Joe Navarro answers your questions: July 2009

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I was playing in the Battles at the Beach at the Isle and noticed this guy turned in his seat away from the table after he made a huge bet on the river. I wasn’t in the hand and the other player folded. It was a huge pot and I really wanted to know what he was holding. Was he bluffing? — KEVIN IN MIAMI

Kevin, I wish I could answer that. Rarely do players give off just one tell. I wish I could have seen his face, counted his heartbeats, looked at his pupils and a few more things such as was he sitting tall or slumped. Rarely it’s just one tell. Ventral denial, turning away, is usually reserved for when we dislike someone or what they just said. At the tables it’s often used by bluffers to indicate indifference or to make them look like they don’t care. I’m afraid in this one I would need more information, but thanks for asking. At least you saw something most people would have missed.

— Ex-FBI counterintelligence officer Joe Navarro of Tampa specialized in behavioral analysis for 25 years. He’s a star lecturer with the WSOP Academy and has penned Read ’Em and Reap, which you can find on Amazon.com. Email Joe at
editor@anteupmagazine.com and he’ll answer your questions.