This is a discussion on Tells within the online poker forums, in the Live Poker section; Ok, player seat 1
Older, male, card holder, spinner toy.
Wears hat, with brim, 1/2 finger gloves, decorative coat.
When do you think he spins the
Too many players get caught up in the "psychology" version that Hollywood portrays. It is a romantic approach to "stare down the opponent" in poker or play the best bluff or whatever, but real life isn't as linear as one tell signalling a specific hand. Why did my opponent scratch their forehead? They must be uncomfortable or weak, right? Not necessarily: perhaps they just had an itch. This is why the best poker players look for and combine information from multiple tells, betting patterns, timing and so on to make decisions.
For every tell you've probably heard in poker, I've probably come across at least one player who does this and it means nothing or the opposite of what is taught. I think the problem is generalizing everyone under blankets. Although x tell is usually the case, this player may be the exception. When I am searching for tells, I am looking for any behavior that is out of the ordinary or repetitive. I can then asses what this means for this specific player.
Does this person play with the spinner constantly? It could just be a way to mentally get through the game's stress for them. Do they spin it whenever they have a monster hand? What about a missed flop? etc. These are things I might consider. The presence of the spinner might not mean anything (although chances are that it might hold some information).
p.s. I am relatively newer to poker, but I excel at psychology and live poker is by far my favorite. I am a college student going for a psychology major, so naturally a lot of human nature patterns show up in poker too. What we are looking for with potential tells is behavior abnormal for them. We then asses what this behavior may mean with observation and confirmation. Obviously, they may even be displaying a reverse-tell to intentionally mislead you, but this is a separate conversation to ponder.