Mar 06, 2015
The Headset that could make you a Poker Champ
By RTR Dennis
Helping poker players become better at the game has become a multi-million dollar industry, with coaching, books, training videos and Twitch channels all readily available. And it's not hard to see why players dump money into all of these services because, with the right help and hard work, they can win lots of money.
But what if you could skip all of the training videos and books and get better with the use of a simple product? No, we're not about to link to a terrible infomercial for a poker-pro-in-a-pill offer, but instead discuss a headset that partypoker is testing out.
A high-tech headset that records players' brainwaves
In order to test out a device that can supposedly make one a better poker player, the Daily Star's John Ward wore the Emotiv headset during a WPT Aspers tournament. The device works by reading brainwaves to measure a player's frustration and excitement during poker games. Researchers can then take this data and pinpoint how players react when they're winning, losing and bluffing. And this helps to accomplish the overall goal of reeling in your emotions to make better overall decisions and avoid giving off tells.
Taking Ward for example, his brain was measured by the Emotiv headset for one hour during the Aspers tournament. The brainwave readings showed that Ward made his best decisions when both his excitement and frustration levels were at the lowest. Going further, when he made fewer rash decisions, he began to win more hands.
SimpleUsability, which carried out the test, explained the matter further by stating, "Overall, the player's frustration levels declined over the course of the first hour. His levels of frustration became lower and more consistent, with fewer peaks."
Just the beginning of testing the headset
While the Emotiv headset definitely appears to be useful, it isn't a miracle-worker. Ward failed to cash in the tourney while Britain's Christopher Gordon went on to take the £22,500 top payout. But this certainly won't deter partypoker from their goal of continually testing the headset.
"Partypoker are on a mission to democratize poker and bring 'poker for the people' in the UK," a partypoker spokesman said. "As part of this activity partypoker have set up a task force to shake up the poker market in the UK putting ‘everyman’ at the center of everything they do."
Party have continued working with SimpleUsability to run some tests on online poker players. And here's a brief description of how the experiments work:
"Several partypoker members of varying levels of skill and experience are equipped with an Electroencephalography (EEG) headset. Members are then asked to play a 40 minute session of online poker under observation, which is recorded both via camera and activity on the screen. This was then directly compared with captured data from the EEG monitor to identify which plays and situations cause certain reactions."
It looks like partypoker is still in the midst of their tests and gathering data. But once they do make sense of all the findings, it'll certainly be interesting to see how the results can help the average poker player improve their game.