Having been away for a few weeks, it has taken a good few days to trawl through the posts in the forum. But one in particular caught my eye. It was one about abuse at the tables.
For as long as I’ve played online poker I’ve seen abuse been thrown around. In the olden days though it would be restricted to ‘lucky so-and-so’, or ‘idiot’ comments. Nowadays, it’s degenerated into a complete bloodbath of hate filled abuse. Whether it be racist, sectarian or verbal sexual abuse, there is absolutely no need for it at an online poker table.
If these people had to make the vile comments we so commonly see online, at a live casino game, their feet wouldn’t touch the floor as they headed for the exits. No casino in the world would allow abuse anywhere near the level we see online.
I have no problem with people having a bit of banter at the table. But when the comments degenerate into a personal hate filled attack then something has to be done. Too many sites are turning a blind eye to chat abuse. When people complain to the sites they are commonly told to ‘just switch the chat off’ or the sites don’t even reply to the complaint. This level of disinterest from the sites means the problem will only get worse. The sites have to clamp down sooner rather than later.
I will say that I have abused people at the tables in the past and probably will in the future, but I have never questioned anyones race, religion, or sexual preferences. I don’t know them, so I see no need to personalise abuse. The odd comment of ‘monkey’ or ‘idiot’ has more or less been my limit in the past and will do me fine if I feel the need to type anything in the future.
So what to do if you are being abused at the tables? It’s easy to say this, but a lot harder to do, but you must resist from getting into a slanging match. All you need to type is that you have the history of the chat and will be reporting the offender to the site. And ask others at the table to do the same. Maybe the sites will do something if several people complain at the same time.
Sites need to start taking a bit more responsibility for the chat functions. They need to go back to basics on the matter. They never used to tolerate the problem but it looks obvious to me that ‘money talks’. As long as they are making money then they will turn a blind eye to the problem. We as a community should be trying to change that.