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EPL: ท็อตแนมชนะ Europe’s Wolves: Photos
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ท็อตแนมปลดเปลื้องความหวังของพวกเขาในการผ่านเข้ารอบสำหรับยูโรป้าลีกด้วยการเอาชนะหมาป่า สเปอร์สซึ่งอยู่ห้าคะแนนจากสี่อันดับแรกเพิ่มขึ้นเป็นหกในประตูที่แตกต่างกับเวสต์แฮมสามคะแนนตามหลังเอฟเวอร์ตันซึ่งเล่นต่อมาในวันอาทิตย์ มันเป็นชัยชนะที่สมควรได้รับสำหรับเจ้าของบ้านที่ตีไม้สามครั้งหลังจากสร้างโอกาสที่ยอดเยี่ยมมากมาย แฮร์รี่เคนซึ่งพยายามตีด้วยมือซ้ายอย่างสมบูรณ์แบบเดินไปยังสเปอร์สอย่างใจเย็นจากการส่งบอลครึ่งลูกที่สวยงามของปิแอร์ - เอมิลไฮแบร์ก หมาป่าขู่และบางครั้งก็ถูกบังคับให้ต้องเสี่ยงโชคในช่วงพักและทั้ง Kane และ Dele Alli ชกกันที่มือขวาเป็นเวลาสองสามวินาที Hodzberg ขึ้นนำเป็นสองเท่าของสเปอร์สอย่างน่าประหลาดใจก่อนอื่นต้องขอบคุณการย้ายของผู้รักษาประตู Wolf Rui Patricio Gareth Bale เพื่อย้ายบอลไปที่มุมล่างขวา Romain Saiss, Adam Traore และ Fabio Silva มีโอกาสที่ดีในการตอบสนองต่อผู้มาเยือน แต่นี่ไม่ใช่ครั้งแรกในฤดูกาลนี้ที่ Wolves ซึ่งจบอันดับที่ 12 ของตารางมีวันที่น่าผิดหวัง เครดิต: BBC Similar to: Download Download ... Related
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Ersan Ilyasova’s offseason patience pays off
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Free agency had ended but, for Ersan Ilyasova, the work had just begun. Scroll through the forward’s Instagram account, and you’d get a taste of how an NBA veteran stays busy when he doesn’t have an NBA contract. You’d see drill after sweat-soaking drill in a high school gymnasium. You’d see him get shots up in a blizzard. “No excuses,” he says. “I tried to work on my game every day,” Ilyasova said. “I truly believed an opportunity would come at some point. I always tried to be ready — to practice and lift, whatever it takes. And after months of work, finally, you’d see Ilyasova in a Utah Jazz uniform. “For this opportunity to come up, it’s a great one,” the forward said Thursday after his first practice in Salt Lake City. “I’m looking forward to it.” The Jazz officially added Ilyasova to their roster Wednesday, bolstering the team’s already deep bench in preparation for an even deeper playoff run. “I see it’s a great group of guys,” Ilyasova said. “The communication is there. They trust each other. I watched the games before — the way they play and the chemistry is at a high level. When you see the way they play, share the ball, move the ball, everybody back each other, this is what it takes to win a championship.” Ilyasova’s C.V. includes more than 850 regular season and playoff appearances over 12 years in the NBA. The Turkish forward averaged 20 minutes per game in the 2018 postseason with the 76ers. He logged 18 minutes a night in the playoffs two seasons with the Milwaukee Bucks. “He’s a pro,” Jazz head coach Quin Snyder said. “Any time you have that type of experience, it’s something you bring to the entire group.” The coach called Ilyasova’s skill set and personality a “plug-and-play” fit for this Jazz team. The team’s front office wouldn’t have come calling otherwise. “One thing we’re really conscious of is the chemistry of the team,” Snyder said. “Ersan wants to be a part of that. I think he’s anxious to contribute in any way that he can.” Ilyasova can provide even more size and shooting to the Jazz’s frontcourt. The forward stands 6-foot-9 and has shot 36.5 percent from 3 over his career. “This is the way I play,” Ilyasova said. “Obviously unselfish. If you’re open shoot. Share the ball. Pick up your guy.” But how quickly Ilyasova finds his role in Utah remains to be seen. “He’s got to assimilate. There’s a lot for him to get exposed to. But being a smart, intelligent player, a guy that knows how to play, he’ll fit in well,” Snyder said. “We don’t expect him to show up and be ready right away. That’s not to say he won’t be. But there’s an adjustment period and we’re patient with him. I want him to be patient with himself.” When it comes to waiting for the right moment, Ilyasova has already shown his willingness to be patient this season. “This team of course is having a great season,” he said. “I try to not interrupt and at the same time just kind of learn. As the season goes, I will pick it up.”
