Phil Hellmuth Presents Read 'Em and Reap

Phil Hellmuth Presents Read 'Em and Reap

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by Joe Navarro, Marvin Karlins, Phil, Jr. Hellmuth Jr.

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very great player knows that success in poker is part luck, part math, and part subterfuge. While the math of poker has been refined over the past 20 years, the ability to read other players and keep your own "tells" in check has mostly been learned by trial and error.

But now, Joe Navarro, a former FBI counterintelligence officer specializing in nonverbal

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very great player knows that success in poker is part luck, part math, and part subterfuge. While the math of poker has been refined over the past 20 years, the ability to read other players and keep your own "tells" in check has mostly been learned by trial and error.

But now, Joe Navarro, a former FBI counterintelligence officer specializing in nonverbal communication and behavior analysis—or, to put it simply, a man who can tell when someone's lying—offers foolproof techniques, illustrated with amazing examples from poker pro Phil Hellmuth, that will help you decode and interpret your opponents' body language and other silent tip-offs while concealing your own. You'll become a human lie detector, ready to call every bluff—and the most feared player in the room.

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Phil Hellmuth Presents Read 'Em and Reap

A Career FBI Agent's Guide to Decoding Poker Tells
By Joe Navarro

HarperCollins Publishers, Inc.

Copyright © 2006 Joe Navarro
All right reserved.

ISBN: 0061198595

Chapter One

How to Become a Serious
Threat at the Poker Table

I presume you want to do your best when you sit down at a poker table. No matter what your level, be it amateur or professional, beginner or seasoned veteran, I realize you've spent your money on this book to improve your game. I, in turn, want you to walk away knowing that you can use what you've learned to achieve that objective.

I'm going to treat you just like the FBI special agents I train. It's a no-nonsense approach. I take my assignments seriously because I know that what I'm teaching can make the difference between life and death in an agent's work. For you poker enthusiasts, the consequences of not learning and using what I'm presenting will not get you killed, but it can be deleterious to your financial well-being. So, let's see what we can do to keep your bankroll healthy.

A Lesson from Medical School

The first-year medical students filed into the amphitheater for their final class in Dr. Patel's human physiology course. Dr. Patel was the oldest professor at the university with a reputation as a strict disciplinarian, so when he arrived with his well-worn medical bag grasped firmly in his right hand, not a sound was heard in the oval-shaped room.

Dr. Patel stepped up to the speaker'splatform, extracted a beaker of yellow fluid from his bag, and placed it on the lectern in front of him. "I have an issue I want to discuss with you today," he began, a hint of anger in his voice. "I've heard a rumor around here that some of you think we're working you too hard: that the assignments are too difficult, the hours too long." The doctor paused and studied the faces of the students who sat in the tiered seats above him. "Well, let me tell you something," he said sternly. "You don't know how easy you have it! When I was in medical school, we worked just as long and hard as you do, plus we didn't have the plush facilities and modern laboratories you all take for granted. For instance," he asked the class, "how do you test for diabetes?"

A female student spoke from the third row. "Well, you can collect a urine specimen and send it to the lab for analysis."

"OK," Dr. Patel replied. "And then what?"

The woman shifted in her seat. "You get the lab report back and make a treatment decision based on the results."

"Exactly," exclaimed the doctor. "Well, in my day we didn't have all those fancy laboratories and diagnostic clinics. Lots of times we had to run the tests ourselves, with no help from anyone else. For example, you know how I had to test for diabetes?"

The woman shook her head and said "no."

"I'll tell you how: taste."

This time the woman shook her head in disbelief.

"That's right," the doctor asserted. "If the sample was sweet, well, that patient had a problem." He picked up the beaker full of yellow fluid. "This is a urine specimen from the lab. And you know what? I've never lost my diagnostic skills." Having said that, the students saw him dip his finger into the urine and lick it.

"That's gross," the medical student declared, her facial expression remindful of someone who had just swallowed raw lemon juice. A chorus of similar reactions throughout the room indicated her revulsion was not unique.

"Hey, at least it's not diabetes," the doctor declared, wiping his hand on a handkerchief he pulled from his lab coat. That didn't seem to ease the students' unrest over witnessing the "diagnosis." They kept speaking to each other in whispered tones until Dr. Patel finally ordered them to be still.

"Now, I suppose some of you are wondering why I concocted this little demonstration," he continued, placing the beaker back on the podium. "There are two reasons, actually. The first is to remind you that medical school has never been easy, and if you can't handle the pressure maybe this is a good time to get out. Now, as a lasting reminder of how difficult medical education is, I want each of you to come up here and do exactly as I did." The doctor tapped on the beaker full or urine. "I want you to get a 'taste' of how difficult medical school can really be."

Nobody left their seat.

"C'mon now, this is no time to be shy."

Not a person moved.

"How about a little gentle persuasion, then," the doctor suggested. "You need to pass this course to continue your studies . . . so if you don't do as I say, I'm going to fail you right out of med school."

That seemed to work. Reluctantly, slowly, and with obvious dismay the students approached the podium, dipped their fingers into the beaker, tasted the urine, and beat a hasty retreat to the bathroom before returning to their seats.

Once everyone returned to the classroom, the doctor began speaking again. "As important as the first reason was for this little demonstration, the second reason is even more critical." Taking a moment to place the beaker back in his medical bag, Dr. Patel paused to give added emphasis to his words.

"The second reason for the urine demonstration is to teach you the importance of observation in your work as doctors. Someday you may be examining a patient who is telling you one thing, while their body language is telling you something else. If you are observing them closely, you might pick up on this discrepancy and make a more informed, accurate diagnosis.

"Just how important is observation?" Dr. Patel allowed a hint of a smile to punctuate his final words. "Well, if you had been watching me closely, you would have noticed I dipped my index finger into the urine, but I licked my middle finger!"


Excerpted from Phil Hellmuth Presents Read 'Em and Reap by Joe Navarro Copyright © 2006 by Joe Navarro. Excerpted by permission.
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.

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Meet the Author

Joe Navarro was a career FBI agent specializing in nonverbal communications and is now a lecturer and consultant for major companies worldwide. He has appeared on Hardball with Chris Matthews, the Today show, the CBS Early Show, CNN, Fox News, and other major media. He lives in Tampa, Florida.

Marvin Karlins received his Ph.D. in psychology from Princeton University and is senior professor of management at the University of South Florida. He is the author of twenty-three books and most recently collaborated with Joe Navarro on Phil Hellmuth Presents Read 'Em and Reap.

Phil Hellmuth, Jr. is a ten-time World Series of Poker Champion and all-time leading money winner at the World Series of Poker. In addition to appearances on the Discovery Channel, E!, ESPN, and Fox Sports Net, he has been featured in Sports Illustrated, Time, and Esquire. Phil also contributes to Gambling Times Magazine and writes for many poker websites. He lives with his family in Palo Alto, California.

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