A table image is the image other players at your table see of you. As you can well imagine, it is of vital importance.
Hiding who you are and what you have is a successful tactic employed by some of the greatest players in the world. Chris ‘Jesus’ Ferguson, Phil Ivey and Tom Dwan are pros who say barely anything at the table and barely move. They sit serenely, watching the world go by. They may as well be statues. Everything that they do is calculated, slow and measured.
Those over at pubfruitmachines note how by giving away next to nothing they hold an advantage over all their competitors who decide to either say something about a hand or give off a visible emotion after a particularly stressful hand.
Another image used by some pros is the bullying aggressive image. Phil ‘Pokerbrat’ Hellmuth and Mike ‘The Mouth’ Matusow are prime examples of this style. They purposefully deposit their huge personalities on the table next to their chip stack and try to unnerve their opponents. As is usually the case in poker, aggression very often triumphs and these types of players generally fair well.
Some poker writers over online fruit machines have argued that by playing weakly and in an amateurish fashion early on at a table, it can make you money in the long run. This is the ultimate bluff; to pretend to be a weaker player than you are, until, all of a sudden, you pounce on your opponent with a strong play. This works better in live play than online play because online play is generally of a lower standard and most of your opponents won’t even be thinking about the kind of image you are trying to sell them.