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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 01-02-2019, 06:30 AM   #1
Join Date: Jun 2018
Posts: 445
reading through conversation

i have always been slightly skeptical about formulaic approaches to reading body language and behavior. ive always figured that this aspect of the game is more instinctual and hard to learn (maybe im wrong)

on the other hand, it seems like picking up on information through conversation would be more effective, and something that could be learned through practice

many live pro's talk to their opponents during hands, or at least say things to provoke a reaction

do any of you view this the same way: that conversation is the most effective avenue for picking up on information at the table? im sure this has been talked to death already but i think its an interesting topic. this is my first time posting in this sub-forum
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Old 01-02-2019, 04:25 PM   #2
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Re: reading through conversation

I think talking is very valuable. For those who have their headphones on and ignore everyone at the table, I think they're missing out on a lot.
I'm no pro, that's why I realized I have to be very careful what I say myself.
Any observant villain can pick up on a lot, pro or no pro.
For example, one guy raises in early position with QTo.
It comes to showdown. Your neighbor says to you, " he raised utg with that? " . You now have a ton of info on this guy about how he thinks about the game.
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Old 02-26-2019, 09:28 AM   #3
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Re: reading through conversation

I'm not so sure we want to separate body language and behavior from conversation. They are a package deal. In general I think that 'words' should be more consistent than physical tells from person to person and that may be what you are referring to in your comfort level of applying them. Players may use the same words, but offer differing body language or inflections during their delivery.

That being said I would say that 'learning/recognizing' conversation keys wouldn't necessarily be easier with practice, but would supply a more consistent result and ultimately become more reliable during the decision making process.

Don't ignore the physical tells that come along with conversation. A person's body can reflect how genuine they are during a discussion, especially the eyes and lips. ZE has put some effort into analyzing smile types. GL
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Old 02-26-2019, 01:16 PM   #4
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Re: reading through conversation

I don't deliberately initiate conversation in order to elicit responses but I agree that generally what people say at the table is more valuable than trying to interpret body language and physical tells.

For example, I know players who like to employ a trick to get calls when they have big hands. Suppose they have a set and they make a bet on a threatening river card, like a card that completes a flush or straight. As soon as their opponent shows any uncertainty or discomfort, they will admit, in a friendly and conciliatory tone, that they don't have the obvious threatening hand (the flush or straight). By taking the strongest hands out of their range, they increase the likelihood that the opponent will call with a hand they beat. I've seen it work numerous times.
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Old 03-06-2019, 02:28 AM   #5
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Re: reading through conversation

It's a strength for me and I agree it is highly "instinctual" ... which really means subconscious/intuitive, i.e. learned insight ... not an instinct per se. It's kind of in the you have it or you don't category, at least in regards to having it strong enough to be a weapon. People are very, very different in their aptitudes and this is no exception. The math specialists often fail so utterly at psycholinguistics that its shocking. Conversely, intuitive types can be shockingly blind in other areas.
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