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Navarro says there are important verbal tells, too

Re-published courtesy of our content partner Ante Up Magazine.

Joe Navarro

You’re an expert in non-verbal behavior, but surely during your studies you’ve heard plenty of comments. With the WSOP approving table talk this year, what are some verbal cues (e.g. cracked voice, incessant chatter) you’ve discovered and what do you think they mean? — Matt Cooper, via email

That is a great question and one I hear more and more. Over the years, I’ve found people who lack confidence, people who are weak or marginal, tend to have a few vocal tells worthy of mentioning. When we are stressed, we tend to make more speech errors and our vocal chords get strained so the pitch of our voice goes up.
Ask another player a question and the cough or the need to clear their throat before answering may tell you they’re suddenly weak. Or they answer and the voice cracks or goes up an octave.

If you hear these things, chances are something is bothering the player; the question is what is it? Is it stress because they’re marginal or weak, or are they hiding their strength? That’s where betting patterns come in to help you sort that out.

What is the most common tell you see at the poker tables? — Lisa Patterson, via email.

Three tells are most prominent in poker, though more than 200 have been identified and studied. The most common one is lip compression, which just about everyone does when something is bothering them.
The next one is neck touching when something you see or hear is an issue.

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Are you playing non-exploitable poker?

Re-published courtesy of our content partner Ante Up Magazine.

David Apostolico

Much has been written about exploiting opponents on the felt. This is a critical part of the game. If you can’t identify and exploit the weakness in opponents, you’ll rarely have an edge and ultimately you won’t be successful. I’m quite sure every winning player spends a great deal of time and energy on this aspect of the game.

What is less certain is how much time and energy is spent on a related aspect of the game: making yourself less exploitable by opponents.

Take a minute now to do some soul-searching and ask yourself how much time and energy you spend working on exploiting others vs. working on preventing your exploitation.

Be honest. I’m guessing you spend more time on the former. There’s nothing wrong with that. I don’t believe an equal amount of time needs to be expended on both or that there’s any right percentage.

Every player is different and should play to his strengths to maximize his profits. However, I do think players at every skill level could spend more time and energy working on making their play less exploitable.

So, how do you do this? Mixing up your play and not being predictable is obviously a good starting point. However, poker isn’t played in a vacuum.

If you’ve been super tight in a tournament and find yourself getting short-stacked when everyone folds to you on the button, you may feel your tight image has built some fold equity for you and it’s time to make a move.

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Massey: Updates from the Tournament Circuit

What's up World,

I have been slacking on the blog I know.  My POS computer died in Miami and I have been lazy I guess.  Anyways, I'm sitting at the restaurant bar in the lobby of Harrah's St. Louis at the moment.  I'm watching the Bulls vs Heat on 1 screen and Hawks vs Coyotes (Game 4) on the other.  I came down to eat and write this blog.  Theres 2 other chicago area poker players I know, Manny and Dylan, sitting at the bar watching the game too so I joined them.  Its been quite a nice ride the last few months.  After winning the PLO tourney in Chicago for over $40,000 and a seat to the Main Event, I played the Main there and busted on day 2.  We went out for Lawton's birthday that night in Chicago but stayed home no longer, as i left for Atlantic City to pick up some WSOPC Points that I needed.  I only played 3 tourneys there, and had no cashes.  i did go out a lot however, partying with Kurt and Jacob Bazeley.  We had a really good time away from the felt.  After AC I flew down to Miami to play the tournament series at the Isle in Pompano Beach.  I stayed with my good friend Steve Karp.  He has a nice house on North Miami beach w a pool and an extra bedroom.  He also had an extra car for me to use…. Thanks Steve.

The first tournament was the day after I flew in. the $570 $75k guarantee.  The field was made up of 20% great players and 80% bad players, and this was a 1 day event.  To make a long story very short I won the tournament in 14hrs for $22,000.  This was the 2nd time in 2 weeks that I flew into a city and won the first tournament I played.  With my newly found fortunes I felt it was ok to skip the rest of the small tournaments at the Isle and basically just play the Main Event.  (another Chicago grinder, Zal, had showed up at the bar to watch the games and joins me on my right.  I've always liked Zal) My brother and Kurt came down for 2 weeks and stayed with Steve as well.  We went out and did a lot of stuff.  We went down to South Beach and partied, went to Space one night until 6am, went to 2 Heat games and was court side, did the beach a bunch of times and some dining,and shopping, etc, etc.. (wow, Hawks just tied it up 2-2 w 2 goals in last few mins!!! 1:26 left in the 3rd) I played the $3500 Main Event and busted.  I spent the next 2 weeks playing cash games.  i decided to skip going to Council Bluffs for the circuit and just stay in Miami and grind.

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Rising Star Shines Brightest at Home

Aaron MasseyHello Everyone,

The last time you heard from me I was in the midst of the 2nd worst downswing of my career.  I had just busted the Borgota $3500 Main Event Flight 1A and was contemplating whether or not to play flight 1B the next day.  I was mentally and emotionally exhausted and I had to consider the bankroll management aspect of being in a single tourney for $7000.  I changed my mind at the last minute and got out of bed 2 hrs late to play flight 1B.  On my 3rd hand I got sucked out for 85% of my stack.  This was demoralizing with all things considered but I didn’t give up.  I played perfect and almost made it to day 3 of the tournament.  I didn’t cash… BUT I DIDN’T QUIT.  I fought so hard against the odds, did the best I could, and put myself in a position to go deep.  I had lost a lot of money but I didn’t care.  I was so proud of the way I composed myself, acting and feeling like a true professional.  I was down on my luck but still moving forward with a supreme confidence.  I had tunnel vision and I was still so hungry for glory.  So off to Tunica I went.

Kurt JewellI met up w one of my best friends, the great Kurt Jewell, when I got down to Tunica.  Kurt won the Hammond Main Event in 2010 for $242k (my home stage—foreshadowing), won another ring in St. Louis in an Omaha8 tourney, the first time he had ever played an Omaha8 tourney (foreshadowing again), then made the Main Event final table here in Tunica last year.  He didn’t win this one though, he held the chip lead w over half the chips in play 8 handed and got 8th.  He blew a big opportunity here, but would soon get a shot at redemption. 

I played very well this trip with 3 cashes; a 23rd place finish in the $355 where I overplayed AK and punted my stack off to some idiot late in the tourney, a 12th place finish in the $565, and an all important cash in the Main Event.  In the Main Event I got off to a horrendous start.  I got sucked out over and over again and was so miserable.  I made my friend Cory Gunz rail me the whole first day so I didn’t just give up and punt my stack away.   He encouraged me and I hung in there.   I showed a lot of heart and I put myself in a spot to go deep, but I fell just short after losing a big coin flip AK to QQ late to eliminate me.  But it wasn’t my tourney to win.  Remember that Kurt Jewell guy I mentioned?  The guy who gave away the Main Event in Tunica last year?  Yeah that’s him….   We stayed and rooted him on.  To make a long story short, I spent the next 2 days watching Kurt play the most unbelievable game of poker he had ever put together on his way to winning his 2nd WSOPC Main Event Championship.  What is even sicker is the REDEMPTION he achieved; a story that gives other poker players hope and inspiration.  There are a lot of other reasons that made this achievement so outstanding but I will not get into them bc this is MY BLOG and should be about ME, not Kurt… 

Just Kidding.  Riding high from his victory he led us down to West Palm Beach for more WSOPC tourneys.

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