Thursday, April 22, 2010

The other kind of bluffing

Generally, when a person talks about bluffing in Poker, they mean putting a big bet with bad cards. There is actually another way to bluff, and it is bluffing that you have bad cards when you have a monster. It is very useful against suspicious players. I'm not talking about slow-playing. Here is my recent war story to illustrate my point.

I was at a 5/10 game in utg+3 with $1400. B was in the dealer position with $4500, and C was in BB with $2000. I recently won some money from him, so he was a bit off from his game.
I picked up JJ, and I limped $10. Co limped, B raised 5xbb to $50, C called. Seeing the opportunity I reraised to $200 to represent high pocket pair. B hesitated for a bit, and called (possibly: low pocket or AJ,AQ,AK). C folded. Now the flop came A,J,2 rainbow. I got middle set and I was first to act. I decided to go All-in with $1200 to represent high ace pair or stone cold bluff. B almost insta-called and the rest is history.

Against most suspicious, aggressive players, overbetting is seen as a sign of weakness. Plus my preflop check-raise represented high pocket, so his read is that I don't have an Ace. I probably have something less than an ace, like KK or QQ. B's read is right, I don't have an Ace. Plus most people don't go all-in with a monster set with no real draws.
Usually I don't feel particularly great winning a big pot from someone, since everyone works hard for their money. But for B, after he taunted me and showboating so much about how he bluffed me out of a $230 pot, I'm glad I took 10x back from his bankroll :-)
Poker ediquette is important after all, if not just because people will play softer against you.


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