Generally speaking, I think taking things too seriously in life can be a hazard.
For one, it's not good for your health to add such unnecessary stresses about mundane issues that would otherwise just pass as most things do. Also, you tend to come off as a real loser in the meantime - spending your days and nights nit-picking and vexing over every little thing.
So what about strictness towards proper etiquette?
Well, I couldn't care less about using the proper fork at a dinner party, I like to avoid wearing suits - especially when their 'required', and chances are that I'll call you by your first name or even a nickname rather than Mr./Mrs. So-and-so if the mood should strike me. There is one place however, that I refuse to circumvent proper etiquette at all cost: On the felt.
I think this stems from a deep respect for the game of poker. Some might confuse the phrase 'game of poker' to be defined simply as an amusing pastime, but don't be fooled. Although poker is extremely entertaining, I think it is more accurate to define it as something like...
A competitive activity that challenges the skill, chance, and endurance of two or more persons who play according to a set of known rules; A game which requires a cerebral application of math, experience, psychological detection.
(Take that Webster!)
Now, when you look at it that way, you might agree that poker is something that deserves to be treated with class and respect. If not a respect for the game, then at least for your fellow players who are there to play poker and not listen to you give fuddled advice, berate dealers for bad hands or hum and haw during the hand when you folded on the flop and the river made you a flush.
I leave you with my Top 7 Poker Etiquette Rules I hold sacred:
1. Don't splash the pot.
2. Don't discuss a hand until it has been completed.
3. Don't cash out immediately after winning a large pot.
4. Don't blame the dealers.
5. Don't offer or ask for help from other players/spectators.
6. Don't talk on your cell phone during a hand.
7. Win/Lose gracefully.
Wishing you Big Pots and Bigger Flops,
Read more about this subject:
Texas Hold'em Poker Etiquett
Basic Poker Rule and Table Manners
Proper Poker Behavior
Delik James' Chronicles
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