In contrast to online poker,( half ass poker) which there are a few tells to be read into. ( yes there are some, I will cover than in another post to come)The live game consists of the real tells, and most top pros fully understand this. Mike, when , he is on his game is one for sure!! ( when he is off his game, He just gets on full tilt, no pun intended!!) Most players who play poker, play smaller limit games, and most of them have little clue about how to spot tells, usually only being concerned with their own hands and not their opponents per say, until sometimes they are too pot committed to fold. ( oh he might have a flush, I guess my bottom pair is not good now?)
But how many are watching the other players, how they put their chips in the pot?, do they throw them in, neatly stack it then put them in? You can learn allot about your opponents hands by the way they out their chips in and that is only one tell, but the one I will cover today.
Most lower level players do not bother to pay attention to this stuff, even allot of higher level players.
The next time you are not in a hand, watch who is, and watch them both, watch the hands that end up to the river showdown, and see what they flip over.
Watch every pull and every bet, every check, raise, and/or call. Note it in your mind, watch how the chips were put in.
Who was strong, did both think they were strong? Who was one bluffing? Did they throw the chips in, stack them in, string them in?
If you put together their actions and reactions, you can more easily pick up tells and most players have them.
Always when you are dealt your cards, don't look at them right away, first look around the table at the players looking at theirs, wear shades so they do not pick up you are doing this. ( they wont pick up on what you are doing most of the time anyways, shaded or no shades, but every now and them, you run into a poker player, not simply a plain old gambler and/or some drunk moron)
See any reactions? Frustration, looking too long at the hole cards? Double checking the cards? (this, as a norm usually means they have a strong hand, or have one ace or one king, this is not always the case however, as each player has different makeups obviously as people, so watch that too and hope to see their cards turned up, what they had)
All these things, if you learn to pick up on, will make you a much better poker player.. This is real poker, not just playing your own hand. It is something the Internet so called great players are horrible at, and there is a reason most of them get spanked live.
When you get good at reading your opponents, you will, 80 percent of the time or even better, put them on the right hand or close to the right hand.
Once you have done this, you will able to better talk your opponents into folding when you got nothing, Better able to talk them into calling when you want them to call.
After while, if you notice someone is picking up on a tell you might have, fake the tell and reverse it.
These are things Mike does. You do not hear about this at all on ESPN. When Mike is on, he engages in these things.. Think his 63 all in against Helmuth 2005 TOC was just a guess? It wasn't and I asked Mike on the break why he did it. He picked up a tell Phil had when he was semi weak and raising early. He knew Phil would fold and he wanted to show Phil his piece of crap hand to tilt Phil and it worked.
Shortly afterwards, Phil got tilted between Mike pulling that move, and Hoyt moving over the top of Phil constantly, that Phil cracked Mentally. I saw Mike run a monster bluff on Freddy Boyandi on the 3rd to last day of the 2005 WSOP main event.
Mike again, picked up on a bluff and put a fake one out there that He had a flush, but he had nothing. Freddy folded on the river, Mike shoved all in ( they were about even in chips, if Freddy called, Mike would of been out right there, being severely crippled, they didn't show that hand on ESPN.) and soon after Freddy went from 4th in chips to bust in about 30 minutes. I personally saw Freddy crack, I was there. Sweating, fiddling around, I felt bad for him, I whispered to my mom and my buddy "Freddy is done, he is cracked"
Mike got him off his game, and the table ran over Freddy, and that is not easy to do, Freddy is a top pro and a very good player himself.
Bad move by Mike risking all his chips with nothing there? NONSENSE!! The pot was 1.5 million and when Mike says " I was playing the best poker of my life, BELIEVE HIM, How you think Stuey won as much as he did?
Today;s poker players in my opinion know nothing about Stuey, other than calling him a legend. and are half ass poker players, usually college kids who think they know shit and they usually do not!! Any moron can play 2 cards, and any moron can get really lucky and win big tourneys!! How many times do you see the same moron every win anything again? The same people who say Mike sucks, do they have multiple major event wins?
Allot of times Mike is not blowing up just for the sake of blowing up. There are times because Mike has ADD, that he loses focus and misreads. They are not simply moving in with nothing because he BLOWS UP, it is because of a misread losing concentration.
Using these suggestions and learning to become proficient in them,
you will be able to know when you are beat and the pot is not worth your call, save money and make more of if, using real poker skill.
Try it and see, I guarantee it will make you a better poker player!!