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Staying in Control when Playing Poker Online
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Much like when you place a sports bet, gamble in a casino or even try your luck at playing bingo, when you choose to play poker online you do, of course, need to stay in control and have a sensible playing strategy in place. You stand just as much chance of losing when playing poker as when you set about gambling in any shape or form, but the most poker players know there is an element of skill about that game and each of the many different poker game variants, and that is what they are looking to exploit when playing. This article is going to be reminding you of the days of losing control when playing poker online and will additionally ensure that you are away of the many additional tools and options you can take as an online real money poker player to allow you to stay in control when playing too. The first thing I always do advise anyone that wishes to venture into the online poker environment, however, is to first and foremost ensure the sites they choose to play at, if living in the United Kingdom, are those that hold a full UK Gambling Commission issued gambling license. That way above all else you will know the games are fair, your funds are secure at those sites, too, and you will have a range of responsible gambling tools and option settings at your disposal when playing at such sites, too. As for just how you can remove the risk of you being tempted to gamble at those Non GamStop poker sites in the future, well one quite and easy way you can stop yourself from ever being in a position to sign up to those other sites, is by simply downloading a blocker tool onto your computer and mobile devices. Taking Steps to Give Up Gambling You may have come to the conclusion that you do have a gambling problem and when you do then you will always need to know just what help and support is available to you, and there is plenty of support out there if you are prepared to reach out and ask for it. As for what ways you can set about getting help and support with any gambling problems you do have, spend as much time as you need and require checking out websites such at both the Gamblers Anonymous and GamCare websites. They both offer a lot of practical advice and will certainly point you in the right direction of where to get help with any gambling problems. Keep in mind though that once you do admit to yourself that you have a gambling problem you are going to have to start closing down online and mobile gambling site accounts that you have, and that could take you quite some time of course if you have lots of such accounts open. However, you can head on over to the GamStop website right now and what you can do when you arrive at their website is sign up to their United Kingdom gambling industry wide self-exclusion register. On you have signed up onto that register all United Kingdom-based gambling site operators are then going to close your accounts with them down and to ensure you do not try to gamble at those sites again in the future each of them will block you from being able to do so. Stay Away from Non-UK Licensed Poker Sites One final thing that you need bringing to your attention, if you are now determined to give up playing poker and gambling online, is that there are quite a number of casinos, poker and other gambling sites that are not located or licensed in the United Kingdom. That does, of course, mean that even if you do sign up to the GamStop self-exclusion register you are still always going to be more than welcome to sign up to and then gamble at those other sites and will never be blocked form doing so even if you are on that register. A gambling site blocker as they are known has one simple yet highly effective purpose and that is to block you from being able to access any website that is related to gambling, and therefore by not being able to access those sites you will never have the chance of giving in to temptation and gambling at any of them.
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When Relationships Fall Victim to Problem Gambling
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Many celebrate love, romance, and relationships during February and on Valentine’s Day. While no relationship is perfect, some endure significant hardship due to the presence of addiction, and gambling addiction is no exception. Did you know that relationship problems have been the top reported reason for seeking help by contacts to the 888-ADMIT-IT HelpLine for more than a decade? Contrary to social stigmas, individuals who struggle with problem gambling are not able to simply stop. Gambling addiction rewires the brain much in the same way as substance abuse, yet the symptoms are unseen, leaving loved ones unaware until the gambler hits “rock bottom.” Feelings like shame, guilt, and stress also flood these individuals and leave them hiding the consequences of problem gambling, exacerbating relationship difficulties and preventing them from seeking needed supports. Family members and other loved ones often do not know the extent of the gambler’s behaviors or debt. Over the past year, 76% of 888-ADMIT-IT HelpLine contacts reported the presence of family conflict, and 52% indicated family neglect as a result of problem gambling, with some also experiencing domestic violence and abuse [1]. It is imperative to understand that for every case of problem gambling, an average of 8-10 additional people are affected — often those closest to the gambler.  