New Poker Headset Claims To Read Player’s Minds

4 min read

SimpleUsability and partypoker team up to release the Emotiv headset.
Reading players in a whole new way.(

Serious invention or a crazy marketing ploy? That’s the question poker players across the community are asking after reports of a new poker headset capable of reading brainwaves was revealed.

Reviewed and reported on by British newspaper, The Daily Star, the mind reading device, known as Emotiv, could potentially help poker players refine their skills and reduce their tells according to the developers.

Despite looking like something from Back to the Future, the headset is reportedly able to read the user’s brain activity and provide feedback on whether they are frustrated or excited.

This data can, in turn, be used to assess the fluctuations in user’s performance during a session. The overall result is an outline of how certain moods affect the relative skills of the subject.

Headset Reads Reporter’s Mind

British newspaper, the Daily Star, was keen to test out the developer’s claims so they dispatched a team to the recent WPT National event in London to put the headset through its paces. The paper’s reporter, John Ward, was the man given exclusive access to the device and after an hour of grinding with the electrodes attached to his head the results were logged in the system.

After the reports were analyzed by a representative from SimpleUsability, the company behind Emotiv, it was revealed that Ward performed better when he was less excited and less frustrated. In fact, as the session went on and his readings showed he was in a state of calm, his performance improved and he was able to win some pots despite being a novice player at best.

Although revealing that players perform better when they’re calm isn’t exactly revolutionary, a number of pros who witnessed the headset in action did suggest that it could be useful for eliminating tells. Whether someone will be willing to sit with a series of electrodes attached to their head for long enough is another question.

+EV or another Poker Novelty?

After hearing about the new device, psychology expert and the author of The Mental Game of Poker, Jared Tendler said that the “revolutionary” product probably isn’t as industry-defining as the developers may think. In a statement given to, Tendler posited that Emotiv will probably win the “no-shit” award among poker players.

The ‘great insight’ this product gives really just deserves the no-shit award. Making better decisions when less excited and less frustrated is a phenomenon that’s been known for over 100 years. There’s nothing groundbreaking here. This product could be valuable for players who lack emotional awareness. However, it doesn’t show how to correct, resolve or train their emotions,” explained Tendler.

A spokesperson for partypoker, a site which seems to have an interest in the product, disagreed with Tendler and believes this product could shake-up the industry and the way players improve their skills.

“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 centre of everything they do. We have teamed up with SimpleUsability Ltd to literally get inside players’ heads and see how they react and respond to partypoker’s games in a bid to make play more exciting and deliver the best experience for players,” said the partypoker representative.

The poker industry has had its fair share of “revolutionary” products over the years but many have failed to change the game in a way some may have expected. Could the new mind reading headset by SimpleUsability be any different? Let us know what you think.

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