No 3 You Need Hands
A couple of years ago, I was in a pot with another player, & it was day 2 of a tournament at Dusk Till Dawn. The other guy was young and confident, playing very loose, & causing me some issues. So we get to the turn of this pot, & it’s a big one. We are well short of the money, but this pot will have a significant impact on whether I can get to the cash & beyond.
He bets enough, that I will have to call off the remainder of my stack. I am genuinely not sure what to do.
I sit & think for a little while, & I look at my opponent. He is sat very still & doesn’t appear to give much away. Then I see it. I look again & he does it again. I call pretty quickly, & my top pair is good against his 2nd pair & a gutshot. I hold on the river & scoop up the big pot.
So what did I see? He had his hands overlapping & he started gently rubbing his thumb of his left hand, over the knuckle of the index finger of his right hand.
Rubbing is a soothing gesture, & is often used to comfort in a stressful situation. It definitely wasn’t a sign of strength.
The hands are a useful source of information when looking for indicators of a players strength. They are almost always visible, & a player is forced to use them during a hand – looking at cards, making bets etc…
The area most likely to glean information, is the way a player handles their chips, when they are making a bet. Look at how they bet normally, & then look for changes.
One of the earliest tells I learnt, was an example of players not using their hands.
I noticed players saying ‘all in’, & not putting any chips over the line – at least not instantly. Nearly always they had a super strong hand. It was almost as if they were thinking that there was no point pushing their chips forward, as they were getting them back anyway. No tell is 100%, but that one is pretty reliable.
So next time you are deep in the DTD100, & your opponent announces they are betting all of their chips, & then sits smugly behind their motionless stack, don’t be so quick to make the call. It’s a 2-day event with a decent structure. Plenty of time to find a spot later on where you take advantage of your perceptive skills, & force them to push their pile over the line in your direction.