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Betrosexuals: A Poker Online Phenomenon
by Sage Kalmus

People wear all sorts of disguises at the poker table: weakness, strength, bluster, naivety. Itís the nature of the game. So it only makes sense that new forms of deception at the poker table would evolve as the popularity of the gameís newest innovation -- poker online -- spread. Itís no wonder then that, when you canít see the person youíre playing against, thereís a good chance theyíre not who they profess to be -- like male or female.

Itís an honest to goodness phenomenon, with its very own name -- Betrosexuality: presenting oneself as the opposite gender at a poker online table.

Now, to be fair to the term, and its history, Betrosexuality was actually coined prior to its use in poker online, and occasionally with slightly different implications. Here are a couple of alternate definitions of the terms:

- Betrosexuals wager on both menís and womenís sporting events
- Betrosexuals sell sexual favors by lottery

Recent research analyzed by Nottingham Trent University Professor Mark Griffiths reports that 23% of female British poker online players pretend to be men and more than 10% of British male poker online players pretend to be women. British betrosexuals are reportedly wagering an estimated 213 million pounds sterling at poker online rooms.

There are a few ways gender is represented at a poker online table that may elude some players, theyíre so subtle. But as much in the background as they are, they make a potent impact in peopleís gameplay. They are:

Screen Names: A poker online playerís chosen nickname has always been a prime indicator of their demeanor (or posed demeanor) -- so The Terminator would connote aggressiveness and Bill Gates might suggest a limitless bankroll; poker online screen names can also connote gender (ie. Poker Daddy, Hot Mamma, Club Girl, Mr. Poker);

Avatars: If your poker online room uses avatars (3D human or humanoid figures) to represent the players, you could easily throw your fellow players off kilt (if you know how to use this advantage, that is -- more on that in a moment);

Chat: The chat window is always a popular part of the poker online experience as this is where people often betray themselves. That said, still others, knowing this fact, only pretend to do so.

But using this form of deception effectively requires far more than simply misrepresenting yourself. For, once youíve planted the seed, you need to know how to nurture and grow it. You need -- in other words -- to know how gender plays into poker online and off alike, and you need to know how to play the game based on this knowledge.

So letís get to the two basic considerations in questioning your betrosexuality in poker online:
Why would a woman pretend to be a man?
Many women believe men tend to play more aggressively against women but less so when playing against other men.

Why would a man pretend to be a woman?
Many men believe players loosen up their gameplay when they believe theyíre playing against a women as they expect the woman to be a poorer player and therefore not know the value, or lack thereof, of the cards they are holding.
As you can undoubtedly see, both misconceptions are poison at a poker online table. You might as well just hand over your chips to the other players than allow yourself to succumb to foolish and stereotypical attitudes about how gender influences poker ability.

That said, as we see it, there are two ways to beat Betrosexuals at the poker online tables: Keep your poker online strategy consistent and gender neutral, or become a Betrosexual yourself!


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