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Poker Tells/Behavior, hosted by: Zachary Elwood Discussions about poker tells, behavior, and psychology, with a focus on live poker.

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Old 09-20-2017, 04:23 PM   #26
AngryPidgeon
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Join Date: Aug 2013
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Re: How frequently should I be able to spot tells?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Shai Hulud View Post
I often get where someone is emotionally but not what it means.
I had a hand a couple weeks ago where I raised my AK and had one caller to the flop. I had been playing much more aggressively than normal because I won a few big pots that night.

He bluffed on the flop and turn, throwing out bets without delay. I correctly surmise he is afraid of the board, his actions seem erratic. River brings A, and he shoves. I should have folded, his mannerisms changed instantly. He cracked a slight smile, almost looked apologetic. He felt different than his first two bets and I wasn't too surprised when he turned over a flush made on the river.

Confidence is hard to fake. Confidence is casual, matter-of-fact.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Shai Hulud View Post
A guy smugly pushes a stack of chips into the pot and leans back. Is he smug because he has a great hand and wants you to call? Or does he get a thrill from bluffing you?
Thats the right question, depends on the person. What is that person's attention on? Do they typically play the cards? Or do they spend a lot of their time scoping out other players? If they sensed weakness in the hand, the confidence could be from a bluff. Some players get a rush out of bluffing. If they are getting bored, they may be more inclined to start bluffing.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Shai Hulud View Post
My leg is always bouncing. I mean always...I cannot sit still. Are you saying people interpret this as hand strength? Or they should? I'm more concerned at this point with how the recreational players see my behavior than how someone experienced with tells would.
I'm fairly antsy myself, but usually don't have enough room at the table to comfortably move a lot. Some people have ticks like that, its just part of their personality. I saw a very vocal, boisterous player to my right reveal a Q for a flush, when deciding whether to call. His opponent had just bet the river on him. Opponent sees the Q, looks away, and his leg starts bouncing. Probable tell. In fact, he did have the A . He got excited when he realized his nut flush was almost assuredly going to get paid off. The unfortunate truth is that "objective" tells rarely exist. Tells are muddy to begin, and some players are studied on them and will avoid or subvert them.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Shai Hulud View Post
So I should force myself to be still if bluffing? Aren't bluffers usually overly still? I'm confused...
Most people probably don't think about physical tells that much. Online new wave players aren't accustomed to them. Old players are somewhat jaded/skeptical about classic tells for the most part. Especially if you do this frequently, it should be clear to people its not a tell.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Shai Hulud View Post
The liar said he didn't lie and when I mentioned the above hand he said "well I never actually said 'I have a big king'".
Ha! He really doesn't think of himself as a liar. I don't doubt the sincerity of his "I don't lie" statement, he believes it himself. People delude themselves for any number of reasons about any number of traits about themselves. Look at all the people blaming dealers and the cards for their own shortcomings.

I may have incorrectly folded to this guy if I were at your table. I can hear the lack of conviction in his reply though. He couldn't muster an entire sentence to defend the strength of his hand. It sounds like he rattled of some quip, looking to appease or otherwise be agreeable.

--

Hindsight is 20/20 for tells and reading the table. Far too often, it doesn't all click together until the hand or the game is long over.
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Old 09-21-2017, 05:46 AM   #27
Poker Clif
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Re: How frequently should I be able to spot tells?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Shai Hulud View Post
I often get where someone is emotionally but not what it means. A guy smugly pushes a stack of chips into the pot and leans back. Is he smug because he has a great hand and wants you to call? Or does he get a thrill from bluffing you? An old man frowns when the river card brings a 4 flush. Is he frowning because he has only the K high flush? Or is he frowning because his set is now worthless? Or is he frowning with the nuts because it's a stressful situation and he's trying to figure out how to get max value? Just about any emotional reaction can mean more than one thing. I'm not very good at figuring out which is which.

My leg is always bouncing. I mean always...I cannot sit still. Are you saying people interpret this as hand strength? Or they should? I'm more concerned at this point with how the recreational players see my behavior than how someone experienced with tells would.

So I should force myself to be still if bluffing? Aren't bluffers usually overly still? I'm confused...

Agree poker players are usually honest. Kind of. Though I've encountered quite a few players who will say bald-faced lies about their hand strength. I remember one guy who made a big bet on the river--his opponent said "you must have something big. Do you have a king [for trips]?" and the bluffer said "a big king" The guy called anyway and the bluffer had nothing. I caught him lying several more times and told another player he shouldn't believe him (not during a hand of course). The liar said he didn't lie and when I mentioned the above hand he said "well I never actually said 'I have a big king'".

So to him there was a distinction between falsely answering a direct question very specifically and making the equivalent declarative statement. And it's pretty common for poker players to tell themselves things like this so you have to interpret their statements very carefully. They are often extremely deceptive but technically true. And sometimes they are completely false. I think generally people are more truthful than not but keep in mind voluntarily talking about hand strength is generally intended to be deceive.

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Years ago our family went to therapy as part of the process of finalizing a special needs sibling group adoption. While we were in therapy our shrink got a very good read on me. One day we were all sitting there and one of my future sons, who thought he might have a disease whenever it was mentioned in a TV program, asked our shrink, "Do I have ADD? The shrink replied, "No, but your father does."

He saw how I acted, talked, and fidgeted in my chair and recognized what it meant. His diagnosis was confirmed by my family doctor.

The point of this story is that the doctor had a baseline. He saw me in multiple sessions. He didn't make a quick read and decide that he had a tell. Once he had a baseline, if I wasn't fidgeting he would have known that something was up. That difference from my baseline behavior would have been a tell.

If you're always fidgeting, you're not giving off a tell. You have nothing to worry about.

Last edited by Poker Clif; 09-21-2017 at 05:48 AM. Reason: Inserted "future" in the first paragraph.
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