Friday, September 17, 2004

A Brilliant Poker Player Once Said...

"If you bluff more than once a week, you're not as good as you think you are."

This is my favorite poker quote. It doesn't even have to be true to be correct. Almost all of us are not as good as we think we are. And all of us bluff more than once a week. "More than once a week" is an exaggeration of course, and even though I've told you a million times never to exaggerate, I'll allow it this time.

Bluffing is what poker is all about, right? Especially no-limit poker. Bluffing is all about applying pressure, and going all in for 10x 20x or 100x the pot is a little more pressure than a check raise.

The eternal truism about this is that there are online players who bluff at EVERY DAMN POT. If more than once a week is too much, how can once per hand be good? It can't. These guys kill me.

On party last night, I get T8s (spades) in the small blind. I complete and get to see a flop, which comes out T65, with the 6 and 5 being spades. I bet small with top pair and a flush draw. Player one raises me to $5 and player two goes all in for $32.

I'm staring at T65 and thinking "What on there is worth $32? Maybe someone flopped a set and is afraid of the flush?" I call, because I'm already almost getting 3 to 1 on my money, even if Player one doesn't call. Which he does. Turn and River show no spades, but I'm shocked when the money comes my way... A pair of 10's with a crappy kicker takes the pot? I had to look this one up in the hand history. You gotta love Party for the chance to look at mucked cards after a call. I was facing a mighty 69 and A6 respectively, no spades, obviously.

What in the hell are you going all-in with second pair and an ace kicker for? This one's easy, he saw rags on the board and thought he could buy the pot, which was a whopping $7-8 due to Player One's $5 raise with second pair and a 9 kicker. The truly puzzling move is the call with that rubbish, after 2 players are all in in front of you.

One player who thinks it makes sense to risk $32 to win $8, and another who calls with second pair and no draw.

Habitual bluffers get marked by me, and added to my fish list. I love a guy you can count on to try and steal a pot. Hell, I like a player you can count on to do anything predictable. But you have to mark an awful lot of these guys, because for some odd reason, they tend to disappear and never show up again.

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