Do Tell…

I’m a little out of practice on the live scene, so I’ve been reading up a bit today to refresh my memory which will hopefully give me a better chance in Panama. One thing I’ve been specifically focused on getting to grips with is live poker tells.

In all the live tournaments I’ve played I have never managed to find someones tell.  Sometimes I’d hero call and be right.  Sometimes I’d hero call and be wrong.  There was never any real consistency in the ways I was trying to gather information from players about the strength of their hands and this has proved to be a major leak.

Playing live there is a plethora of information at my disposal which I’ve completely failed to utilize.  I put this down to the fact that I’m so used to playing online that I can get into a routine of how specific hands should be played at certain times and haven’t read much into such things as eye contact and body language.  By the time Panama rolls around I’m hoping to be completely up to date with my live tells and for the first time actually be able to put them to use.

One issue though.

It appears that I am giving off tells myself.  I know this because the last few tournaments I have entered I’ve done everything by the book for hours and the one hand I decide to go out of line I have been hero called by junk (which of course was good!).  You could argue that people are capable of hero calling with no tells, determining whether or not their hand is good with all the other information available to them, however I have run the hands through my head a number of times since and the calls are definitely -ev without the use of other information.  Needless to say this could be problematic going forward.  It’s all very well and good to know about what tells to try and spot, but finding your own one can’t be read on a website.

It’s got me thinking about what my process is when I’m dealt my cards.  I remember watching one of the EPT events on live stream whilst playing a few of my own tournaments online one night.  There was one player that actually started to irritate me.  He wore both sunglasses and had headphones and never spoke a word.  Every time he got dealt cards he’d look at them slowly, then sit there for a good 1 minute (if not longer) regardless of the hand in front of him, then take his action.  Even if he was dealt 72o UTG, he’d sit there for a minute in absolute silence and then fold.

This seems like an extreme example but I can imagine at one point or another this player realised he had a live tell and the only way he could get rid of it was to introduce a completely methodical routine in every single hand he played.

I don’t really want to go that far down that road as I never intend to wear sunglasses at the poker table, however I do need to come up with a system of playing hands that doesn’t give away any further information about the strength of my hand.  I do occasionally like wearing headphones at the table (only if the table isn’t very talkative), however even things like pausing your music can be a clue that you are more involved in the hand that you’ve previously let on.

Either way, I’ve got some swatting up to do before I venture to Panama.  I’m not turning up as dead money and I want to give myself the best possible chance of doing well.

If anyone has any advice please do tell…


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