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Encouraging a Tell

15/05/2018 by Byron Jacobs

Here at D&B we are very excited about the new book (Excelling at Live Poker) that Alex Fitzgerald is currently working on. Alex’s previous book, The Myth of Poker Talent received rave reviews and explained in great detail exactly how poker situations should be analysed.

I know very little about Brad Booth. I’ve never met him personally.

What I do know is, he used to be in tense hands with players and ask them, “have you ever seen a baby pigeon?”

I asked myself one day why the hell he did that. I was always trying to watch the best players and poach their plays. He was living in a Bellagio Suite at the time, so I figured he was worth a look.

Once I figured it out, I thought it was one of the smartest things I”d ever seen in poker.

What was your reaction to that question when you read it?

You were completely confused, right?

That’s exactly the reaction you want to get from people.

Generally, people are not sweating anything with a big hand. We already have evidence that this player has a low heartbeat when he has a hand.

If he has an honest reaction to an absurd question, then he generally has a hand.

Of course, this question can only be used sparingly. You need to come up with other absurd questions that would get confused answers.

Some of my favorites include:

“How’s your bracket?” (Used during March Madness, created by my student Brandon).

“What are your thoughts on South Korea?”

“Do you find Michelle Obama attractive?”

“What IF God was one of us?”

If someone just guffaws at what you just said then you know they’re calm. That could be a bluff, but I’d generally bet against it.

If they stare at the pot, that’s likely because they just told themselves, “stare at this chip and don’t make a move.” The way people generally do when they bluff.

This is why Daniel Negreanu abhors the no talking rule.

This is why I abhor the no talking rule.

If you enjoy the full article and think this book is for you then pre-order now and the book or ebook will be sent to you as soon as it publishes: Excelling at Live Poker