Research published in the Asian Journal of Gambling Issues and Public Health found that the negative effects of their partner’s gambling problems centered on four key areas — financial loss, emotional distress, impairment of mental and physical health, and erosion of their relationship [2]. Complicating matters further, the COVID-19 pandemic is causing heightened levels of emotional distress and mental health impacts across the population, leaving those suffering from this hidden addiction even more vulnerable. HelpLine data shows that a large percentage of problem gamblers are experiencing significant anxiety (68%) and depression (67%), with more than one in five admitting to suicidal thoughts (22%) and an appreciable number (13%) reporting neurological disorders. These mental health issues understandably extend to family members and loved ones.  The good news is that help and hope can be found through the 24/7, Confidential, and Multilingual 888-ADMIT-IT HelpLine for anyone in need, including loved ones. The HelpLine can also be reached by texting 321-978-0555, starting a live chat at gamblinghelp.org, emailing fccg@gamblinghelp.org, and messaging the FCCG on social media. Get connected to the resources that make a difference, including referrals to certified treatment providers! March is Problem Gambling Awareness Month March is Problem Gambling Awareness Month (PGAM), a grassroots effort to raise awareness about gambling disorder, classified by the American Psychiatric Association as a behavioral addiction, that impacts millions of Floridians who struggle directly with gambling related difficulties or are adversely affected by a loved one’s gambling problem. This year, our campaign theme is Shine the Light on Problem Gambling: Changing the Game. During this past year, the world has been forced to grapple with crippling impacts caused by the COVID-19 Pandemic. Many Florida residents, like many Americans, are struggling given the unforeseen consequences resulting from the pandemic. For disordered gamblers and their families, the effects of the virus can exacerbate already serious financial, psychological, legal, and other problems caused by gambling. Click here to learn more about PGAM and join the movement in raising awareness about the issue of problem gambling and the help and hope available through the 24/7, Confidential, and Multilingual Problem Gambling HelpLine! [1]  24-Hour Problem Gambling HelpLine Annual Report., 2020 ed., The Florida Council on Compulsive Gambling, Inc., 2020, 24-Hour Problem Gambling HelpLine Annual Report. [2] Abbott, M., DA. Abbott, S., Boyatzis, R., V. Braun, V., EM. Chan, A., Charmaz, K., . . . Volberg, R. (1970, January 01). Impacts of gambling problems on partners: Partners’ interpretations. Retrieved February 11, 2021, from https://link.springer.com/article/10.1186/2195-3007-3-11
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Tokyo Olympics panel starts search for new boss after sexism row
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FILE PHOTO: Tokyo 2020 Olympics organizing committee president Yoshiro Mori announces his resignation as he takes responsibility for his sexist comments at a meeting with council and executive board members at the committee headquarters, in Tokyo, Japan February 12, 2021. Yoshikazu Tsuno/Pool via REUTERS/File Photo The panel charged with finding a new Tokyo Olympics chief after a sexism row began talks on Tuesday as campaigners called for more transparency in the selection process. The eight-person committee convened for the first time to discuss choosing a successor to Yoshiro Mori, 83, who stepped down Friday after his claims that women talk too much in meetings sparked widespread outrage. The panel “discussed the qualities required of a new president,” according to Tokyo 2020 organizers, and agreed on five selection criteria. But campaigners said the process should be made more transparent, with Games chiefs declining to identify the members of the panel, which was expected to have a 50-50 gender split. The postponed 2020 Games are set to begin in July, with officials and organizers insisting they will go ahead despite doubts over the event’s viability given the ongoing coronavirus pandemic. The formation of the new panel, headed by 85-year-old Canon CEO Fujio Mitarai, was announced Friday after Mori’s reported attempts to hand-pick 84-year-old Saburo Kawabuchi as his successor was met with opposition. “Now they say they won’t reveal who the members are of the committee to choose the next chief,” Kazuko Fukuda, a campaigner for women’s sexual and reproductive rights, told AFP. “So it’s really like the whole process will take place in secret again.” ‘DEEP UNDERSTANDING’ Equality campaigners handed a petition with more than 150,000 signatures to Tokyo 2020 organizers on Tuesday morning, urging them to put concrete measures in place to prevent further discrimination. The selection committee laid out five criteria for choosing a new president — sporting knowledge, international experience, management skills, familiarity with the Tokyo Games organization and “deep understanding” of Olympic principles, including “gender equality, diversity and inclusion.” The committee pledged to select candidates “as swiftly as possible”, with local media suggesting a new president could be named before the end of the week. Reports said Olympic Minister Seiko Hashimoto, Japanese Olympic Committee president Yasuhiro Yamashita and former hammer-thrower Koji Murofushi are among those in contention. Hashimoto — one of just two women in Japan’s cabinet — was reported as saying Tuesday that she had not been approached about taking over. “It should be done with transparency,” she said. “I hope we can get the new structure in place quickly.” Reports said the selection panel is expected to meet again on Wednesday to draw up a list of nominees. The final choice must be endorsed by Tokyo 2020’s executive board. Read Next Don't miss out on the latest news and information. Subscribe to INQUIRER PLUS to get access to The Philippine Daily Inquirer & other 70+ titles, share up to 5 gadgets, listen to the news, download as early as 4am & share articles on social media. Call 896 6000. For feedback, complaints, or inquiries, contact us.
