Resting Comey face: the greatest poker expression of all time?

  • James Comey’s senate hearing saw the emergence of ‘Resting Comey face’
  • Internet goes wild over former FBI director’s steely poker face

James Comey spoke a lot at yesterday’s senate hearing, yet his demeanour gave away nothing. If you were watching the tense and often terse exchange with the TV muted, you would have had no idea whether the former FBI director was squirming, elated, angry or experiencing any of the other emotions that are normally written all across our faces.

comey poker face
Resting Comey face: the former FBI Director’s steely composure took the internet by storm during his senate hearing

Whether this was the product of meticulously rehearsing his delivery in the bedroom mirror or the fact that Comey simply always looks this impassive is hard to tell. In fact there’s a lot that’s hard to tell about a man who seems to have perfected the art of giving away nothing.

New career as a poker pro?

Comey might have thought his icy cool demeanour would withstand all attempts to analyse his state of mind and he was right…up to a point.

Instead, the internet turned its attention to pondering how James Comey got so good at betraying zero information, leading many to wonder whether the man could have a new career as a poker pro.

The usual tweets involving the usual Lady Gaga lyrics were quoted, as armchair commenters marvelled at the man who refused to be ruffled by the assembled cameras, politicians and the world at large.

The perfect poker face

A great poker face has long been regarded as an enviable asset, and James Comey certainly isn’t the first public figure whose poker face has attracted considerable scrutiny.

Previous champions have included Lance Armstrong, whose video denials in 2006, when he was still maintaining that he hadn’t cheated, were a masterclass in betraying nothing. As for celebs whose faces are deemed to be especially inscrutable, Johnny Depp, Kate Moss, Eminem and Jude Law have all been singled out for their ability to keep calm under pressure and remain unflinching under the glare of 1,000 paparazzi flashbulbs.

Yesterday’s performance by James Comey takes some beating though. One thing’s for sure: if the former FBI chief does take to the poker circuit, he certainly won’t be needing dark glasses or a drawstring hood.

Comey’s game face is an asset that would strike fear into even the most seasoned of pros. It’s a look which says absolutely nothing, which in a game where success rides on the faintest of tells, means absolutely everything.

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