Planet Mark's Blog. Thoughts, News And Strategy For Poker Tournaments Of All Size

"Bumhunting" And The Idiocy Of Poker-Cool!

Quite a title today, but a straight forward enough point to make... This has come from a debate on various poker forums and blogs (including some big name ones!) on the creep in the use of the terms "Bumhunting" and "Bumhunter" as an insult concerning online poker players.... This term first appeared to describe heads-up specialists who would sit waiting for bad opponents and completely refuse to play anyone with ability.

Now the scope has changed and it is used to describe players in the 6-max games who refuse to play at tables full of competent regulars and instead seek out fish (or at least less experienced) opponents to play against. Though it started as a term for the higher stakes players, the accusations of being a bumhunter have now crept down the levels - along with the implication that the player you are referring to as a bumhunter is not actually capable of beating the regulars in the game. Let is first get straight to the point of why this is not only wrong... it is crazy! We play poker primarily to make money, right? Many players also see this as some liesure activity too... so we can add fun to the list.

Now, where does the money come from in poker??(should not need to ask SNG Planet readers this one, so it is just for the flow of the story), it comes from your opponents mistakes (unforced errors at the lower levels and then mistakes relative to your superior skill set at the higher levels).  So we make more money and have fun by seeking out those opponents who are less skilled than us, some people might refer to this as bumhunting - I'll call it sensible and profitable game selection. Let us turn it around - what might be the point of only playing against winning regulars? Sure you can assess and exploit their weaknesses, winning some money... but c'mon, are people suggesting that this is somehow a superiour calling than the business of making money from people who are giving it away relative to their level... you play cool folks - I'll play where the money is!

Sure, learning to beat better players will prepare you for the next level up, but balance is always the key. The day I choose the tougher game because I'm worried about being insulted by other winners over the profitable game is really the day I should give up poker for ever! Ego or 'poker cool' can work on many levels, just make sure you are making your game / table / seat and even site selection decisions for the right reasons.

GL at the tables, Mark

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