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Star signing Suliasi Vunivalu stood down by Reds for off-field incident
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A Set small text size A Set the default text size A Set large text size High-profile Queensland Reds recruit Suliasi Vunivalu has been dropped from what would have been his Super Rugby AU debut for allegedly pushing a security guard in a Brisbane pub. The champion NRL winger had arrived at Ballymore fresh off a premiership with the Melbourne Storm as Rugby Australia’s big-ticket item. But on Tuesday the winger copped a club-imposed $10,000 fine alongside suspension from Friday’s season opener at Suncorp Stadium against the NSW Waratahs. The matter is before the court and will be reviewed by RA and Queensland Rugby Union once it is resolved. It is understood the security guard was not injured during the incident, which was considered minor and occurred earlier this month. Vunivalu was implicated in an NRL integrity unity investigation in 2019 when he was allegedly a victim of a coward punch at a Bali nightspot that sparked a brawl that included former Storm teammate Nelson Asofa-Solomona. The 26-year-old had already spent time in camp with the Wallabies and is considered an immense talent likely to feature in national coach Dave Rennie’s plans ahead of the 2023 World Cup. It’s an early setback for a Reds outfit hunting their first silverware since 2011, having lost the Super Rugby AU decider to the Brumbies last year. © AAP
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Tom Brady: The Ultimate Villain Turned Babyface
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I have a confession to make. I like Tom Brady.10 years ago, I would have punched myself in the face for making a statement like that. Even two years ago, I would never admit my admiration for the seven-time Super Bowl championAs a Giants fan, I’m arguably one of two fanbases (the other being the Eagles) that have no reason to hate Brady for his success on the field. The Giants defeated Brady twice on the biggest stage. Big Blue stopped Brady and the 2007 Patriots from immortality, ruining the undefeated season. You’re welcome, Miami Dolphins.I hated Brady not for his play, but for the uniform he wore. The New England Patriots were the bad guys of the 2000s. The Patriots were the Galactic Empire, Bill Belichick was Darth Vader, and Gillette Stadium was the Death Star. From all the “gate” scandals to cheating implications, New England kept winning. To make matters worse, Patriots’ fans became insufferable. How many times did I have to hear “Our season starts in the AFC Championship” from New England fans? As much as I hated them, the fans were right.I may have disliked Brady, but I always respected TB12. He is the GOAT. That was never up for debate. The stats that support Brady’s GOAT case are unfathomable. Brady’s postseason numbers are “Gretzkyesque” and will take a monumental effort from a generational player to eclipse his stats.All-time playoff wins leaders 1) Tom Brady — 34 2) Tom Brady, only in conference championship games and Super Bowls combined — 17 T-3) Joe Montana, Tom Brady since turning 37 years old — 16— Tom Brady Facts (@TB_Facts) February 8, 2021As I watched Tom Brady hoist the Lombardi trophy for the seventh time, I said to myself, “This effing guy. Again?” The 43-year-old vet bested the 25-year-old phenom who wants to be the GOAT himself one day. It’s still possible Mahomes can become the GOAT, but the gap between Brady or Mahomes feels insurmountable.Then, I watched the parade. Brady was laughing hard and partying harder. I couldn’t help but smile at all the videos of Brady celebrating on his boat.He threw the Lomnbardi trophy to another boat in what could go down as the greatest pass of his career.TB12 skipped the diet today and pounded a few too many drinks. It was the most relatable clip from Brady I’ve ever seen.When Brady gets an assist out of the party, it’s fine, but when I get escorted out of the bar, it’s a problem. Life ain’t fair! https://t.co/bWyV2YtJ0e— Dan Girolamo (@Danny_Giro) February 10, 2021Over the past few years, Brady demonstrated his sense of humor with his social media posts after wins. From the TB Times to “W” videos, Brady knows how to assert himself as a winner. He’s also pretty funny and self-aware, evidenced by his avocado tequila tweet.How can you watch those videos with a straight face? TB12 is turning babyface right before our eyes. For the non-wrestling fans, that means he’s becoming a likable good guy. Most football fans hated Brady in New England because he was the perfect villain. Society loves to root for stars, but it also enjoys watching the villain fall.The more I laugh at Brady’s antics, the more I realize how much New England hindered his personality. Rob Gronkowski said he likes the “freedom of being yourself” in Tampa Bay, which was a clear shot at the disciplinarian system run by Belichick. That doesn’t make New England’s system wrong. The Patriots won six Super Bowls over the course of two decades. However, it’s tough to get a sense of a player’s true personality when Darth Vader is breathing down your neck.It’s Brady’s world and we’re all living in it. Right now, I like what I see from the GOAT.Do you like Tom Brady? Leave your thoughts in the comments below or tweet us, @unafraidshow.
