My sister and her family came to visit over the holiday weekend and I started talking to my brother in law (one of the Project Flying Panther investors) about poker. He's been reading my blog and asked my why I haven't posted about more bluffs. The plain and simple reason is the types of bluffs I pull the trigger on are very boring - but effective.
I played about 3 hours of $15/$30 yesterday and one bluff that fits both the boring and effective category came up about an hour in to the session. I was in the small blind some with some piece of shit hand that I've forgotten. There were two callers, I threw in one chip to complete the small blind and the big blind checked his option. The dealer scooped $4 out of the pot for the rake leaving $56 in the pot.
The flop came down A 9 2 and we all checked. I was all set to check again when another 2 hit the turn. "Ah ha!" I thought. This card didn't help me at all, but it was also unlikely to help my opponents either. Even better was that if anyone had an ace they probably would have bet it on the flop and there was a fair chance someone might have bet a 9. On top of the it was completely plausible that I as the small blind could have a 2 in my hand. Plus is was a small pot that everyone seemed to have given up on. And I was only risking $30 to pick up $56. Put that all together and this was just about the best bluff of all time! Sure enough I fired out and everyone folded.
This might not sound too exciting, but if you can find a spot like this once an hour and break even the rest of the time you'll make $56 an hour - a killing at $15/$30.
It was all down hill from there...
I spent the first two hours fluctuating from -$500 to -$100 and back down again. I was at about -$200 when a very odd hand come up.
An early position player raised and I called with 55 (a marginal call at best). A player behind me called as did both blinds and we took the flop 5 way. A 5 of spades was the first card off the deck along with a 2 of spades and a red K. The original raiser bet, and I decided to get deceptive and play my hand fast - I raised, the big blind called, the original raiser 3 bet, I capped it and we took the turn 3 handed.
The turn was a 7 of spades and the original raiser bet into me. This was very, very odd. The way I played my hand was consistent with a flush draw and if I didn't have that I had to have a big hand. How was this guy betting in to me? The only thing I could think of was that he had a king of spades and another spade in his hand or maybe the ace of spades to go along with a king. I just called and the player in the big blind went all in for his last two chips. I was hoping for a board pair in the river, but instead I got a 4th spade, the jack. My opponent bet again and even though I was getting a little better than 13 to 1 to call, I folded.
My opponent took the side pot and then it came time to show for the main pot. Normally in this spot he would just roll over his hand. Instead he said "I'm showing in turn for the main pot" meaning he wanted the other player to show his hand first. "FUCK!" I thought. "That means he does not have a spade." The other guy didn't want to show his hand either. "Double fuck! He doesn't have a spade either!?" Sure enough after 30 seconds of the dealer, the big blind and the original raiser talking about it (two of the three were not native English speakers) the big blind showed A3 of diamonds and the other player showed AK with no spades. GACK!
I made another set on the very next hand and lost to the same guy. A little while later I called a raise with KT off and a shortly after that I 3 bet someone with A9 off. These are not strong plays and I realized I was not playing well. Even though the game was still good and I'd been planning to stay for at least another hour I packed it in for the night. I lost $797 for the session.
But the good news is after 6 sessions of Project Flying Panther I've played 21 hours, I'm ahead $2,419 which means I'm making $115.19 an hour. The bad news is this sample size is so small that these results are nothing more than a slight indication that I should expect to win. In fact if I put in 100 hours over The Project I'll end up playing about the same number of hands that I used to play on one busy Sunday when I was playing online. Amazing!