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Tuesday, October 14. 2014
Dr. Ekman's work is fascinating, but Is Paul Ekman stretching the truth?
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James Bond Casino Royale had a tell. Unfortunately the larger plot was impossible to figure out without going to imdb for an explanation. You'd think the plot would have a tell or two in it.
It did have one of my favorite Bond meets girl lines from memory
Female: Am I going to have trouble with you, Mr. Bond?
Bond: No, you're not my type.
Bond: No, single.
Every poker player learns how to pick off tells.
Here's a reliable one.
A player with a made hand (big pair, trips, flush) will be able to talk normally if you talk to her during a hand. One still waiting for a flush or straight to fill will find it difficult to hold a stress-free, normal sounding conversation.
I am sure I have plenty of tells when I play poker. I don't know of any, though.
Each hand I play I do the exact same thing. I'll stop talking, and just concentrate on the hand.
I once pulled a nice bluff. I didn't have much of a hand, was holding on for a straight, wound up with a low 2 pairs. I had 2 other bidders. One was a known bluffer, but he was a tremendous poker player and even knocked me out a few times. He was low stacked, though. The other was my closest competitor at the table chips-wise. I could tell from his behavior I had him beat. Not sure about the other guy.
So I pushed all-in. Lower stacked fellow looked at me incredulously. He asked "are you serious? You want me to go all in?" I replied "No, I'm letting you play another hand."
He was so stunned to hear me speak, he folded.
As I suspected, the other guy had nothing, and I took a chunk of his stack.
The guy who folded had me beat. Easily. But he just had never heard me speak during a hand and it threw him off his game.
Sometimes, it's good to cross up your behaviors.
This is the best bluff story I've heard. I don't know if its true because it seems to violate a rule, but this is how I heard it from a witness. I've also heard it told around Vegas cardrooms.
This was during a tournament game in Vegas, I think it was at Treasure Island. There's a well-known rule "protect your cards", which means, don't let them fall to the floor, don't let anyone see them, don't let the dealer pick them up by mistake.
The guy is to the right of the dealer (10 seat) in a 10 hand hold'em game. Preflop, flop, turn, heavy betting. Only the guy and someone in the 3 seat (as far from the 10 seat as you can get) are left.
The problem is, when the turn bets were made, the dealer picked up 10 seat's cards with the player immediately noticing. The 10 seat still had a live hand. He technically can't win a hand without cards and cards he does not have.
3 seat checks. 10 seat, who has kept his hands folded in front of him, hiding the fact that he has no cards, notices that 3 seat isn't really paying attention, announces "all in". In Vegas when you make an all in bet, you don't push the chips into the pot. So 3 seat's just sitting there, ice water running through his veins, hands folded in front of his non-existent cards, waiting for 10 to decide what to do.
10 wins if he notices 3's got no cards. But he's not paying attention, and after a half minute of deliberation, mucks he cards and folds.
Pot is pushed to 3 seat.
That's how I heard it.
I'm not sure I follow that story. 10 seat's cards are gone, so he pushes all in but then 3 wins because he has no cards?
It's an interesting story if 10 wins after the dealer accidentally didn't notice 10's cards are gone. I think something in the story got messed up, though.
I once folded a winning hand that I KNEW was a winning hand. I wasn't paying attention. In my mind, I'd assumed I'd pushed all in and won, that's how confident I was....and wound up tossing my cards into the pile.
As I tossed them, I yelled "NO!" and reached for them.
The dealer smiled, told me he'd done the same thing in a tournament 2 weeks earlier, and took the cards away.
Stuff happens. You have to be on it all the time. After playing a few hours, sometimes you slip a little.
That kind of fatigue is called "chair glue."
Also, your example is another "protect your cards" situation. In a public card room, if the losing hand kept his cards after the winning hand inadvertently mucked them (tossed them away), the pot is pushed to the outranked hand if the player is still holding cards (if the player is an angle shooter and stands on the rule).
In the tournament situation, everyone "sees" what they expect to be there and no one is paying attention. No. 10 has probably got his arms on the table "hiding" his cards, which you'd do if you were peaking at them. There's multiple stacks of chips around or at his side. When he announced "all in" that's a verbally binding commitment and the chips aren't pushed into the pot because the opponent might fold. If she calls, then they cards are turned up and the dealer will make the appropriate chip transfer. But here, No. 3 literally tossed the cards into the pot, or the dead cards, and the pot was pushed. Both of these actions have formal consequences. Its entirely possible not even the dealer knew what was going on until afterwards.
But, like I said, I wasn't there, but that's how I heard it from a witness (who was the dealer at the ring game I was playing at the time). It is or was a well known story at the time.
It was fascinating to read the Maureen Dowd column - though I more often dislike her - that Bill Clinton was not in fact "an unusually good liar," as Jesse Jackson reportedly said, but a poor one. Everyone knew he was lying, because of his fidgets, his bravado, his slips of the tongue. It's just that people still liked him anyway.
I don't think his opponents ever fully got that while he was in office. We put all our energy into proving he was a liar, believing that people would finally turn on him. Yet though his supporters wouldn't admit they knew, at some level they did. Proving it would only force them into self-honesty. And they liked him.
I'm thinking another strategy might have been better. And might still be better, as it's coming 'round the mountain again.
Ekman's work is solid solid science. He is careful with his methodology. He's spent over four decades doing this work. Applying it with the TSA (given the limits on whom they hire -- not at the caliber of the Israeli airport security, whom are hired out of the army), we are fortunate to have Ekman's techniques protecting us. I know about the development of this TSA approach. Because it was funded by DARPA (Defense Dept), they used army approach to testing it: a blue team was to seek "terrorists" and the red team was to be terrorists to defeat the Ekman's techniques.....Ekman was assigned to lead the red team to defeat his own surveying techniques.