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Partypoker adds new MyGame Whiz to Online Poker Client
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Every poker player wants to improve their game. It is quite common for poker players to use tools such as hand histories to review gameplay and try to make different decisions based on certain scenarios. At partypoker, the online poker platform has released a new tool called MyGame Whiz that allows players to improve their game and make fewer mistakes along the way. The new feature is an extension of the MyGame tool and works as a personal poker trainer. What is MyGame Whiz? New players can benefit from the MyGame Whiz tool for a number of reasons. Because the tool is a trainer, it helps to avoid common mistakes. The tool includes one-on-one communication to personalize the experience for each player. The tool studies each player’s game style, including how a hand is played. The tool has access to hand history and studies the hands of each player, not the opponent. Personal hand history is used to provide tips and suggestions on what you can do to improve your decision-making skills. Targeted messages allow you to make decisions in real time and improve your win/loss record. Each player will receive messages that are created for them specifically based on table actions. Interactive commentary is also provided as players compete to help with game moves. Choose to replay, save, and share hands as you like with this new tool. The more hands you play, the more advice you will receive. This helps to know how to strategize based on a wide range of poker hand situations. Another unique aspect to this tool is that questions can be asked to MyGame Whiz. By asking questions, you receive customized replays to help with any questions or advice needed. Creating a Poker Tutor Basically, partypoker has created a poker tutor for its members. With instant feedback, it’s like working with a real person online. The tool works for each player individually, just as a tutor would in real life. Every player can work to improve their game, no matter how skilled or experienced. The tool is specialized so it caters to your skill level. Partypoker officials pointed out that they wanted to create a tool that would give players something to use at the beginning of their poker journey to improve their game. It is particularly helpful for players who are brand-new to online poker. For new players, the tool includes report cards so you can track your progress. See what you have improved on as well as how you can make changes to improve in certain areas. If you have less time to study the game, the MyGame Whiz does the work for you. Simply review the details and you will be able to analyze your gaming and make smart decisions in the future as you play. Check out the new tool today by logging in to the partypoker client. Review your gaming and see what changes you can complete the improve each decision you make while playing in cash games and tournaments.
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Pakistan Tour of South Africa: Three CWC Super League ODIs and four T20Is in April
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Follow Us On Pakistan and South Africa have announced the schedule for the limited-overs series in April, comprising three ICC Cricket World Cup Super League ODIs and four T20Is. The tour is scheduled to run from 02 April to 16 April 2021, with Pakistan arriving in South Africa on 26 March before the first game when they will enter a bio-secure environment (BSE) in Gauteng. They will go into a period of quarantine before commencing with inter-squad training. Pakistan’s tour of South Africa was initially scheduled to comprise just three T20Is, but after a request from Cricket South Africa, the series will now comprise four T20Is, with the first two matches being played in Johannesburg, followed by two T20Is in Pretoria. Before the T20Is get underway on 10 April, a three-match ODI series will be played between the sides from 2 April. A part of the Men’s CWC Super League, the first and third ODIs will be played in Pretoria, with Johannesburg hosting the second ODI on 4 April. “We are delighted to finally confirm the dates and full schedule for Pakistan’s white-ball tour to South Africa,” commented CSA Director of Cricket, Graeme Smith. “Pakistan has proved their status over the years as one of the most dangerous limited-overs teams and I’m sure they will give the Proteas a stern test on the Highveld. We will also have the much-anticipated ‘Betway Pink ODI’ take place during the tour and that is something further to look forward to for the players, the fans and all those associated with this iconic day,” he added. “We are grateful to the PCB for agreeing to our request within a short period of time to increase the length of the trip by adding in a fourth T20, which will give us some much-needed additional international content,” he said. PCB Director of International Cricket, Zakir Khan added, “We are delighted to help assist our fellow member countries in their plight to survive. We all have a collective responsibility to look after the game and its welfare together as ICC Members.” “South Africa and Pakistan’s relationship is a long-standing and mutually valued one, and it was an easy decision for us to accommodate their request. We’re all looking forward to a successful tour,” he added. Pakistan Tour of South Africa Schedule 2 April: 1st ODI, Supersport Park, Pretoria  4 April: 2nd ODI, Wanderers Stadium, Johannesburg  7 April: 3rd ODI, SuperSport Park, Pretoria  10 April: 1st T20I, Wanderers Stadium, Johannesburg  12 April: 2nd T20I, Wanderers Stadium, Johannesburg  14 April: 3rd T20I, SuperSport Park, Pretoria  16 April: 4th T20I, SuperSport Park, Pretoria
