Monday, January 18, 2010

Potential Psychology Study

A lot of new players in online poker are unaware of the fact that the poker sites expose all cards at showdown, by ways of writing the data in a hand history file. Therefore, every player at the table can in theory check what you had, if the hand went to showdown. Many of us get this automatically displayed by Hold'emManager or PokerTracker.

For those who are unaware of this fact, it may seem like a reasonable of the game to try some free "advertising" by lying about what they had when they lost a big hand. It's amusing for most players around the table, of course, but they often persist. (On a related note, I find that calling them on it - exposing their lie - is a big mistake; it very often shames them into leaving the table and you probably want to keep inexperienced players around.)

There is a pattern in these lies that I'm fascinated by, and it's that the hand they almost always pretend they had is pocket kings. Not aces, mind you, but KK. Why? Why specifically kings? What does this say about the human psyche? "I'm going to make something up; I'll pretend I had the second biggest hand." Are they too scared to go for the Big Lie?

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