MCU poker tip: Stop listening to foes and watch them

It’s important to listen for audible tells. So, you shouldn’t ignore what you hear — except sometimes.

Many opponents have vocal mannerisms that are so misleading that it’s almost impossible not to make incorrect conclusions about their style of play. In particular, some players have persistent, even irritating, habits of banter that suggest a very loose and carefree style of play.

True personality?

But beware! Whether these speech patterns are deliberately intended to mislead you or simply integral to the opponent’s true personality, often this vocal image misrepresents the actual strategies used.

I recommend you sometimes temporarily close your ears to the banter and focus on how that opponent actually plays — the way you would if you were playing online where you can’t hear your opponents, instead of in a real-world game. You might get a different impression and be able to choose counter-tactics that are more profitable.

Stop listening

Or you might find that the opponent is, indeed, just as carefree and loose as suggested by the vocal mannerisms. In either case, it’s worth knowing. The trick is to stop listening long enough to see what’s really happening.

Published by

Mike Caro

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Known as the “Mad Genius of Poker,” Mike Caro is generally regarded as today's foremost authority on poker strategy, psychology, and statistics. He is the founder of Mike Caro University of Poker, Gaming, and Life Strategy (MCU). See full bio → HERE.

2 thoughts on “MCU poker tip: Stop listening to foes and watch them”

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  1. do you think there is an advantage in what seat you sit in at a table…  I perfer the end seats like 2 and 3 or 8 or 9…  here I can see the whole table except the person sitting to the right or left of the dealer…

  2. I think Antonio Esfandiari is the current classic example of this. He usually plays like a friggin’ rock, but he talks so much he appears to get a lot of action that he otherwise wouldn’t, I don’t think. Or maybe he just hams it up for High Stakes Poker?

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