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Criticisms of Michael Slepian’s Stanford study on poker tells and hand movements (published 2015)
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Some places the study was featured. The following is reposted from a 2015 piece I wrote for Bluff magazine. It was originally located at this URL but has become unavailable due to Bluff going out of business. I saw this study mentioned recently in Maria Konnikova’s book ‘The Biggest Bluff’ and was reminded about this piece and noticed it was offline, so I wanted to share it again. A few notes on this piece: The original title below and was more negative-sounding than I liked; Bluff chose it. Also, if I could rewrite this piece now, I’d probably choose less negative-sounding phrasing in some places.  Regardless of the exact factors that might be at work in the found correlation, I realize it’s scientifically interesting that a significant correlation was found. But I also think it’s possible to draw simplistic and wrong conclusions from the study, and my piece hopefully gives more context about the factors that might be at work. Image on left taken from Michael Slepian’s media page. The Slepian Study on Betting Motions Doesn’t Pass Muster A 2013 study¹ conducted at Stanford University by graduate student Michael Slepian and associates found a correlation between the “smoothness” of a betting motion and the strength of the bettor’s hand. In a nutshell, there was a positive correlation found between betting motions perceived as “smooth” and “confident” and strong hands. The quality of the betting motions was judged by having experiment participants watch short clips of players making bets (taken from the 2009 WSOP Main Event) and estimate the hand strength of those bets. This experiment has gotten a lot of press over the last couple years. I first heard about it on NPR. Since, I’ve seen it referenced in poker blogs and articles and in a few mainstream news articles. I still occasionally hear people talk about it at the table when I play. I’ve had friends and family members reference it and send me links to it. It’s kind of weird how much attention it received, considering the tons of interesting studies that are constantly being done, but I guess it can be chalked up to the mystique and “sexiness” of poker tells. The article had more than casual interest for me. I’m a former professional poker player and the author of two books on poker behavior: Reading Poker Tells and Verbal Poker Tells. I’ve been asked quite a few times about my opinion on this study, and I’ve been meaning to look at the study more closely and write up my thoughts for a while. In this article, I’ll give some criticisms of the study and some suggestions for how this study (and similar studies) could be done better. This isn’t to denigrate the work of the experiment’s designers. I think this is an interesting study, and I hope it will encourage similar studies using poker as a means to study human behavior. But I do think it was flawed in a few ways, and it could be improved in many ways. That’s not to say that I think their conclusion is wrong; in fact, in my own experience, I think their conclusion is correct. I do, however, think it’s a very weak general correlation and will only be practically useful if you have a player-specific behavioral baseline. My main point is that this study is not enough, on its own, to cause us to be confident about the conclusion. I’ll give a few reasons for why I think the study is flawed, but the primary underlying reason is a common one for studies involving poker: the study’s organizers just don’t know enough about how poker works. I’ve read about several experiments involving poker where the organizers were very ignorant about some basic aspects of poker, and this affected the way the tests were set up and the conclusions that were reached (and this probably applies not just to poker-related studies but to many studies that involve an activity that requires a lot of experience to understand well). Poker can seem deceptively simple to people first learning it, and even to people who have played it for decades. Many bad players lose money at poker while believing that they’re good, or even great players. In the same way, experiment designers may falsely believe they understand the factors involved in a poker hand, while being far off the mark. Here are the flaws, as I see them, in this study: 1. The experimenters refer to all WSOP entrants as ‘professional poker players.’ This first mistake wouldn’t directly affect the experiment, but it does point to a basic misunderstanding of poker and the World Series of Poker, which might indirectly affect other aspects of the experiment and its conclusions. Here are a couple examples of this from the study: The World Series of Poker (WSOP), originating in 1970, brings together professional poker players every year (from the study’s supplemental materials) These findings are notable because the players in the stimulus clips were highly expert professionals competing in the high-stakes WSOP tournament. The WSOP Main Event is open to anyone and most entrants are far from being professional poker players. Categorizing someone’s poker skill can be difficult and subjective, but Kevin Mathers, a long-time poker industry worker, estimates that only 20% of WSOP Main Event entrants are professional (or professional-level) players. This also weakens the conclusion that the results are impressive due to the players analyzed being professional-level. While the correlation found in this experiment is still interesting, it is somewhat expected that amateur players would have behavioral inconsistencies. I’d be confident in predicting that a similar study done on only video clips of bets made by professional poker players would not find such a clear correlation. 