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Bluffing April 29, 2007

Posted by Michael in Economics, Personal Experiences, Philosophy.

I learned something interesting at my poker party last night. I learned how not to bluff.

It was a typical all-guy poker party. Pretty much looked like this:


A guy in the game got burned on a bluff. After the hand was over, another guy (who had dropped out of the hand early) commented that the bluff was obvious. It was something he learned on some TV show about poker.

According to him, when you are bluffing, you subconsciously need to over-project confidence. You do this physically, by moving your chips into the pot too rapidly, and smacking them down too aggressively.

After the hand was over and we were talking about it, we all recalled that this was exactly what the bluffer had done.

So here’s my free advice for today.

Bluff slowly.

This advice applies to more than card games. I have found an excellent music selection to make this point.


BTW, I actually came out ahead last night. That’s unusual for me. I made enough money to cover the huge annual fee that I pay to WordPress ($20) for extra storage to save all the graphics on this site.


1. Vizzini - April 29, 2007

Now you tell me…

2. harrison - April 29, 2007

It’s about time we got some fine art on the walls of this place.

3. Retired Geezer - April 30, 2007

I vote for a painting of Elvis on velvet, with an Indian woman grinding corn, topless, in the bottom right corner.

Just sayin’

4. Wickedpinto - April 30, 2007


5. harrison - April 30, 2007

What’s the matter, WP?
Cat got your tongue?

6. Pupster - April 30, 2007

Pacing is important, but the key is “tail discipline”.

Pup: I’m all in…

Moses: Fold.

Casey: Fold.

Pup: Dammit.

7. Pupster - April 30, 2007

Michael, there is a reason you don’t get any praise for your sonific selections. That song is godawful.

8. skinbad - April 30, 2007

It kind of has a lesbian/folksy feel. Wilson-Phillips with less talent. What’s not to like?

9. Dave in Texas - April 30, 2007

I never bluff.

Make of that what you will.

10. Pupster - April 30, 2007

Bluff, no.

Buff, yes.

11. kevlarchick - April 30, 2007

The key is to distract the bluffers with meaningless side bets:

– 10 bucks says Michael farts in the next 5 minutes
– 20 bucks says Pupster’s woman calls before 11pm
– 50 bucks says Dave in Texas marks the Queen of Hearts
– 100 bucks says harrison goads WP into a paranoid frenzy and then leaves
150 bucks says geezer wins the night

12. Dave in Texas - April 30, 2007

50 bucks says Dave in Texas marks the Queen of Hearts

sucker bet.

13. skinbad - April 30, 2007

– 10 bucks says Michael farts in the next 5 minutes

Don’t try to steal my money.

14. harrison - April 30, 2007

100 bucks says harrison goads WP into a paranoid frenzy and then leaves

Little ol’ me?

15. dr4 - April 30, 2007

Dont look now but i think Ace is cheating…

I dont believe pinto would have time to go into a paranoid frenzy- he’d probably be too busy talking about all the “bitches” he’s broken.

Either that or sitting in the corner “applying his lipstick.”

16. kevlarchick - April 30, 2007

I don’t know how to play poker in any form. I’d have to partner up with someone.

Enas Yorl would be a great partner. The rest of you are complete bullshit artists. NTTAWWT.

17. harrison - April 30, 2007

Sounds like Enas has you snowed already.

18. daveintexas - April 30, 2007


19. Pupster - April 30, 2007

I call KC, and raise: “Dave is also a poopy-head.”

20. Retired Geezer - April 30, 2007

150 bucks says geezer wins the night

Aw, it was only beginners luck.


21. Sobek - April 30, 2007

“The rest of you are complete bullshit artists.”

That’s kinda the point of poker.

22. steve_in_hb - April 30, 2007

Michael –

The most basic rule of trying to read unsophisticated poker players is that when they act stong they are weak, when they are weak they act strong. Sighs, slumped shoulders, hesitantly calling while making self-disparaging comments all indicate strong hands. Slamming chips while betting, intimidating stares, etc indicate weakness. More experienced players will maintain constant mannerisms or vary their behavior (act weak when weak, etc) in order to make simple reading ineffective.

A very simple but effective read on inexperienced players is watching their hands when they put chips in the pot. Trembling hands almost always means they have a monster hand and are barely containing their excitement. This doesn’t work on experienced players because they’ve seen so many hands it doesn’t phase them.

If the flop comes down with two of the same suit and the turn is the third of that suit you will see people check their cards. They don’t have a flush, but are checking to see if one of their cards is the suit in question. Inexperienced players will remember if their cards are suited, but frequently don’t bother to remember suits otherwise.

