POKER

Boris Becker and the infamous ‘tongue tell’

TAGs: Boris Becker

An old article resurfaces during the Australian Open that might prove useful to poker players squaring off against Boris Becker as Andre Agassi reveals an old ‘tongue tell.’

Ladies, listen up.

Boris Becker and the infamous ‘tongue tell'The next time you are facing three barrels from Boris Becker, and he starts flicking his tongue at you, it might not be what you think.

In an old story, pumped back to life by Australia’s Herald Sun, we learn how Andre Agassi learned how to beat Becker during their clashes in the early 90s after the American found a ‘tell’ with the German’s tongue.

In the article, Herald Sun writer, Emily Benammar, explains how Agassi struggled to beat the German when the pair first clashed in 1988. After Becker had won the first three matches between the pair, Agassi realised he couldn’t handle his serve.

The American and his coaching team plunged into the video replays and found a remarkable insight that swung future matches heavily into Agassi’s favour with the power of a wrecking ball.

“He had this weird thing with his tongue,” Agassi said at the time.

Video evidence revealed that just before tossing the ball, Becker would poke out his tongue. If his tongue poked down the middle, then that’s where the ball went. If it slipped out of the left-hand side of his mouth, the serve would fly towards the tram lines. Armed with this information, Agassi went on to win the next ten matches with Becker only winning one more before retiring in 1999.

Andre Agassi Should Start Playing Poker

Agassi’s ‘tongue tell’ observation was stunning in itself, but what followed makes him a potentially profitable poker player. Speaking about the discovery, Agassi said the hardest thing was not to win every point on his serve. The American believed that it was important to let the German win some of the points so he wouldn’t become aware that Agassi had found his tell.

Agassi later told Becker about his tell over a few pints during an Oktoberfest Festival once they had both retired.

“I used to go home and tell my wife — it’s like he reads my mind,’ Becker replied.

Becker is currently in Australia representing Eurosport with a spot of commentating on the Australia Open. Poker players will have to wait and see if he pops into the Crown to take part in the Aussie Millions. If not, you can keep a sharp eye out for his tongue when he represents partypoker at the MILLIONS event at Dusk till Dawn, Nottingham in April.

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