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Our Hero’s long online poker session has ended, yet he/she is still wide awake with plenty of energy. Why, you ask? Did our Hero bink a large MTT or have an awesome night at the virtual cash tables?


The cause of the adrenaline rush is an ongoing dispute between the Hero and a fellow member of the poker community — the Villain — and NOW it has finally come to a head.

With multiple webpage tabs open to our favorite social media sites along with the community’s most widely-used forums, the Hero finally makes several clicks and posts “draft” text that was entered hours before. He/She has now officially put a fellow member of the community on FULL BLAST.

Facts vs. Emotions, Proof vs. Heresy

For the foreseeable future — which could last anywhere from several hours to several weeks — the Hero will utilize a massive portion of his/her mental strength towards measuring the poker community’s response while hopefully reaching a “fair and equitable” resolution with the offending party.

Although I’ve never been on either end of such a dilemma, I have witnessed these scenarios play out dozens of times as a forum manager or head moderator of high-traffic poker boards. I can tell you right now that the “success” of actually putting someone on Full Blast is directly related to facts and proof, rather than emotions and heresy.

You see, public perception in the poker community (despite all the obligatory “first,” “get your popcorn ready,” and “in on epic post” replies you’ll see), relies heavily on whether our Hero’s plight justifies such an outing. Things brings us to generally accepted reasons for going public with a dispute.

Cheating, Stealing, and Scamming

If our Hero has proof and facts relevant to this dispute with the Villain, then readers will have something concrete to draw a conclusion that could very well be in our Hero’s favor. Cheating, stealing, and scamming are serious issues within the community, especially when they relate to poker.

If the posted facts are damning to the Villain, then odds are he/she will be forced to either post something along the lines of an apology plus a method for reaching a fair and equitable resolution for all to see, or face virtual exile. These instances generally involve previous communications between the two affected parties in which the Hero made a good-faith attempt to reach such a resolution with no progress.

However, if the disagreement can be countered with facts or reasonable arguments (or if it is based on emotions and heresy), then the community’s perception may quickly shift.

Three Times Three Equals “About Tree-Fiddy”

In today’s modern era of social media and poker forum play-by-play responses, three times three does indeed equal “about tree-fiddy” (and perhaps even that’s overestimating it a bit).

Whether the equation’s solution turns out to include a decimal (meaning your pleas fall flat) or a whole number (meaning your pleas go viral), it rarely works out in the Hero’s favor if the argument is based on emotions and/or personal beliefs that are up for interpretation.

Over the past decade, I’ve witnessed online Full Blast scenarios that were tied to everything from a Villain bumming a pack of smokes to “stealing” the Hero’s significant other.

In both cases, the overwhelming perception of the community (and believe me, if you’re putting someone on Full Blast then what others think is important) was: Well, haven’t we all? – and – It takes two to play that game, even if you’re not involved… respectively.

Heroes can quickly turn into Zeroes when calling a fellow member of the community out on something that isn’t considered a justifiable offense by the vast majority of the poker world, EVEN IF you disagree!

So the next time you’re itching to share your thoughts about a supposed slime ball for all to see, ask yourself two questions: Am I posting facts? – and – Is the vast majority of the poker community likely to take my side?

If the answer to either of these questions is NO, then reconsider airing the dirty laundry while you compile more evidence.

Because if there’s one thing you can be sure of when it comes to an arguable dispute between two people in the poker community, it’s that your all-in shove on the river is getting called every time!

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David Huber

David Huber has been involved in the poker industry for more than a decade: initially as a professional online poker player and later as an editor, consultant, writer, and forum manager. Known as "dhubermex" online, David's poker-related work has been heavily published across numerous websites since 2004.