Card Player has started a new series, in which Gavin Griffin answers some of the common questions poker players place before him. He said that poker players ask him a wide range of queries, some of which are good and some of which are just bad beat tales disguised as queries. Gavin has urged new poker players to ask him any question they please because he is eager to help in any way possible.

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One of the players interacting with Gavin complained about the large number of televisions in the poker room. Complaining that the other players at the table hardly pay attention, he urged Gavin to tell him a way to make opponents pay attention to the game instead of just folding because they want to focus on the rest of the match on TV. Gavin responded with a question of his own: “Why do you want your opponents paying more attention?”

Explaining his query further, Gavin said, “I find playing with players who are disinterested to be pretty profitable. You get much more information from them. In addition to that, if he’s paying attention to the TV, he can’t be paying that much attention to the game, so he’ll miss game flow information and make mistakes that way.”

Gavin further assured the questioner that distracting televisions are a cause for concern only if everybody in the hand gets distracted. However, attentive players can easily take advantage the situation if just two or three players are getting distracted.

Speaking on the topic of poker tells, Gavin said that the most obvious live poker tell is “the pulse in a player’s neck” because “most people can’t control this one.” He said, “a fast pulse in the neck is almost always an indicator of a really big hand. Do some experiments when you have a really big hand next time and try to take stock of how your body is reacting. You’ll probably notice that your pulse is unnaturally elevated.”

Speaking about the best timing to enter a tournament, Gavin said that he prefers being on time because the first levels of a poker tournament are very valuable and meaningful. Second, late registration tables are tough because the ones who turn up late are always sharks while the ones who come early are the fish. Third, players who turn up early stand a better chance of getting a table that will not break up throughout the day.