Poker Face

Poker is not for the faint of heart. Watch as these masters play for $1,000,000 and how they handle the stress.


Whitney: We're here at the world championship Texas Hold'em Poker. We're down to our final four now, and the stakes have never been higher. No player is giving anything away, faces so still they may as well have been carved from stone.

Jason: (Alright, Jason, you've got this. And when you win, you can finally afford to buy that kidney you need.)
Mallory: (They can't read you at all, you're a sphinx. You are smooth, like the wind.)
Matt: (I have no idea how to play this game. I should have been out a long, long time ago, but I keep winning!)
Jeremy: (Breathe. Ooh! I can't take the stress!)

Whitney: And starting with the flop, we've got the king and queen of spades, and ace of diamonds.

Jason: (Argh, nothing again? I'm sick of waiting for a good hand. Time to bluff my way to victory.) Ten thousand.

Whitney: Oh my, well, Jason Gray comes out swinging. What can possibly be going through everyone's heads right now?

Whitney: Nothing but calm calculation down there.

Whitney: Let's see what they do.

Mallory: Call. (Keep it together. You're calm, like the wind.)
Matt: Call. (What does call even mean? I am literally just doing what the person before me does.)
Jeremy: (Keep. it. together. Jeremy. Make your mustache proud.) Call.

Whitney: Ladies and gentlemen, we have a poker game on our hands! Now, here comes the turn with the king of hearts.

Jeremy: Aah!
Jason: (Okay, the bluff didn't work, time to bail. Argh, how can I just throw away ten thousand dollars? No, I need this. Time to scare the children away.) Fifty thousand.

Whitney: Oh my goodness! This is really heating up. But look at those faces, complete calm.

Mallory: (You wanna play? You wanna mess with this?! I am fierce. Like the wind!) Call.
Matt: (Okay, she put in six red circles and two blue ones, so. ) Call.
Jeremy: Call. (What am I doing?! I have a two and a seven. That's not good.)

Whitney: And this is the river, looks like the king of diamonds. Oh my, could be a big game changer right there.

Jeremy: (Aah!)
Jason: (No! Just fold! You fools! I need that kidney!) All in.

Whitney: Hundreds of thousands of dollars are on the line. How do these players deal with the tension?

Mallory: (Haha! You want to dance, Jason?! I'm about to get crazy up in here! Like the wind!) All in. (There! You thought I wouldn't do it, didn't you?! Look me in the eyes, you dirty commie! Yeah, that's right! If I lose this tournament, I'm going to find you and break your knees, like the wind.)
Matt: All in. (Look at all those circles. I wonder what they mean.)
Jeremy: (Fold, Jeremy! Fold now and cut your losses!) All in. (What are you doing?!)

Whitney: This is it, now it's time to see which of these players walks away with a million dollars. Jason will show first, a six and a seven, okay. Looks like he was making a bluff that clearly backfired, got to wonder what he must be thinking right now.

Jason: (I'm going to have a monkey kidney.)

Whitney: Mallory to show next, and she has a pair of queens, so full house for her, great hand!

Whitney: Jeremy. still hasn't shown his cards, he's just sitting stone-faced. It seems as though, oh, wait, we're getting word from the dealer that.. yes, ok. Jeremy is in fact dead. And finally, Matt. ok, it looks like Matt was somehow playing with Uno cards.

How to Have a Good Poker Face

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Having a good poker face means not expressing positive or negative reactions to the game, keeping your body in a relaxed position, and calmly interacting with other players. This can become difficult when tensions are high but is necessary when playing the game. But by mastering and applying certain techniques, you'll be able to relax your face and keep from unknowingly communicating important information through your body language. After mastering the poker face, you'll be

winning games of poker in no time!

  • You want to be in control of the situation and if you re too stressed, you can lose that control.
  • Hiding your reactions is power because no one knows what you re thinking or what you re about to do.
  • Excessive blinking can also show nervousness, so don t go overboard. There s a balance between blinking enough to keep from staring and keeping your eyes focused so they don t flit around.
  • Staring too hard can also cause your shoulders to bunch up and posture to suffer.
  • Focusing too hard on one thing visually can also distract you and you may miss an important play.
  • Avoid showing your teeth. Whether it s for a small grin or grimace, visible teeth means your mouth is moving and movement can give you away.
  • Don t grind your teeth. Your jaw will show the pressure your teeth are under.
  • Knuckle cracking
  • Fingernail biting
  • Tapping fingers
  • Leg cracking
  • Pulling on your collar or tie or shirt sleeves
  • Rubbing your face, hands together, or arms [6] X Research source
  • Conceal any movement or tension that you have. For example, hold your fist under the table or press your knees together to redirect any tension to where no one can notice it.
  • Don t grip your cards too tightly or you ll have white knuckles which will show.
  • One-word answers are acceptable, especially in high-stakes games like poker. You need to concentrate more on the game anyways rather than shooting the breeze with your opponents.
  • If you're playing a game with friends and there isn't real money at stake, the atmosphere may be a little more relaxed so talking may more appropriate. Just watch yourself when examining your hand.
  • To distract yourself and keep from speaking, chew gum or keep snacks at the table.
  • It helps to think about what you want to say before you speak. That way you can keep yourself from sounding excited or disappointed.
  • Bluffing is an important part of poker. For example, you can receive a bad hand and pretend like you just got a winning hand.
  • If you're consistently inconsistent with your reactions, no one will be able to guess your true reactions. This is much harder to do but can work in your favor.

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Having a good poker face is all about looking relaxed and not showing emotion. Take a deep breath and relax your facial muscles to hide what you re thinking and feeling. Make normal eye contact with people so you always seem confident. Look straight ahead and avoid glancing around, which can be a sign that you re hiding something. In addition to keeping a blank face, you should also avoid any kind of fidgeting, like tapping your fingers, touching your hair, or cracking your knuckles, which can give away your emotions. If you re struggling to contain your nervousness or excitement, squeeze your fist under the table or press your knees together to relieve the tension. For more tips, including how to maintain a calm tone of voice while playing poker, read on!


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