Trash Talk with Phil and Gavin

Trash Talk... Does It Help or Hurt Your Play?

Let's ask Phil Hellmuth

Question: What kind of tells do you get from people talking at the table?

Answer: When people talk, they give away their hands, it's just a fact. So, if I can engage someone in talking in the middle of a hand, I am going to get a lot of information from them. They almost just tell me what their hand is when they start talking.

Question: Do you say things to get under their skin?

Answer: I never intentionally get under anyone's skin. If they are playing a lot of pots against me then I will say something to them but I only get upset when someone puts a bad beat on me. There wasn't a lot of " Poker Brat" behavior at the World Series this year. It's never been intentional. I've been trying to show more class at the table for a long time and suddenly this year, out of the blue, it happened.

Question: What do you do if the guy won't talk back to you at the table?

Answer: That's okay, if he won't talk back, he won't talk back. What are you going to do?

Question: You don't keep trying to talk to them to get something out of them?

Answer: I'll chat with them for a while and then what can you do after that?

Question: If someone talks with you as opposed to being silent, what does that mean?

Answer: If they talk with me I just gain information. If they talk back to me they just give me all kinds of information.

Question: Does that mean they are strong if they are confident enough to talk back?

Answer: Not necessarily.

Question: Do you think that people who are obnoxious at the table are obnoxious away from it as well?

Answer: You know, Mike Matusow is obnoxious at the table, but he has a heart of gold. So I don't think that he's obnoxious away from the table, but he is at the table. There is a misconception about some of this stuff. By misconception I mean you expect someone to be a certain way based on what you see, but they aren't really that way.

Question: How much of the trash talk is an act to gain information, and how much is how people really are?

Answer: I don't think it's an act. I think it's sincere. I think Mike Matusow is sincere. I think that someone can be sincerely talking trash, but for a different reason than what most people think. A lot of people think we talk trash to get an advantage, and Mike may well do that. Someone like me, I talk trash only after someone plays a hand badly against me and beats me. That doesn't give me very much of an edge and often when I am talking trash I am getting emotional and not playing as well.

Let's talk with Gavin Smith

Question: How does talking at the table help you?

Answer: I think it helps to gain information if you are facing people who are a little less experienced, they might give off some information on their hand if you can get them talking. It helps me just keep the atmosphere light and more enjoyable. I just enjoy it. For me it helps because it helps me play in the atmosphere I enjoy playing in.

Question: Do you like to talk smack at the table?

Answer: I usually just talk gibberish. If someone irritates me I guess I might talk a little BS, but for the most part not.

Question: If someone criticizes your play, would you talk back?

Answer: It depends who it is. I might talk back sometimes, but I don't care if they criticize me.

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