I love online poker! There are very few pleasures as perfect as slow playing a pair of pocket aces and then faking a bluff on the last bet, going all in, seeing a group of perfect strangers falling for your trap, and then watching them swear in a foreign language when they see what you have. It’s beautiful.

I even like the inter-cultural dynamic of online poker. It’s wonderful to talk to people from around the world about sports and music and other random things. I enjoy it. What I don’t enjoy is establishing myself at a table, making a few friends and then having a gentleman (usually from Turkey or the United Arab Emirates) join the table and monopolise the chat function with his inane flirting! Anything with a skirt gets chatted up, and because I share a facebook page with my wife, I get flirted with! Nasty, hairy middle-eastern men regularly buy me virtual cocktails and ask me what I’m wearing. The conversation usually goes something like this:

“Hey Baby. You are fine?”
“I’m fine thanks. I am a man”
“Thank you”
“I am enjoy your photography”
“Really? I am enjoy my poker”
“Yes. You very good poker”
“I am good also”
“Hey Baby.”
“I am a man”
“Thank you”
“Baby. You so fine!”
“I AM A %$@!(%#! MAN!!!”
“Thank you”
“Baby. Please let me see you facebook.”
“No. I have a penis. I have no breasts. I AM A MAN!”
“Thank you.”

At which point I usually leave the table in a huff. While in hindsight I can see that this might be amusing to an observer, it’s less funny when it happens to someone who is actually a woman. I therefore call on all facebook men to stand up at the poker table, and with one voice, and in no uncertain terms, tell the “Hey Baby” guys where they can put their keyboards. Enough is enough!