Poker Players: It’s Time to Channel Your Inner Calling Station

By Robbie Strazynski
April 01, 2020

Calling Station: A poker term used to pejoratively describe someone who consistently calls bets and rarely raises, regardless of the strength of his or her hand.

Nobody wants to have the image of a calling station at the poker table. Occasionally you’ll win a hand or two from the over-aggressive player who doesn’t realize you can’t be bluffed, but more often than not, all that calling will deplete your chip stack with relentless abandon.

But desperate times call for desperate measures, and with the COVID-19 pandemic raging across the world, these are desperate times, indeed.

To be clear, I’m not advocating that we all become calling stations at the tables, but rather that we become calling stations AWAY from the tables.

calling station

Social Distancing Doesn’t Mean Being Socially Distant

With increasing amounts of people around the world in some sort of isolation, lockdown, or quarantine, there’s essentially no live poker being played right now. That means vastly decreased amounts of natural social interaction.

Humans are social beings, even among the most introverted among us, and being forced to stay apart has many of us realizing that we’ve perhaps taken our friends, family, colleagues, and even our opponents at the felt for granted.

Sure, the virtual felts of online poker allow us to keep playing the game we love, whether for real or play money, but that alone cannot serve as the panacea for forced or self-imposed isolation.

I Call!

All that preamble is a means of introducing what I’d like to be known as the #callingstation campaign, and before someone chimes in otherwise, no – this isn’t some ill-conceived April Fool’s Day joke.

I’d like to humbly suggest that each day in the month of April we all take a few moments to pick up the phone and actually call someone just to say hello. It can be a poker friend, an industry colleague, a distant family member we haven’t spoken with in a while… literally anyone.

That’s a personal pledge I’m making, and I’ll be starting today by calling my friend Tom Wheaton, founder and CEO of Faded Spade Playing Cards, as it just so happens to be his 40th birthday today.

Moreover, I’d be quite happy to get in touch with some of you guys out there, the wonderful fans of Cardplayer Lifestyle. Maybe instead of just reading, commenting on, and sharing these articles, you’d like to say hi to me and chat for a few minutes? Feel free to go ahead and email me at [email protected] with your phone number and a good time to call in your time zone (please specify), and I’ll try to reach out to as many of you as I can.

I’m “calling out” all poker players. Let’s get this thing going!

Transcending Poker

While this is a poker site and a “poker-themed” initiative, the #callingstation campaign is obviously one with the potential to very easily transcend the boundaries of the poker world.

We all have social media platforms at our disposal via which to make our voices heard, and the world is in dire need of good news these days. Too often, when poker hits the mainstream news cycle it’s for negative reasons like scandals, cheating, and the like. We have it in our power to change the narrative and spread some genuine positivity and joy by collectively harnessing our inner #callingstation. Let’s do our part to give poker a better name with some good publicity.

So, who ya gonna call? 🙂



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Written By.

Robbie Strazynski

Robbie founded in 2009. A veteran member of the poker media corps, in addition to writing and video presenting, Robbie has hosted multiple poker podcasts over the years, including Top Pair, the Red Chip Poker Podcast, The Orbit, and the CardsChat Podcast. In 2019, Robbie translated the autobiography of Poker Hall of Famer Eli […]


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