Bluffing the Man That Never Bluffs

What’s up readers? Unfortunately, things didn’t go quite as planned with the goals challenge I had set for myself for this week. After a long weekend of hanging out and partying with friends at school, I returned to Cleveland with a nasty flu that kept me on the sidelines for two days. Needless to say, I did not complete the challenge as I fell short of my volume and running goals. I haven’t decided where the donation for this loss will be going, although I’ll likely just go with the same place I donated to last time. On a better note, I was successful in reaching my studying and meditation goals, so this week wasn’t a complete bust. I feel like I’m getting sick a little too often these days though, and consequently need to do a better job washing my hands, not touching my face/mouth/ eyes, etc., to avoid exposing myself to germs unnecessarily.

New Goals

For this week, I’m not going to be putting myself up to the challenge as I’ve got some personal/ family related stuff going on and I’m not exactly sure how much time it’s going to take out of my week. Still, I’m going to be adding a couple of goals to the usual list. I spend a gross amount of time lying in bed after I wake up in the morning and want to do my best to be more time-efficient. While I rarely will stay in bed for more than 20-30 minutes, those minutes add up over weeks and I could certainly be doing something more productive than trying to fall back asleep or staring mindlessly at my phone flipping through various social media apps. So, I’m going to do my best to get out of bed as soon as I wake up every day. Second, I’ve been eating pretty horribly since becoming a full-time professional. It’s not necessarily by choice, but more a result of my erratic schedule. Since I often don’t end my sessions until midnight or later, my dinner options are usually limited to casino-food or some sort of fast-food drive-through. While the casino-food isn’t that unhealthy, it’s certainly not that good for me, and I’d like to start doing some cooking at home to improve my diet and cut out some of the greasy/ junk food that I’ve been indulging myself with over the last few months. So, I’ll set the bar low to start things out and make my goal to prepare at least one healthy meal for myself each week. I plan to expand upon this and make it a more daily thing in the future.

Bluff-Raising The River

This week, I want to talk about a hand where I bluff-raised the river, something I talked about wanting to do more of in one of my earlier posts.

Game: 2/5 NL, 9 handed

Hero: (~1300) on the CO with 7h8h. Hero has been playing pretty LAG, especially against the villain in this hand in the 1-2 hours we’ve been playing together. Hero has 3bet the villain multiple times. Hero stacked villain a few orbits prior to this hand in a 3bet pot where I bet, bet, jammed (after being shown a king by villain OTR, lol) on a K63KJ board with KJs, and got snapped by KQ.

Villain: (500) on the LJ. 50-60 year old wealthy-looking foreigner. History is limited to about 9 hours of play, but villain is clearly a recreational player. He VPIP’s 40-50% of hands, raising about half the time and limping the rest. Villain is generally stationy but is aware of it. He has given other players at the table advice not to bluff him, lol. He has also been adamant about the fact that he never “bluffs.” I put bluffs in quotations as I’m not sure he fully understands the definition. While villain is definitely usually weighted towards value when he shows aggression, I’ve seen him take a few stabs at pots seemingly randomly, although he seemed very reluctant to fire multiple barrels. Villain seemed to have the common bet-sizing tell where he bet large for value and small with his bluffs.

Preflop: (7) Folds to villain who open limps, hero raises to 25, whale calls in BB, villain calls.

Flop: (75) JcTcJh. Checks to hero who bets 35, BB folds, villain calls.

This seems somewhat straightforward to me. I tend to over cbet paired boards for exploitative reasons and given the equity I have with my gutshot and BDFD, and the fact that I rarely expect to get bluffed off my equity (i.e. if I get check-raised, it’s almost always for value), I’m cbetting in this spot 100% (against these specific villains). I used the smallish sizing because I’m c-betting so frequently. When villain calls, he can have some Jx (some would check-raise, and JT+ likely would have raised preflop), a lot of Tx, and a ton of FD’s and SD’s.

Turn: (145) 4s. Villain checks, hero checks.

I think I have little to no FE here, as villain will likely continue with all of his Tx and most of his draws, and obviously will never be folding Jx or better. I do think betting has some merit if I think the majority of his range is draws that will call turn and fold blank rivers as I can set myself up for a more profitable bluffing opportunity OTR. Still, I think villain is going to be slow-playing Jx and not folding Tx often enough (even when facing turn and river barrels) that checking the turn and betting blank rivers when checked to is going to be the most +EV line.

River (145) 3d. Villain bets 50, hero raises to 175, villain quickly open folds Qc9c.

When villain makes this small 1/3 pot on the river, I reverted back to the bet-sizing tell I had picked up and came to the conclusion villain was most likely either bluffing with a draw that bricked out or possibly making a blocking-bet with Tx. I think 8h7h functions really well as a bluff here because it doesn’t block many of villain’s busted draws and also obviously has no show-down value. I think I could have chosen a smaller size where I’m basically only trying to fold out villain’s bluffs that are beating me, but elected to go with a more standard sizing to potentially fold out some of his Tx as well.

Villain had been extremely open to showing me his cards, and not wanting to lose that perk, I let him see this bluff. When I tabled my hand, he looked at me kind of confused and exclaimed, “You bluffed me!”

I responded, “Yea... but you bluffed me first.”

“No, I never bluff,” he said back to me. Like I said, this guy clearly doesn’t understand exactly what bluffing is. Maybe he’ll read this and get a better idea, although it’s doubtful. That’s it for this week. I’ll talk to you all again soon. Thanks for reading. Also, special shout out to JaceTheMind and Jeremy for actually leaving comments. Getting feedback and just knowing that there are actually people out there reading this is pretty rewarding, so thank you guys for that. Peace!