In my last post I talked about some possible poker tells Guy Laliberte might have had during the One Drop. None of it was very conclusive, just because there were so few hands involving Guy, and only one where he made a significant bluff. In this post I wanted to look back at some old hands from a few years ago, to see if we could spot some of the same behavior. To summarize my last post, the things I felt were probably significant about Guy’s behavior (and they are common indicators) were:
- Being much more still after bluffing or after betting when vulnerable
- Putting chips out more confidently and quickly when bluffing or betting when vulnerable
- Facial expression more confident/alert/neutral when bluffing or betting when vulnerable
(Note: I use the time linking feature of YouTube in the video links below, but that feature may not work for some mobile devices.)
Below is the list of the significant hands I looked at, organized by hand strength. In general, I like to observe someone in situations when they are betting with strong hands first, so I can get a sense of how they look when they’re relaxed. Then I like to look at the spots where they’re weak, so I can see how their behavior might differ when they’re more anxious.
1) Guy on HSP against Benyamine raising huge on flop with two pair: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rNMDVHoDNXM
2) High Stakes Poker – Guy hits full-house on river and raises Farha: www.youtube.com/watch?v=AFNbtNb7b_4&t=7m24s
3) HSP – Guy hits trip 9s on turn against Farha and Greenstein, 3-bets big: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jLfVOdhoQ3U&t=6m
4) PokerStars Big Game 2 – Laliberte hitting 2 pair on river against Jason Mercier and betting: http://www.pokerstars.tv/poker-video-10002-the-big-game-2-laliberte-vs-mercier-ii.html
5) PokerStars Big Game 2 – Laliberte goes all in on turn with second-nut straight: http://www.pokerstars.tv/poker-video-9994-the-big-game-2-bershell-vs-laliberte-ii-couch-cannon.html?channel_id=137
6) Guy on HSP against Doyle, bluffing(?) turn with A5 on AJ42 board: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=E3sp1T-RvoA
7) HSP – Laliberte raising w/ vulnerable JJ against Jamie Gold with 4-straight on board www.youtube.com/watch?v=yOh5Ibw8wu4&t=30m
8 ) Big Game 2 – Laliberte bluffing river against Voulgaris – http://www.pokerstars.tv/poker-video-9993-the-big-game-2-laliberte-vs-voulgaris.html
9) Guy semi-bluffing Carlos Mortensen with 78 on 89T turn: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1h3ux77IbFw
10) Guy semi-bluffing Tim Pham with AK on flop: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XEtHen1kOYU
I think you’ll see in these videos that Guy displays a lot of the same tells I mentioned above, but I’ll walk you through the important things to look for here. I’ll give the link (if possible) right to the moment before Guy’s action, too.
Hand #1: www.youtube.com/watch?v=rNMDVHoDNXM&t=1m20s – You can see how much body looseness Guy exhibits. His hands and arms are all over the place, during and after his raise. His neck is loose. (You can also hear him make a little kind of groany sigh as he pushes the money in, which I’d also associate with relaxation and be surprised to hear from a bluffer.) After making the raise, he goes into a superficially still pose, staring at Benyamine, but every time the camera cuts back to him his eyes are moving around loosely.
Hand #2: www.youtube.com/watch?v=AFNbtNb7b_4&t=9m04s – Similarly here, Guy is super-loose. He even flexes his fingers before putting in the raise. And similar to the last hand, you can hear him make a deep, relaxed sigh as he fake-contemplates Farha’s bet. Again, considered with his physical looseness, I think that’s very significant.
Hand #3: www.youtube.com/watch?v=jLfVOdhoQ3U&t=7m20s – Same story here with Guy raising with a turned trip 9’s. His waiting-for-action, during-action, and post-bet body language is really loose. Again, like in the last hand, he does that finger flexing movement. We don’t get to see much of him after he bets, as the camera is focused on Farha, but when it does cut back to him, he is looking at Farha with a freely-moving expression and answering Farha’s question.
