What is “Hollywooding” in poker?

What is

Poker has a deep-rooted tendency towards showmanship, which you can still spot in some players, although it has diminished with the development of online poker, mathematical games, and theory. That’s what “Hollywoodization” is all about, as the strategy’s name suggests: making moves to (over)try to cover up a hand. Hollywood-style acting is considered poor table manners because it’s a deliberate waste of time for the game’s marginal added value. Acting at the table doesn’t do much, although that doesn’t stop some people.

This can happen for two reasons, the second being more common:

1) hands but wants to pretend it’s a hard call; trying to hide the hands he’s playing.

2) When a player expects to call or raise with good hands, but has weakness in his own hand or expects others to pay attention to his bluffs.

Usually, Hollywoodization represents the strength of the player, as he expects us to fall into the “complex” trap. However, it can also be used in reverse to add intensity to a show and remind smart and skilled players who are already familiar with the technique. In a way, it can act as a tell or “reverse tell”.

To illustrate with pictures, we have Danish Nielsen and French Guri in the EPT Barcelona match. The first to get the poker on the flop and get called by Ace High thanks to a very obvious and blatant show that confused Gury. His mindset led him to believe that superficial accomplishments were a sign of weakness, when the opposite was true. Genius or Crazy?

What is

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