2. Hand strength is based on comparing players’ hands This is a line from the study that explains their methodology for categorizing a player’s hand as ‘weak’ or ‘strong’: Each player’s objective likelihood of winning during the bet was known (WSOP displays these statistics on-screen; however, we kept this information from participants by obscuring part of the screen). They relied on the on-screen percentage graphics, which are displayed beside a player’s hand graphics in the broadcast. These graphics show the likelihood of a player’s hand winning; it does this by comparing it to the other players’ known hands. This makes it an illogical way to categorize whether a player believes he is betting a weak or strong hand. If this isn’t clear, here’s a quick example to make my point: A player has QQ and makes an all-in bet on a turn board of Q-10-10-8. Most people would say that this player has a strong hand and has every reason to believe he has a strong hand. But, if his opponent had 10-10, the player with Q-Q would have a 2.27% chance of winning with one card to come. According to this methodology, the player with the Q-Q would be judged as having a weak hand; if the test participants categorized that bet as representing a strong hand, they would be wrong. It’s not stated in the study or the supplemental materials if the experimenters accounted for such obvious cases of how using the percentage graphics might skew the results. It’s also not stated how the experimenters would handle river (last-round) bets, when one hand has a 100 percent winning percentage and the losing hand has 0 percent (the only exception would be a tie). It’s admittedly difficult to come up with hard-and-fast rules for categorizing hand strength for the purposes of such an experiment. As someone who has thought more than most about this problem, for the purpose of analyzing and categorizing poker tells, I know it’s a difficult task. But using the known percentages of one hand beating another known hand is clearly a flawed approach. The optimal approach would probably be to come up with a system that pits a poker hand against a logical hand range, considering the situation, or even a random hand range, and uses that percentage-of-winning to rank the player’s hand strength. If this resulted in too much hand-strength ambiguity, the experiment designers could throw out all hands where the hand strength fell within a certain medium-strength range. Such an approach would make it more likely that only strong hand bets and weak hand bets were being used and, equally important for an experiment like this, that the player believed he or she was betting either a strong or weak hand. 3. Situational factors were not used to categorize betting motions When considering poker-related behavior, situations are very important. A small continuation-bet on the flop is different in many ways from an all-in bet on the river. One way they are different: a small bet is unlikely to cause stress in the bettor, even if the bettor has a weak hand. Also, a player making a bet on an early round has a chance for improving his hand; whereas a player betting on the river has no chance to improve his hand. When a player bets on the river, he will almost always know whether he is bluffing or value-betting; this is often not the case on earlier rounds, when hand strength is more ambiguous and undefined. This experiment had no system for selecting the bets they chose for inclusion in the study. The usability of the clips was apparently based only on whether the clip meant certain visual needs of the experiment: i.e., did the footage show the entirety of the betting action and did it show the required amount of the bettor’s body? From the study: Research assistants, blind to experimental hypotheses, extracted each usable video in each installment, and in total extracted 22 videos (a standard number of stimuli for such studies; Ambady & Rosenthal, 1993) for Study 2 in the main text. Study 1 videos required a single player be in the frame from the chest-up, allowing for whole-body, face-only, and arms-only videos to be created by cropping the videos. These videos were therefore more rare, and the research assistants only acquired 20 such videos. The fact that clips were chosen only based on what they showed is not necessarily a problem. If a hand can be accurately categorized as strong or weak, then it doesn’t necessarily matter when during a hand it occurred. If there is a correlation between perceived betting motion quality and hand strength, then it will probably make itself known no matter the context of the bet. Choosing bets only from specific situations would have made the experiment stronger and probably would have led to more definite conclusions. It could also help address the problem of categorizing hand strength. For example, if the experiment designers had only considered bets above a certain size that had occurred on the river (when all cards are out and there are no draws or semi-bluffs to be made), then that would result in polarized hand strengths (i.e., these bets would be very likely to be made with either strong or weak hands). Also, the experiment’s method for picking clips sounds like it could theoretically result in all strong-hand bets being picked, or all weak-hand bets being picked. There is nothing in the experiment description that requires a certain amount of weak hands or strong hands. This is not in itself bad, but could affect the experiment in unforeseen ways. For example, if most of the betting motion clips chosen were taken from players betting strong hands (which would not be surprising, as most significant bets, especially post-flop, are for value), then this could introduce some unforeseen bias into the experiment. One way this might happen: when a video clip shows only the betting motion (and not, for example, the bettor’s entire torso or just the face, as were shown to some study groups), this focus might emphasize the bet in the viewer’s mind and make the bet seem stronger. And if most of the hands-only betting clips were of strong-hand bets (and I have no idea how many were), the study participants watching only the hand-motion betting clips would falsely appear to be making good guesses. My main point here is that thinking about the situational factors of a betting motion, and incorporating that into the experiment in some way, would have resulted in less ambiguity about the results. (It appears that it was difficult to find usable clips from a single WSOP event; in that case, the experimenters could just add footage from another WSOP Main Event to the study.) 