A good poker player is more than just a calculating mind – they can read minds, or rather faces, while keeping their own indecipherable. With 43 muscles in the human face, it only takes one to betray you. Now there is a way to reinforce that poker face with a program of Botox facial injections specifically for poker players called ‘Pokertox.’ A New York doctor of aesthetic medicine, Jack Berdy, conceived of the idea in 2012. For an average cost of $600 to $800, those who are serious about poker but have trouble keeping their ‘tells’ in check, can purchase themselves a poker face. The effect will last for three to four months, according to Pokertox.com, Dr. Berdy’s site where prospective patients can schedule appointments.
Speaking to the New York Observer, Dr. Berdy said, “It was a natural match for the business I’m in and an application that hasn’t been used before.” Dr. Berdy, himself a former poker player, told The Observer that he certainly would have dabbled with it if he were still properly involved in the game. He added that he believed his peers would think it a “wonderful idea”.
Pokertox – Fad
Patients are required to disclose their ‘tells’ to Dr. Berdy in order for him to effectively neutralize them. Common tells include raising eyebrows, squinting, or a tendency to curl the corners of one’s lips. He told The Huffington Post, “We can also put Botox in areas to make it look like the player has a ‘tell’ they really don’t have.” However, Pokertox may not have been the game-changer that Dr. Berdy had been hoping for. A few months after its inception the product’s Twitter account had fallen dormant and the buzz around it had dwindled.
Professional poker player Josh Hale told The Huffington Post that the idea was 10 or 15 years too late. He claimed that the game had moved on from bluffs and was now more analytical, with players relying more on betting patterns and bet sizing. Of course many ‘tells’ are not in the face at all, and for CA players that give themselves away with their hands or posture the only solution is self-control.