Learning Poker Tells from the FBI

Most people know the FBI as the investigative unit of the US government.  Some of the various functions that the Federal Bureau of Investigation performs include protecting the US from terrorist activity, combating cyber crime in America, and preventing major white colar crime.  But the last function that people would ever expect the FBI to perform is teaching poker to people.

Joe Navarro seeks to change all of this when he heads to Caesars Palace on November 7th and 8th to teach players at the World Series of Poker Academy.  Navarro’s specialty is nonverbal communication and behavior analysis as he’s been teaching this in the FBI for over 25 years.  But lately, he’s switched his focus to teaching poker players how they can better their game through reading other players at the table.

Obviously using the ability to read players isn’t a new concept but it seems to become something new when Navarro teaches this stuff.  Joe explains that, if a player goes all-in and then proceeds to lean back like he’s casually watching a football game, he’s got the nuts. 

Navarro gets deeper into the analysis by saying, “He’s all in and he’s all spread out.  His legs are open. His arm is splayed across two chairs.  It’s what we call a ‘territorial display’.  It’s what we do when we’re strong. And still, the other guy is struggling whether to call.  I can’t believe I’m watching this.  Why would you call? All the information is right there in front of you.”

Navarro’s excellent grasp of human body language has led him to teach plenty of pros in the past and he made this clear by saying, “I’ve had many professional players in my classes and they sit there with an interest you would not normally expect to see.  They are pros, so you think they would already know everything they need to know. But they are aware that any small edge to a poker player can be invaluable.”

Joe Navarro is one of six instructors that will be at the WSOP Academy this November.  The others are Phil Gordon, Mark Seif, Paul Wasicka, Alex Outhred, and Charley Swayne.  Those wishing to get in on this poker training will have to dish out a $1,999 fee.

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