4. The number of chips bet was not taken into account The experiment designers did not take into account the chips that were bet. In their words: During betting, each player pushes poker chips into the center of the table. Each chip has a specific color, which indicates a specific value. These values range from $25 to $100,000. This range of chip values has a crucial consequence for the current work. The number of chips does not correlate with the quality of the hand (see Table 1A in the main text). Players could move a stack of 20 chips into the center of the table, and this could be worth $500 or $2,000,000 (the winner of the 2009 WSOP won $8,547,042, thus the latter bet magnitude is a bet that can be made in the WSOP). Because no participants were professional poker players, nor considered themselves poker experts, they were not aware of chip values. They could not, then, use the number of chips as a valid cue to judge poker hand quality. It’s true that your average person would not know what the chip colors at the WSOP Main Event mean. But it seems naïve to think that seeing the chips being bet couldn’t possibly have an effect on the experiment. For one thing, the number of chips being bet could bias a participant to think a bet was stronger or weaker, whether correctly or incorrectly. What if all the strong-hand bets in the study were also bets that involved a lot of chips? (This is not implausible because smaller bets with weak hands are common early in a hand, when bets are small, whereas larger bets later in the hand are more likely to represent strong hands.) And what if some of the study participants were able to deduce (consciously or unconsciously) the strength of the bet from the number of chips? Also, it’s possible that some of the test participants were knowledgeable (consciously or not) about some WSOP chip colors and what their denominations were. Or they were able to deduce (consciously or not), from the arrangement and number of chips, what the chip values were. (For example, large denomination chips are generally required to be kept at the front of a player’s stack.) Again, this could have been addressed by selecting bets taken only from specific situations and only of certain bet sizes. If all bets chosen were above a certain bet size, and this was communicated to the study participants, then this would have lessened the impact of the chips being able to be seen. 5. Quality of “smoothness” was subjective The experiment was based on the perceptions of study participants watching the assembled video clips. It was not based on objective measurements of what constitutes “smoothness” of a betting motion. This was a known issue in the experiment: Thus, both player confidence and smoothness judgments significantly predicted likelihoods of winning, which suggests that movement smoothness might be a valid cue for assessing poker hand quality. It is unknown, however, how participants interpreted “smoothness” or whether the players’ movements that participants rated as smooth were truly smoother than other players’ movements. Other physical factors, such as speed, likely played a role. This is not a major criticism; I think using perception is a fine way to find a correlation, especially for a preliminary study. But I think it does mean that we have no reason to be confident in the idea that smoothness of betting motion is correlated with hand strength. If there is are correlations between betting motion and hand strength (which I believe there are), these could be due to other aspects of arm motion or hand motion, such as: the betting speed, the position of the hands, the height of the hand, or other, more obscure, factors. In summary Again, I don’t mean to denigrate the experiment designers and the work they’ve done. I think this was an interesting experiment, and I think it’s probable the correlation they noticed exists (however weak the correlation may be). Also, as someone who is very interested in poker behavior, I’d love to see similar studies be done. My main goal in writing these criticisms and suggestions was to emphasize that poker is complex, as is poker behavior. There are many behavioral factors in a seemingly simple hand of poker and taking these factors into account can make an experiment stronger and the results more conclusive. Patricia Cardner, PhD, EdD, is a poker player and the author of Positive Poker, a book about the psychological characteristics of professional poker players. She had this to say about poker’s use in scientific studies: “While researchers often have the best of intentions, it is difficult for them to fully understand the nuances of poker. Researchers who reach out to poker players for help can make more informed decisions about the research areas they choose to pursue, increase reliability and validity, and improve the overall quality of their results and conclusions.” ¹: Slepian, M.L., Young, S.G., Rutchick, A.M. & Ambady, N. Quality of Professional Players’ Poker Hands Is Perceived Accurately From Arm Motions. Psychological Science (2013) 24(11) 2335–2338. Related
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