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Live tells - tales from the frontline

By: overpast @ 04:49 (EST) / 319 / Comment ( 0 )
Okay, so its a friendly £5 game in the pub but sometimes you don't need to be Derren Brown to get some extra help.

1. When you're in the big blind, don't look at your cards before it is your turn and say "oh fuck" out loud - am I allowed to say that?

We'll see. So I was in the small blind and one person had limped in (everyone limps in the pub, if you raise, everyone goes 'ooooooh' and folds) and I was in the small blind and it folded round to me and was about to look at my cards when I noticed the big blind going for his, so stopped to watch and he didn't react and was about to give it up when he rolled his eyes, banged his fist on the table - he's a big guy - and said "oh fuck". So I raised and everyone goes 'ooooooh' and folded, the big blind disgustedly slammed his 47 down face up.

2. If you pair one of your hole cards on the flop, try to avoid picking this card up and waving it around in the middle of the hand.

Unfortunately I wasn't in this one, but two people in the usual unraised pot and the flop is a queen and two low unsuited cards, like 62 or something. So the first guy bets, which means he has a queen and the second guy calls, which means he has almost anything. Then a king comes on the turn, so the first guy bets again and the second guy calls and the first guy makes a big show of looking puzzled. Then the river is a blank and the first guy carries on making a big show of looking puzzled, then (clearly) stares directly at the queen on the flop, then he puts his finger on it and pulls it towards himself - everyone else is just staring into space and talking amongst themselves as usual - then he picks it up and waves it around, gives everyone a last puzzled look, puts it back down and checks. The other guy checks as well and they both have queens but the first guy has a ten and the other guy only a nine, and everyone just carries on with the next hand.

So I don't really know anything about all this James Bond, if he touches his left ear on the turn he's bluffing stuff, but seems to me you don't always need to be that eagle eyed. Typically when people find themselves with big decisions, the stare at the ceiling, or the flop or they look at their own cards a few more times and the last thing they do is look at the other person and when you see someone else do it, it is almost incredible the way they contort their bodies to do almost everything except look at the other person. Meanwhile the other person is right up to the table, chin out, elbows out, leaning forward (fold) or almost literally trying to hide under the table (call)! I don't think the £5 pub players are into reverse tells.

Sometimes even the pros do it on tv - it is of course a lot easier to match their body language with their cards because you can see what they've got. It is sort of a cliche but even a lot of pros touch their nose when their cards and their actions don't match - whether it is slow playing a big hand or bluffing with nothing. They definitely do. Roland de Wolfe did it on the World Open just now - he limped from the small blind with KJ, the big blind raised with KQ, Roland literally flicked the extra chips off his stack and touched his nose and clearly does not want to play a raised pot out of position with KJ. Probably this is too thin to notice if you can't see his cards, but when you see what he does, knowing what he has it is obvious I think.
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