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Old 01-28-2014, 11:36 PM   #1
NYC_Jon
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Hand Tremors Affecting Image

I have a minor condition that affects the way that others play against me. Whenever I have my arm extended and my hand manipulating something, my hand shakes slightly, but definitely noticeably. This happens if I'm moving chips at 5/10NL, playing a $5 sng with friends, or lifting a spoonful of soup. Several times at LLSNL, I've had people say things like "your hands are shaking, I call (or fold)".

I haven't noticed an overwhelming trend towards call or fold either way, but I haven't kept statistics on it and even if I had, wouldn't have a very large sample size. Up until now, I haven't done anything about it and just played however feels natural to me. Typically after awhile, people will realize I'm not nervous and it's just the way my hands are, at which point they'll no longer base any decisions on that.

Recently though, I've thought there may be potential for me to exploit this in some way against certain players. I've never done any hollywooding or been into speeches at the table or anything like that, but this seems like I may have an opportunity with this. What do you all think? Is there a way I can work this to my advantage or should I just continue playing as if nothing is different?
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Old 01-28-2014, 11:39 PM   #2
DjSkyy
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Re: Hand Tremors Affecting Image

the books say shaking hands usually mean the nuts, esp from amateurs.

i've generally found this to be true.
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Old 01-28-2014, 11:42 PM   #3
DUCYdonk
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Re: Hand Tremors Affecting Image

If anything, people are supposed to assume that it means strength, but I wouldn't consider it a reliable tell. Anyone paying attention is going to see that you do it every hand and attribute it to physical reasons.
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Old 01-28-2014, 11:43 PM   #4
jsmo0th10
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Re: Hand Tremors Affecting Image

I would absolutely use this to your advantage.

Hand shaking is a pretty reliable tell for a huge hand. You should be noticing a high % of folds vs you.

I would use this to your advantage and start off sessions vs unknown villains bluffing at a higher frequency than you normally would. Then obv wait for the goooodz
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Old 01-29-2014, 12:07 AM   #5
troloyolo
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Re: Hand Tremors Affecting Image

Any chance you play at the seminole hardrock?

I saw the guy do this once and the first couple of times I saw it (at least within the context of how he was betting) I was glad I wasn't in the hand b/c I was totally convinced he had the fkn nuts.

If you are at the hardrock, be careful of who you are trying to sell on this b/c for the most part it's filled with the most oblivious players on earth.

Cheers
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Old 01-29-2014, 12:33 AM   #6
Jay S
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Re: Hand Tremors Affecting Image

I have a similar issue (specifics are a bit different but it's hand tremors unrelated to poker). I've been called out on it after hands more times than I can count. Everyone thinks they're friggin Mike Caro.

You can try to exploit it; it's like any other fake tell, except that you sometimes have no choice about whether or not to do it. To be honest though, I don't think it really affects much. Many opponents won't notice or care, and the ones who do won't all respond the same way. It should almost certainly shift your optimal strategy ever so slightly toward more bluffing, but I'd worry that the magnitude of potential losses from making the adjustment incorrectly is much greater than the magnitude of potential gains from adjusting correctly.
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Old 01-29-2014, 12:50 AM   #7
NYC_Jon
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Re: Hand Tremors Affecting Image

Thanks everyone for their feedback so far.

Some people have thought I was acting, although they were in the majority because it doesn't really look like that.

Quote:
Originally Posted by DjSkyy View Post
the books say shaking hands usually mean the nuts, esp from amateurs.

i've generally found this to be true.
Quote:
Originally Posted by DUCYdonk View Post
If anything, people are supposed to assume that it means strength, but I wouldn't consider it a reliable tell. Anyone paying attention is going to see that you do it every hand and attribute it to physical reasons.
This has generally been my attitude before, but it's pretty noticeable when I'm in a pot heads up with someone and betting on the turn or the river.

Quote:
Originally Posted by jsmo0th10 View Post
I would absolutely use this to your advantage.

Hand shaking is a pretty reliable tell for a huge hand. You should be noticing a high % of folds vs you.

I would use this to your advantage and start off sessions vs unknown villains bluffing at a higher frequency than you normally would. Then obv wait for the goooodz
Quote:
Originally Posted by troloyolo View Post
Any chance you play at the seminole hardrock?

I saw the guy do this once and the first couple of times I saw it (at least within the context of how he was betting) I was glad I wasn't in the hand b/c I was totally convinced he had the fkn nuts.

If you are at the hardrock, be careful of who you are trying to sell on this b/c for the most part it's filled with the most oblivious players on earth.

Cheers
I didn't think I was the only one out there. It's interesting to hear how that played out.

I've never played there, but I'll be in Key Largo in a couple months so I might play a bit on my way down.


So far what I'm thinking is that I'll keep playing the same and not make any adjustments except for one situation: early in a session taking advantage of additional fold equity against thinking, observant players.
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Old 01-29-2014, 12:53 AM   #8
NYC_Jon
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Re: Hand Tremors Affecting Image

Quote:
Originally Posted by Jay S View Post
I have a similar issue (specifics are a bit different but it's hand tremors unrelated to poker). I've been called out on it after hands more times than I can count. Everyone thinks they're friggin Mike Caro.

You can try to exploit it; it's like any other fake tell, except that you sometimes have no choice about whether or not to do it. To be honest though, I don't think it really affects much. Many opponents won't notice or care, and the ones who do won't all respond the same way. It should almost certainly shift your optimal strategy ever so slightly toward more bluffing, but I'd worry that the magnitude of potential losses from making the adjustment incorrectly is much greater than the magnitude of potential gains from adjusting correctly.
Thanks for this. I've only played live for about a year and a half, and not very frequently at that, so I'm sure you have a lot more experience dealing with it than me.

It's good to know my original conclusion to not change my play at all is pretty close to optimal. I think you'd agree with the situation I mentioned in my last post, but you make a really good point about the greater risk of over adjusting.
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Old 01-29-2014, 04:41 AM   #9
dgiharris
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Re: Hand Tremors Affecting Image

FWIW, the sad truth in live games is that players want to call, raise, or fold and they will use ANY physical or visual tell to justify the action that they want to take.

In your case, since your hands shake all the time you are actually perfectly balanced with your tells and thus it is impossible for anyone to accurately read your shaking hands and correlate that to your hand strength.

In any event, truthfully, I just wouldn't worry about it. I wouldn't even bother explaining it to the table. Let people think what they want to think and it will naturally work to your advantage.
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