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Poker Profiling

by Gavin Griffin |  Published: Jun 13, 2012


Gavin GriffinOver the past 8 years I’ve been playing poker for a living, I’ve come to see similarities with my career and the careers of others. Some of them in real life, some of them in the realm of television and movies. For instance, I used to watch the TV franchise CSI: Crime Scene Investigation. They take small bits of information and from those bits of information piece together a case against a suspect. I take the little bits of evidence from a poker hand and use them to piece together my opponent’s holding. In the TV show The Mentalist, the main character uses his words and intelligence in order to manipulate others into giving him information. I do that, not with my words, but with my actions at the poker table.

In Criminal Minds, the Behavior Analysis Unit is made up of profilers. These are people who take the research they’ve done in the past and the information they’ve found at crime scenes and combine all of that to create an accurate profile of what they expect the killer to look like. I am clearly not dealing in matters of life and death at the poker table, but I use this skill quite often when dealing with people who I’ve never seen before. It’s important to have some base to start from when playing poker against someone you’ve never played with and then to adjust from there based on how you see them playing. Sometimes you have very little to go on, but you can use any piece of information you have in order to gain a bit of an edge. Over the years I’ve been playing, I’ve noticed some things that are pretty reliable. Allow me to share a few of them with you.

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