Bluffing is a big part of poker, and something that will always have a great effect on which action a player will take on any given hand. Bluffing is an essential weapon for all players, because if you never bluff, you might as well turn your hand over and let your opponent see your cards.
However, there is a time and a place for everything, and sometimes it is very easy to bluff too much and also not to give up a bluff when it turns out it has very little chance of succeeding. I found some hands from the weekend that illustrates this point.
THENUTHUNTER gets caught triple barrelling without winners in a $83K pot.
A friend of mine, who is an excellent short-handed player, once said to me that he never bluffs without any winners, even if it is only an overcard. Granted, as I said in the ingress, you will have to make bluffs from time to time to keep your opponents honest, but when you do, you might as well have some winners to fall back on. In the hand above, THENUTHUNTER tries all he can to take this pot away from his opponent, but CADX2 is more than happy to let him hang himself.
I also think that THENUTHUNTERS’ bet on the end is very ill-advised. OF course, he only need to be successful about 1/3 of the times for his bluff to be profitable, but the flip side of that is that his opponent only needs to feel he is getting 2-1 on his call for a call to be profitable. I just don’t feel that this is the right spot to invest the last $20K.
CADX2 takes down another triple barrel bluff from THENUTHUNTER in a $73K pot
The bluff THENUTHUNTER is trying on here is much easier to defend, though I am not too thrilled with his 3-bet out of position with 85s. And, to be frank, I don’t think CADX2 is playing this hand too well either. It is one thing to let your opponent bluff off his money when you are holding a pair of aces like he did on the previous hand, but to try the same with just Ace high is not to be recommended. He has no idea where he is at in this hand, so he is just hoping that his hand is standing up at this point. Besides, if he is so sure that AQ is good here, he should have made a big 4-bet pre-flop to take down the pot there and then.
Now he got really lucky on the river. It would have been interesting to see if he would have made the hero call if a blank came on the end. Actually, the way the hand was played, THENUTHUNTER could have been bluffing with the best hand if a 4 or 8 hit on the river, and his CADX2 might have turned the bluff into a value bet by calling him down.
THENUTHUNTER has an overpair, and gets CADX2 to pay him off all the way in a $72K pot
Of course, it is not all bad to have the table image if a maniac. When you do hold some good hands, you are a lot more likely to get paid off. Unfortunately, we are not shown CADX2s’ hand, but I suspect it wasn’t all that good. It seems likely that he would have made a raise somewhere with top pair, since he would be very vulnerable to overcards hitting the flop somewhere along the line.
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