How To Needle Your Opponents, Part II
In my first article
on the art of tilting your opponents, I gave a general overview of the types of players prone to going on a tilt due to taunting, as well as how to go about needling these types of opponents. In this article, I'll give a few more tips on the fine art of needling your opponents.
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But first, I want to address a topic that is the diametric opposite of needling an opponent, getting your opponents to love you. In a tournament, especially when you are short stacked, it's in your best interest that people at the table really like you. This way, they will be more likely to fold to you in marginal situations when you steal the blinds or whatnot. They're certainly not going to lay down pocket aces preflop, but you'll be surprised at what they will fold. Subconsciously, they won't want to bust you out because you are entertaining them so much.
Getting Your Opponents To Love You
In my experience, there is only one surefire strategy to get the whole table to love you: objectify women. Of course, this strategy only works provided all of your opponents are men (sometimes it still works if there's just one woman at the table and she has a sense of humor).
Generally, the best way to go about this is to talk about how you just saw the most amazing breasts or ass. An example is when I was on the Party Poker Cruise. There's this Danish woman who simply had a jaw-droppingly lovely ass. As I talked about her to my table in the tournament, I noticed that people tended to fold more often to my raises, even showing hands that they definitely should have called with. It was pretty clear that most of the guys wanted me around for entertainment value, so they weren't going to challenge me unless they had a really good hand.
Conversation Topics To Set People On Tilt
If your goal though is to set an opponent on tilt, then you will want to steer the conversation topic to something a little more contentious. A good one is politics. When you get poker players thinking about politics, not only do you rile up their emotions, making it easier to set them on tilt, you get them thinking about something else other than the game.
Right now is a great time to talk politics at the poker table due to the upcoming American elections. If you are playing against Europeans, definitely bash Barack Obama. Make sure that your criticism's of him are 90% personal, 10% substantive. You want just enough substance to keep your opponents trying to debate you on the issues, but you want it to be mainly character attacks since that draws up most of the emotions. Don't know how to bash Barack Hussein Obama? Just do a Google search for Obama along with Jeremiah Wright, Bill Ayers, Tony Rezko, or arugula.
If your table is full of Americans, you'll have to size up the mood of the table a little bit more. The American poker community is generally mixed. However, you are more likely to gain more traction bashing Obama than McCain. Generally, if you are bashing McCain, the older players that like McCain will likely ignore you, whereas some young college student will attempt to argue with you about Obama.
There's other controversial topics you can bring up as well. If your table has a few doctors, bring up socialized medicine. If it's full of annoying poker players, make sure to talk about how the Poker Players Alliance is worthless and won't ever accomplish anything.
Did that just tilt you a bit? See, it works!