Hang around the live tournament scene for long enough, and you get to hear all of the same sayings.
One of the most popular is ‘where are you from?’ Now, this question may be harmless if it comes out of the mouth of a recreational player, but when it falls out of the mouth of a professional poker player, it is often asked with a purpose.
Poker evolves differently, dependent on where you learn to play it, as players competing in the WSOP will no doubt be aware. Let’s take the example of the Scandinavians.
The superstars of the modern game such as Viktor “Isildur1” Blom are renowned for their hyper-aggressive styles. Young Scandinavian players flocking to the games will try to enact the styles or skills of their idols, and the homegrown poker training sites will incorporate and teach the Isildur1 way of playing.
Identifying what styles of poker each player prefers is a very important part of the game. The game is dynamic, and the style you decide to pull out of your bag of tricks should be based on the style of your opponent.
If you sit down and play against a player from Sweden, then you can start with the basis that he or she is aggressive until they show you otherwise. Sometimes the nationality or ethnicity of a player can give you a foundation from which to build.
As usual, in poker, you need to remember that these strategies can also be used by your opponents to build a character profile on you. So don’t give out this type of information unless you have to. Try to be friendly, but smart at the same time.