Whether you are playing $1-limit poker at the kitchen table or pot-limit poker at the Stardust in Las Vegas, whether you are playing poker for fun or for a living, once a week or every day, you have to understand that the object of the game is to make money. That’s where the profits are.
That’s where the fun is. That’s the way the game is scored. Jack Straus, 1982 poker champion, has said he’d bust his own grandmother if she was in a pot with him, which is pretty much the only attitude a serious poker player can have when he or she sits down behind a stack of chips. Whatever the environment and whoever your opponents happen to be, you must play the game tough; you must play the game to win money.
That does not mean you cannot joke or socialize, whether at the kitchen table or in a Las Vegas card room. Quite to the contrary. In a public card room people seem to mind losing their money to a sociable person less than losing it to a mole. However, when the cards are dealt, you are no longer a grandson, a friend, or a nice guy; you are a player.