games. Plus it’s a four chip game as opposed to the the 15/30 and 6/12 being 3 chip games. Why else would I feel the need to buy in for $500 at both games. With that said and I won’t mention names but most red chip regulars at Canterbury really are full of themselves and as you put it, are pretty much assholes. They mock the blue and yellow chip players and claim that most of the 30/60 players are losing players. I always pulled my iPod out when I played 15/30, it got me through many sessions. . I believe it’s called false entitlement…. A very good 30/60 player once said to me “it really doesn’t matter how good you think you are. Everyone else already knows”

  5. Aaron Johnson Says:


  6. Matt Says:

    Thanks Jay… Best read I’ve had on here in awhile. Well put. I’d like to say that most consistent winners from yellow chip games in my opinion could just as easily sit down at the 15/30 and win consistently. Just as we do at the 6/12 or 8/16 games. I don’t play all that many hours but I’ve won 9 of my last 10 sessions at either yellow chip game. I would sit down and play 15/30 but I make the decision not too as a part time player. That does not constitute a lack of intelligence at the table on my part. I simply make the choice not to risk the money I earn at my 9 to 5 job. With that said I hope your article opens up the eyes of at least some of the folks who act this way. They should realize the color of your chips does not automatically determine your skill level.


  7. Ctrbry rant Says:

    I have been playing a lot, mostly in the 15 and 30 games, and the overall ettiquette is terrible. Rather, the ettiquette which everyone (including regs / floor / dealers) has silently agreed to is terrible… Splashing chips, bullshitting when it is your turn to act, talking at showdown before turning your hand over, sweating hands with your neighbor, calling bets before your opponent’s chips are in the pot, flashing your cards when folding, etc etc etc. Its like many of the regs think it’s cool or stylish to play this way, but really it just slows the game WAY down, makes the dealers jobs difficult, and probably makes the game really uncomfortable and uninviting to an outsider.


  8. JLO Says:

    As a regular 15/30 player, I agree and disagree with much of what has been said. Yes, some players are jerks. Yes, the 15 game does seem to have its own set of “rules” and customs. But, yes this bothers many of the players at the table as well. It is very much like a little club, but that is to be expected when it is the same group of players day after day after day. I would like to see the dealers and floors enforce the rules the same at every table – and the dealers “call” the game the same way at all the tables. But remember, some guys are jerks, but don’t lump all the red chip players into that group.