We start our process with recording poker players and creating behavioral datasets. Our studies utilize RFID poker tables and between 6-10 camera angles to record every single movement at the poker table. We also utilize psychophysiological instruments such as the Empatica E4 to collect additional data focusing on different states of physiological arousal. Our recording efforts are ongoing and we currently have close to 200 terabytes of raw footage of both cash games and tournaments ranging from micro to high stakes.
CODE & MEASURE
In order to perform the level of analysis we require, we need to tag and code every movement and action at the table. Every bet, check, call, raise, blink, smile, smirk, weird facial movement, word spoken, it's all coded using both qualitative and quantitative methods. In order to code such a large database we use automated and manual coding procedures. Meaning when a computer isn’t tagging facial expressions a member of our research team is manually coding every single action at the table.
To analyze this massive dataset we have created what we call the CAT (Contextual Analysis Tool). The CAT tool combines all of the player’s hands and every action at the table with every single behavior and when it exactly occurs within 1/30th of a second. This way we can see how actions, hand strength, and behavioral events impact behavior at the table. This gives us the ability to answer any question we have about the relationship between behavior and actions at the table. For example, what does an increase in blink rate in post flop situations mean?
The goal of Beyond Tells has always been to gain a deeper understanding of behavior at the table for practical reasons. This is not the simple “if a player does x thats means they are bluffing” type insights that plague the poker community. We develop highly flexible frameworks or approaches to understanding behavior. In order to validate our approach we backtest those frameworks against our large database of behavior to measure its effectiveness.
In addition to our research efforts, we create highly effective training products. In 2014, we released our first training program Beyond Tells 1.0. In June 2018, we released Beyond Tells 2.0 a completely redesigned 12-week highly immersive and interactive online training program.
Poker has gone through a wide range of advancements over the past 20 years. However, the behavioral side has remained relatively ignored. While books have been written, no single group or organization has ever attempted to approach the area of poker with the level of attention and detail it deserves. When we say “Beyond Tells will change the game of poker”. We believe it. We are fully committed to changing the landscape of live poker and showing the poker community the power of behavior at the poker table.