23. kevlarchick - April 30, 2007

OK. Thanks Steve! Now I know how to bluff! yay!

side bet: 20 bucks says no one will want to be my poker partner.

24. Michael - April 30, 2007

Thanks, Steve.

25. Dave in Texas - April 30, 2007

KC, I’ll be your poker partner.

Just remember to bring some money.

26. kevlarchick - May 1, 2007

Money?! What, so you can bet it all away?!

27. composmentis - May 1, 2007

OK. Thanks Steve! Now I know how to bluff! yay!

Why did I read that as fluff! ?

28. daveintexas - May 1, 2007

This is one of them there rhetorical questions, ain’t it CM?

The only partnerships I’m aware of in poker are when a husband and wife are playing at the table.

29. composmentis - May 1, 2007

And then you’re not playing for $, but for your spouse’s clothing 🙂

30. kevlarchick - May 1, 2007

$50 side bet: compos goes *potty* every ten minutes and returns to describe each outcome in detail.

31. composmentis - May 1, 2007

Listen woman, I do not go *potty*. You got that? I . . . never mind. I just ain’t got it in me to be descriptively disgusting right now.

Although . . . my wife and I were in God’s Waiting Room, a.k.a. Florida, a little over a month ago. We had a very nice, romantic, and expensive dinner of which mine included shrimp and scallops with pasta alfredo. You could have almost considered it soup with all the butter it was swimming in. On top of that, I had a bottle of chianti.

After dinner, I pulled the convertible over, we took off our shoes and made our way to the beach for a warm, breezy, romantic walk. No sooner had my feet hit the sand when I knew I was in trouble. I delicately apologized to my beautiful date that the walk was not to be.

Stopping and looking around I said, “Um, ya know. I don’t think this walk is gonna happen.”

She asks what’s up and I tell her, “I think all that butter in my dinner is acting like human Drain-o and we’re not going to get very far before the tide comes in, if you know what I mean.”

She laughed and shook her head, saying that once I stepped onto the beach, it became one big litter box.

We made it back to the condo just in time for me to re-enact the bathroom scene from Dumb and Dumber.

A side note: I’d like to punch the SOB who thought it was a good idea to put that extra button/fastener on the left side of men’s dress pants. When you’re about to blow an O-ring, it’s literally a pain in the ass to have to undo the right button, unclasp, then have to undo another freakin’ button on the left. Stupid bastard.

32. kevlarchick - May 1, 2007

Jeebus, man.

Not so OT: I’m listening to a woman over the cube wall “negotiate a settlement” with Papa John’s Pizza. She had a *bad pizza* and I’m hearing some compos-like details.

33. daveintexas - May 1, 2007

When threads go bad!

34. composmentis - May 1, 2007

Hey, it’s KC’s fault. She started it!

35. kevlarchick - May 1, 2007

Compos, the $50 is payable by check or money order. Or cash. Or alcohol.

36. Sobek - May 1, 2007

Did anyone else notice that compos began that post with the disclaimer “just ain’t got it in me to be descriptively disgusting right now”? Because that seems a tad … inconsistent with what he ended up writing.

37. daveintexas - May 1, 2007

I think he was trying to draw us in, and then spring the trap.

38. composmentis - May 1, 2007

Kind of like a nice dish of shrimp and scallop alfredo soaked in butter.

39. doc - May 1, 2007

Given your prior gastrointestinal escapades, Compost, you might consider sticking to the more bland menu choices. Food for thought (but not your colon).

40. composmentis - May 2, 2007

Hey, it’s how I stay thin. Kind of like bulimia, but without the psychosis and the barfing.

41. Retired Geezer - May 2, 2007

but without the psychosis…

Oh sure *He* doesn’t have it, but think of his family.

42. ciarteyuazx - November 9, 2007

Just found some great Xmas present ideas, check here:

Metal Cigarette Cases

43. compos mentis - November 9, 2007

Great. Now I just have to get my seven year old into smoking a pack of reds a day and I’ll be set.

44. David - November 29, 2008

I am looking for my brother Michael Pinto who plays poker and calls himself Doc and is 65 yrs old.Our father delt 2 royal flushes in the same hand at the Sahara in LV and is famous for that. Thanks

45. livewriters.com - January 20, 2014

The first is when a Queen hits on the flop giving me trips.
Just give them an invitation to play and if they join up, you get the credit.

If you don’t have money, never name with the tiny blind.

46. lauraw - January 20, 2014

Truer words were never sharted by an internet spambot.

47. geoff - January 20, 2014

Crap. I keep forgetting not to name the tiny blind.

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