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Poker Players Show Amazing Observation Skills

Have you ever watched a televised poker tournament? Cameras are embedded in the table, allowing you to see the cards held facedown by each player. Poker lingo is tossed around by TV commentators explaining the action. It is fascinating, at least until the novelty of it all wears off. These poker shows—coupled with the availability of various poker websites—have contributed greatly to the enormous popularity that this card game has enjoyed in recent years.

Join a game, and you'll quickly discover that success is not a matter of "being lucky.'' Successful players bring considerable skills to the table. They certainly have intimate knowledge of the various odds for different hands. They also notice numerous nuanced behaviors on the part of other players, such as facial expressions, nervous twitches, and other body language. These "tells'' increase their odds of guessing what kind of cards the other players hold. Such signs can be detected from various physical behaviors, especially subtle pattern changes in eye movement (stares, glances), eyebrow movement, lip movement (bites, licks, twists), breathing (sighs, grunts), sitting adjustments (back, forward, or to the side), hand and finger positioning, chip stacking practices, card-holding techniques, timing of bet placement, feigned attitudes, and myriad other details.

The very best players, those pros who consistently win tournaments, are highly skilled in such microscope looking. They scrutinize: competitors, studying the scene, detail after detail, looking all around.

Possible Preaching Angles: Bible; Meditation—We should bring the same high quality powers of observation into our study of Scripture and knowing God.

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