Now, no-one likes to judge a book by it’s cover, however on occasions it comes in very handy. As mentioned in the seating position section, if there are a few seats open then you want to find the best place to sit down. Personally I prefer to sit on one of the ends as it gives you the most visibility of all the players. However before selecting this seat (if available) I will quickly try to assess playing styles from the chip arrangements and from the clothes that people are wearing:
Be on the lookout for people wearing poker t-shirts. You know the ones. Clothes that say “I’m Bluffing”, or “I’ve got the nuts” or have some other form of crappy slogan on them. People that advertise their game in this way are advertising the fact that they play poker. While this may impress their friends who know nothing about the game, it shows that they are clearly at a beginner level.
However do not confuse this with clothing displaying poker sponsorship, or subtle poker club logos. Players that are sponsored are so for a reason – they are good players! Players that wear a discreet small logo may just have a liking for a particular brand. People that wear a huge logo and shove it in your face are trying too hard to be a poker player and are exposing their amatuer status. We like to label these players as having “All the gear but no idea”.
Think of the first two levels of a tournament as a scouting opportunity. Sitting out of most of the hands will give you plenty of time to observe your opponents’ strengths and weaknesses, tells, and betting patterns. Form a mental dossier on each player.
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