Top 3 Sickest Bluffs

5 years ago
Sickest Bluffs in Poker
27 Apr

The millions on millions of poker hands that have taken place over the years have made this a very difficult article to write. Picking three sick bluffs is not tough, they are thousands, but the top three, well that's another story my friends.

Naturally many of you will disagree with some of my choices. That’s fine, good in fact, so this should generate some great discussion and some wonderful trips down memory lane for many of us if you guys chime in with your own sickest bluffs in the comments below. Who knows, if we get enough we might well end up producing an extensive top 100 bluffs list in the future.

Without further ado, here are the hands.

Number 3 - The hand that changed poker forever

This bluff is perhaps not the very best in terms of all the technical moves the kids are pulling these days, but this is the bluff that started it all. When Chris Moneymaker, who was a complete unknown at the time, bluffed Sam Farha it was the moment the everyman realised they could play these pro’s at their own game. Recreational players no longer had to pony up their buy-ins and wait for Aces. And we all know what happened next, Moneymaker went on to win it all that year and ignite a poker boom bigger than any of us could have dreamed of in all our days.

You have to give Moneymaker credit here, he made this move as a rank ameteur against a far superior player heads up in the main event. I wonder how the poker landscape would look today if Sammy had picked this bluff off.

Take a look for yourself.

Number 2 - Don’t Bluff a Bluffer!

The second hand on my list is still amazing to watch and god knows how many times I have seen it now. It involves arguably the greatest poker player of all time - Phil Ivey -playing against Paul ‘Action’ Jackson, a player that is not in the spotlight anymore, but certainly lives up to his name in this hand.

This list could easily be compiled of Phil Ivey bluffs. The guy has the heart of a lion and just always seems to know where his opponents are at, which is essential when bluffing. You have to be a great hand reader and understand what level your target is on. Phil Ivey does this better than most time and time again, but the following has to be one of his best bluffs.

OK, let's set the scene.

The two of them are in Monte Carlo playing heads up with a cool million dollars going to the winner. Ivey sits on a 4-1 chip lead and see’s Jackson limp in, Jackson has 56o and Ivey elects to raise it up with Q8 suited, pretty standard so far. Jackson decides to call and they see a flop of JJ7. Ivey leads out and then all hell breaks loose, you really have to see it to believe it!

You would be forgiven for thinking this is just two guys going absolutely crazy, but let's put things into perspective.

Both are professionals playing heads up for $1,000,000 and know their way around a poker game. Phil Ivey shows everything that is required for successful bluff in this hand. Perhaps most importantly he has a plan. He took the betting lead early by raising over Jackson’s limp and sized his bets accordingly, so that he could make the all in shove, which gives Jackson no other option than to fold.

Number 1 - They got Durrrr’d

Picking the sickest bluff of all time was no easy task. All three of the bluffs I have brought to you here have been in and out of my list on numerous occasions, but I finally came to a decision.

The hand features the elusive Tom ‘Durrrr’ Dwan. Again, the list could easily be comprised solely from hands featuring the online poker legend himself, but this one is the pick of the bunch.

In this hand Tom Dwan manages to get Barry Greenstein to fold Aces and WSOP Main Event champion Peter Eastgate to fold trips! How? Well take a look and then we will get our teeth into it:

What a hand! You knew it was going to be a fun hand when Barry opens UTG and everyone calls - a true family pot. Barry couldn’t have been too happy to get so much action with his Aces, but he did get one of the best flops he could hope for - T22. Barry is known in the poker world as a serial C bettor and he does himself proud by firing into the whole table after sneaky Peter Eastgate elects to check with his flopped trips.

Durrrr’s raise on the flop with top pair and good kicker looks awful at first glance, but as he proves throughout the hand, he knows exactly what he is doing. Everyone else gets out of the way and Greenstein and Eastgate both call and see a turn of 7d, bringing a potential flush draw.

Durrrr shows his heart by firing $104,200 cold hard cash into the middle, Eastgate folds trips relatively quickly, no that was not a typo, and Barry ponders for a while before releasing his hand rather begrudgingly.

At first glance, to us mere mortals this looks like Dwan is simply overplaying his top pair in a big way, but when you watch it again, it is clear the reason he won this hand and that is because he knew pretty much what each player had after the flop.

Let's take a closer look, Barry raised in early position, everybody called yet he still fired a continuation bet. There are not many deuces he can do that with, so it is pretty likely he had a premium hand pre flop. Then we have Peter Eastgate, who has played particularly snug the whole time he was on high stakes poker, just calling the flop after a bet and a raise. He can only really have pocket tens or a deuce in his hand. The fact that Dwan has a ten makes the latter much more likely. Next, Barry deciding to overcall really signifies a strong hand preflop, most likely Aces or Kings.

That was Dwan’s read and his cards no longer mattered. He put the perfect amount of pressure on both players, causing them to fold and raked in a pot of over $237,000 as his reward. He even tried to squeeze a bit more out of them by offering a bet on Peter Eastgate being the one who folded the best hand, he was obviously so confident in his read and he was right.

Many hands missed the cut here, some of my most notable were:

Hellmuth bluffing Matusow with 72

Brad Booth putting in bricks of cash to get Phil Ivey off Kings.

Lex ‘Raszi’ Veldhuis’ 5 bluffs in a row at the WSOP

Articles 12

Sam is a freelance sports writer from the North East of England and Co-Host of weekly sports podcast, the IAWSportsCastHe is a lover of all sports and regularly tries and fails to beat the bookies.Read more


You need to be logged in to post a new comment

No Comments found.