I caught one of Grubby’s posts and the following jumped out at me:

I’m usually quiet in chat, not even saying “nh” but throwing in a “ty” if someone says it to me. I think there’s a danger in talking about how bad you’re running, as it affects your image. People will begin taking shots at you, knowing you’ve probably tightened up and will fold to a bluff raise. They may also play bad hands against you, knowing how your “luck” is going, knowing you could tilt at any moment if they happened to catch miracles.

I don’t think I agree with this. It really seems to depend on whether or not you’re projecting weakness. If you aren’t in danger of going on tilt and people are playing bad hands against you in the hopes of catching miracle cards . . . you should be praying for that! If you’ve got the nuts and people are bluff raising you then in the words of George Bush, “Bring it on!” Hell, re-raise me if you think it’ll put me on tilt. I get what his point is but the bottom line is that a little chat isn’t going to convey weakness unless you’re projecting weakness.

I think the decision to chat or not should be based on whether or not it’s harming your game. I’m not a big chatter at the online tables in general (at the b&m tables it’s a totally different story) but every once in a while I’ll find myself at a table with some chatterboxes and I’ll engage. The difference is, I try not to talk about me. I’ll talk about the general game (i.e. “Wow, three of a kind on the flop!”) and/or I try to coax people into playing poorly. Like when the fish calls you all the way to the river with pocket 5’s and the board is AKKT9 and you raised pre-flop and bet out every turn, I might say something like “I’m just glad you didn’t pull another 5 on the river.”

I do make some rare exceptions though and break out of my normal friendly chat (or no-chat) mode and talk a little trash in order to put the table pro in his proper place. For instance, one night I was playing and these two goofballs are playing 99.99999999999% of the hands dealt to them as they banter back and forth about how the other one better watch out because they don’t play trash hands meanwhile they’re showing down with hands like 59o. So after sucking me out on a few hands I went in with the best of it and it held up all the way to the river where he flipped up 86o (no pair, nada). It turned out to be one of those nice sized pots because there was no way he was going to let me push him around on this table and he was raising all of my bets. He typed “Don’t spend those chips just yet. I’m going to take that back from you real soon.” to which I replied “Not playing 86o you won’t.” LOL’s flew around the table and I had accomplished what I had set out to do which was to set him steaming. He started losing after that and several orbits later had given back all of the money he had made up to that point.

Don’t fear chat . . . . master it :-)