Poker Eyes, Up is a high card...

I love tells and reading people. I invite myself to get snapped off by a lot of reverse tells by broadcasting my reads on here, I imagine. If you are smart another to do that, and remember what I fall for enjoy the pots. I once told somebody two of my favorites and coincidentally I got snapped off twice later that session by somebody else employing them both as fake tells. That was fun. That's what I get for teaching a poker school. Granted no tell, false tell, or reverse tell is 100%, but just odd to have them go just opposite the day I was coaching their importance... was a little bit humbling.

There is an article that trys to tie into poker tells and eye movements but I'm not so sure of the worth of it. Read it here. I suspect in games like Razz, Stud there may be some significance to it, but even then the research doesn't show a concrete connection.

Basically, they have shown that if a person is thinking about a number if it is bigger than their previous number they were thinking of their eyes move upward and to the right. If it is lower they move their eyes downward and to the left. The Science article I read suggests this is bad for poker players, but I find the connection tenuous at best.

For one, the people studied where abstractly thinking up numbers. So let's say dude was thinking of the number 12. Prior to saying his next number, if it was higher number, he'd look right and up. If it was lower he'd look left and down. The brain processes at work here are involved in creating a number. The eyes movements mirror where the number would be if the particpant were looking at a board of numbers in front of him-left to right = smaller to bigger, same with down to up. The bigger the separation between the two numbers the more exaggerated the person would look.

It's nice to know, and probably somewhat predictable, when the brain is concocting a number the physical body mimics the process of looking for a new one. It makes sense in a way. You ever find yourself physically moving when anticipating a conversation as though you were actually speaking to a person. Same principle I guess.

Here's the but... But in poker you don't concoct numbers. You look at cards with ranks on them. If the study showed that when you saw a higher rank, or perhaps your hand improved, your eye movements reflected the same positioning then it would be information you could use.

Logically, that may be true. May be. But there is no evidence to suggest it is. What is also interesting there is some credence to liars looking up when coming up with a lie and to their creative side while they tell one. Here, if they were lieing about a smaller number they'd be doing just the opposite. Sometimes you can test a bluffer by asking about his hand and seeing which way his eyes move upon his reply. If you know for sure he's lying you might be able to proceed.

Now, there is your application. Course you have to sort out if the guy is lying about a lesser hand or telling the truth(or ranked hand). Couple of variables there. The pertinent information for poker players would be a follow up study to see if the same movements occur when there is improvement or possible weakneing of a holding. Surprised Mike Caro isn't funding these types of studies.

Still, I will be monitoring whether or not players eyes reflect these improvements on my own next time I play live poker. Maybe I should just video tape myself as I play online and sync it with the session, just to study eye habits when cards are revealed.

Alright, that's it for today. To win money off me don't bother looking up or down just take your eyeballs out like Keith Lehr does. I'll be unsettled enough to just give you the pot.


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