It seems like most of my bad plays lately – esp. online – have involved too much bluffing. I have watched some “Poker After Dark” episodes on YouTube and see the likes of Tom Dwan, Phil Ivey and others playing high level poker, with lots of bluffs and re-bluffs. I watch some World Poker Tour on TV and tons of bluffing there too. I played in some live cash games and watch some players just run over the table with naked aggression and yet the other players (including myself) continuously fold to what appears to be obvious multi-barrel bluffs.
In a live tournament I watched a couple of players execute amazing 3-barrel bluffs, then show their cards at the end.
But when I bluff, too much of the time it turns out that A) there must be some signal to the Villains that my bluffs are obvious, or B) the Villain has an actual hand.
Semi-bluffs, multi-barrel bluffs after dry flops, bluffs at scare cards, continuation bets after being the pre-flop aggressor, bluffs after missed draws where the Villain appears to be giving up, bluffs where I don’t even know why I’m bluffing or what I’m representing, tilt-induced bluffs…
Gotta stop this.
In January, I switched my online play from full ring tables to 6-max tables. At 6-max, two-thirds of all hands are played from a blind defending or blind stealing position. This leads to lots of stealing, bluffing and re-stealing. It is important to mix it up more in these games, or the blind stealers will eat you alive. On the other hand, the bluff-catchers are eating me alive.
Which leads to more tilt.
Which leads to more bad bluffs.
Somehow — as my daughter likes to say — one has to prevent the first domino from falling.
But how can I do that?
Will a haiku help?
Bluffing is worse than folding
Nah… a limerick should do much better.
The old man doth too much bluff
Thinks he’s onto tricky stuff
’til he goes on tilt
Losses lead to guilt
Straightforward play works enough!
Quick note on a missed opportunity: playing $1-2 NL online last night and had 7h 5h in the hijack seat. Thought about trying to get to a cheap flop and thought better of it. Aren’t these the types of hands the keep getting me in trouble? So I fold. The cutoff raises to $6 and the button calls. Flop comes 6h 4h 3h and the cutoff immediately moves all-in. AAAAAARRRRRRGGGGHH!
Year-to-date online results: + $408
Month-to-date online results: + $529