Hand #4: http://www.pokerstars.tv/poker-video-10002-the-big-game-2-laliberte-vs-mercier-ii.html (at 1:35) – Cut to a different show, a few years later, on the Big Game. Laliberte rivers a strong 2-pair against Mercier and bets. Again, his body language is very loose. He looks at Voulgaris (not in the hand) while Voulgaris makes several comments. His neck and body are loose. He even makes (I think I hear it) that same sighing noise I mentioned earlier when Voulgaris makes his first comment. He looks at Jason as Jason verbally tries to figure out whether he should call or not. At 3:16, you can see Laliberte in the background having a really loose facial reaction to Jason’s comments. Note: I don’t really consider the chip shuffling a part of his significant loose movement; that was something he was doing constantly throughout the Big Game broadcast and evidently something he had recently started doing.
Hand #5: http://www.pokerstars.tv/poker-video-9994-the-big-game-2-bershell-vs-laliberte-ii-couch-cannon.html?channel_id=137 (at 2:45): Guy is trying to be tricky in this one. He flops a straight, calls the Loose Cannon’s flop bet, and then check-raises her all-in on the turn. At 3:24, you can see some of that looseness in his face and neck movements. At 3:34, when she asks if he’s got her covered, he also exhibits some real loose arm movements. He also puts on a pretty fake little scared expression that I think is significant and unlikely for him to wear if he was bluffing.
Hand #6: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=E3sp1T-RvoA&t=2m34s – This is a weird hand, because Guy actually has a pair of Aces and a gut-shot when he decides to jam $200,000 on top of Doyle’s turn bet. While Guy’s body language might seem loose while he makes the bet, look at it more closely. There is no playing around with chips or money as he did in many of the strong hands above. His arms move much more purposefully and straightforwardly and his neck movement is much more restrained. His facial expression stays stoic; he’s not glancing around too much. And I think if Doyle hadn’t called so quickly, we would have seen Guy settle down pretty quickly into a much more still demeanor than we saw in the very strong hands above.
Hand #7 – www.youtube.com/watch?v=yOh5Ibw8wu4&t=31m04s – This is a weird hand, with Guy deciding to play his JJ very aggressively on a 5679 board, raising Gold’s turn bet. I think this is a really weird one to get a handle on, just because there’s a good chance that when Jamie doesn’t immediately ship on him Guy must feel pretty good. But still, notice how, like in the hand above, Guy puts in the chips and money very straightforwardly and doesn’t have any quirky movements after that. He responds casually to Gold’s asking if he ever bluffs, but other than that, he stays quite still, arms crossed staticly on the table.
Note: on the above two hands, it may be hard to distinguish the movement Guy exhibits during and immediately after a bet. I think if you watch these above two and compare it to hands 1 and 2, you’ll see that Guy’s body language is much more loose. Think of it this way; Guy, with his strong hands, is much more swaying, much more loose in a horizontal dimension. Whereas on the weak hands, he may show some movement when he’s betting, but it is much more straightforward, or vertical, movement. Hard to describe, but I think you’ll see it if you study those videos one after another.
Hand #8 – http://www.pokerstars.tv/poker-video-9993-the-big-game-2-laliberte-vs-voulgaris.html (at 2:20) In this one Guy bets out $30,000 with A high on the river against Bob Voulgaris. Compare the stillness he settles down into here with the looseness in hand #4 when he bet two-pair against Mercier. Especially the stillness of the eyes.
Hand #9 – http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1h3ux77IbFw&t=1m40s – This is from a WPT tournament in 2007. Guy calls the flop with the low end of an open-ender and catches a pair of 8’s on the turn and immediately goes all-in against pre-flop raiser Carlos Mortensen. While Guy displays some looseness in his movements, I think the important parts are what happens when he settles down into being very still, as seen at 2:25 and 2:29. In the close-up of his eyes, they are barely moving, reminiscent of the hand when he bluffed all-in against Antonio in the One Drop. His stance, hands crossed on table, staring at one spot, is also reminiscent. His face is also very alert, eyes fairly wide, maybe as if trying to give across a confident air.
Hand #10 – http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XEtHen1kOYU%t=1m2s – In this hand, Guy pushes all-in with AK to a flop bet by Tim Pham. He acts it up, telling Pham to save his money, that he’s got it, etc. Considering Guy’s acting pretty crazy in this one, and because I think he’s smart enough to actually say that stuff when he has a strong hand, I’m not too interested in that. But it’s possible that Guy’s wide, alert eyes in this one are significant. I don’t know, though; he could have just snorted some cocaine, which might explain the eyes and the verbal statements.