The “girlfriend effect” in live poker

girlfriend pokerThere are many things that poker professionals and amateurs discuss regarding their favorite game, but most of the issues are technical ones aimed at helping players push their career into overdrive. Those who play exclusively over the Internet, are less concerned about the kind of distractions that affect players in live casinos, as they can easily create the perfect environment in the comfort of their home.

One question that frequently arises and which is worth answering by both categories of players is whether it is a good idea to play with your girlfriend next to you. Some call it the “girlfriend effect” and strongly advises against it, others have no opinion on this topic but the debate is still raging. Some powerful observations made by regular Yahoo users and brief explanations on this sensitive matter can be found at

Basically, these guys are suggesting players to refrain from bringing their better halves to the tables, even if this seems to be a harmless thing. The obvious downside is that when you are surrounded by people you know, you are under additional pressure and even a single person can make matters worse for you. What happens is that players tend to impress their girlfriend by playing more hands or by shifting into more aggressive gear, as it can be downright boring to watch someone who folds dozens of hands.

The girlfriend effect can sometimes translate into more bluffs being made at the poker table, which is almost always a bad idea. A savvy player and a keen observer will immediately realize the possibility of being bluffed more often, and will be tempted to call more hands. Obviously, those who are at a superior level of comprehension and have the ability to block out any outside stimulus, can take advantage of this situation and induce the idea of bluffing.

Overall, the risks outweigh the benefits and arguments such as spending more time together don’t hold to trial. Those who assume that keeping the girlfriend around while playing poker accounts as spending quality time are simply lying to themselves and this wishful thinking will backfire. It is most unlikely for a girlfriend who is not even remotely interested in poker to find these sessions enthralling and instead will get bored quickly.

The bottom line is that players need to find the perfect balance between their social life and poker career, and mixing them together is not the kind of compromise they need to make. Make time for your girlfriend but don’t bring her to the tables, as your good intentions will be rendered useless by actual results. There is no point in creating additional tension in your relationship while hurting your poker profits.

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