From a smirk to a frown, anything can be a game changer. While for your eyes, we have sunglasses to make them impermeable but nothing much can be done to conceal a strained forehead, tightened cheeks or any other form of reflex facial movement.
A lot of drama can be witnessed at the poker table. Some might pretend to leave with best cards in hand; others try to look aggressive with simply rags. There are small talks initiated to divert attention from oneself and there is exchange of glances in an attempt to cover a no hand.
We usually discuss and learn on what gestures convey but often get fooled by our opponent’s deceiving actions. These gestures although categorized as non-verbal form of communication are of late pretty unsubtle due to poor acting of our amateur players. Mastering this art to manipulate opponents especially newbies is easy but when you sit in front of players who have beaten a hell lot of stacks and have clean swept the table, you need extreme confidence and a savvy methodology to break their game.
At that moment the only thing that will save you from a knock out is the skill to interpret the countenance. Words, phrases, actions can be faked but micro expressions, no way. They involuntarily appear on your face. If you are human you have emotions and your emotions have the tendency to appear, even if for a nanosecond but they do show up. That is where your skill to read and recognize others’ emotional postures would act as an added advantage.
Micro expressions usually appear at the time when someone is trying to hide their feelings. The best examples of such are found nowhere than a poker room. This works on the simple science of “conceal some and reveal some” but may or may not be proportional. You, in turn have to learn and play with every clue you get. There might be unexpected interactions and consequences thereafter but hey, this is where your experience counts.
And once you get this right, whatever your opponent is withholding, he isn’t doing it from you.