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094 - Blake Eastman - A Data Driven Approach To Poker Tells

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In this episode, Blake Eastman, founder of The Nonverbal Group, creator of Beyond Tells, and owner of The School of Cards, talks about the largest study ever conducted on the behavior of poker players. Elliot and Blake discuss how to integrate this new information into your game and why the use of tells isn’t for everyone. Listen in to hear a psychology expert share some tips and tricks that you can implement immediately to have an advantage over your live opponents. Visit The Mindset Advantage Podcast or find us on iTunes to subscribe, visit previous episodes, and learn more about your host, Elliot Roe.  Time Stamped Show Notes: 00:50 – Introducing Blake, the founder of The Nonverbal Group, creator of Beyond Tells, and owner of School of Cards 00:55 – He was a psychology professor and now uses that knowledge and data to help people understand the use of tells in the game 01:23 – He started playing poker in his teens and his work now combines his three main passions – poker, nonverbal behavior, and teaching 02:25 – Blake was anti-behavior and anti-tells before, but after Beyond Tells his perspective changed 03:06 – Information on Beyond Tells 03:08 – It is the largest study ever conducted on the behavior of poker players; things like blink rate were recorded 03:55 – They found that the quantitative approach is useless but the qualitative results have been game-changing 04:22 – The poker community has been wrong about how they read tells – the results have found that qualitative patterns tell the most 04:57 – They’ve designed frameworks and approaches to identify who to watch, when, and how so you can integrate that into your game 05:30 – Video is necessary to analyze spots 05:50 –Blake’s “A-ha!” moment – when he realized the data was useful and he had been wrong 06:05 – He was in the office looking at footage and implemented the “grounding theory,” where you code the data without a hypothesis 06:30 – He was watching a specific player and saw correlations between his hand movements and range 06:51 – He started noticing the same thing with other players and live at the table; poker tells can be taught, they aren’t just an inherent skill 07:30 – How Blake teaches the skill to students 07:35 – First, students must understand and know the body can give off information, then that can be prioritized into a system 08:00 – They can establish feedback loops for players 09:20 – What you can pick up in a small amount of time 09:35 – Predictive models allow for you to follow a player using common patterns 10:27 – The system allows for you to know, not think, where another player is weak 11:15 – Which players to read 11:30 – It depends on the players, but is still beneficial even if you can only read one player 12:18 – He teaches people to go after certain spots and opportunities so behaviors can define and guide as to when to make certain moves 12:43 – Working with the greatest minds in poker 13:05 – He doesn’t want the highest echelons knowing his techniques because he plays with them 14:04 – On his work with Nonverbal Group and the power of perspective 14:35 – He sees a difference between mindset and mental game; he sees mindset as an approach and mental game as on-table optimization 14:50 – You must fix the foundation (mindset) before working on anything else 15:35 – On the game moving fast 15:50 – At the top it moves fast, but most games move slow; there’s a media bias and the local card room isn’t represented 17:42 – Lower-level players are still not up to date on higher-level information about the game 18:00 – Reading behavior and tells is for a specific kind of player, not just anyone 19:04 – On what Beyond Tells does 19:11 – They focus on live, no-limit Hold ‘Em and have a serious of programs depending on what the player needs, but mechanics need to be established first 20:10 – The course is embedded with his knowledge of psychology 23:36 – A tip for listeners: Pay attention to the hands 23:50 – Pick one or two players and focus on their hands pre-flop; see what they do right before and right after 24:12 – Increase your awareness 25:15 – High-level players want to know timing tells but there are more interesting tells to analyze 26:26 – A final tip for listeners: Embedded concealment strategies make it easier to pay attention to them 27:00 – Blake’s plans 27:06 – He’s going to Aussie Millions and WSOP 27:28 – He’s learning and understanding other player’s spots; he’s using his own findings to improve his game 3 Key Points The qualitative results Blake has found are game-changing. You must master the foundations of poker before studying behavior and tells. A player’s hands tell a lot – pick a player or two and see what their hand say. Contact/Resources Beyond Tells - Training Website Poker Mind Coach – Elliot’s Coaching Website Credits Podcast Production by Podcastily
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