Sports & Gaming


Phil Ivey

Lesson time 24:27 min

Using some of his favorite hands as teaching tools, Phil explains the importance of monitoring your opponents’ stacks and details the ideal circumstances for pulling off a convincing bluff.

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Topics include: Make Sure Your Bluff Adds Up · Monitor Your Opponents’ Chips · Using Board Texture to Push Your Opponent off a Hand · Hand Review: Pushing an Opponent off a Hand · Hand Review: Turning Trips Into a Bluff · Don't Triple Barrel Without Reason · The Bluffing Mindset · Keep Your Bluffs Balance · Hand Review: Bluffing and Balance


[MUSIC PLAYING] - Getting bluffed is a part of playing poker. I mean, if you never get bluffed, you're not playing correctly. Just like if you never get caught bluffing, you're not playing correctly. I mean, if you don't get caught bluffing, then it's going to be so much easier for your opponents to play against you, because you don't have bluffs in your range. So if they know that you're capable of bluffing, they're going to make bigger mistakes against you. They're going to make mistakes against you that they won't make you other people. The object is to make your opponents make really big mistakes against you. [MUSIC PLAYING] It's important to know which better hands will fold and when on a river's, because you want your bluff to work. I mean, you need to know what your opponent's capable of folding. It's really important. You don't want to just be out there bluffing with no reason behind it. You want to have maybe some sort of a blocker card. The most simplest explanation of what a blocker would be is if there are three spades on the board and you have ace of heart, ace of spade. So you know your opponent cannot have the best possible hand. So that would be like you're betting that blocker, because you can only have the best possible hand. He cannot. Better players usually can give you a very detailed description of why they bluff, what card they were holding. Sometimes the reason may be as simple as I thought my opponent was weak. But usually, there's more of a detailed reason behind it. When they say the bluff doesn't make sense, it means you didn't tell the whole story of a hand the correct way. So it appears like, all of a sudden, you check a street that you normally would have bet. And now, all of a sudden, you come out of nowhere with a big bet when a card hits that could not have helped you. So that's why they say the bluff doesn't make sense, because the way you played the hand up to that point doesn't make sense. There's pretty much no way you could have a hand at this point. For instance, the flop is eight, six, three-- eight, six of heart. It checks to you, and then you check back. And then a turn comes-- a deuce. He checks you, and you check back. Then a river comes a seven of heart. Now comes eight, six, seven of heart. Now he checks. Now you make a big bet. If you're the type of player that would have bet a flush, draw, at that point, and you didn't, and you checked, now all of a sudden, you make a big bet on a river, it doesn't really make sense that you have a flush. How could you have a flush? Because on your previous hands, you would have bet a flush draw on the turn or on the flop. Now all of a sudden, you're betting when that card hits. It just doesn't make any sense. So you're more likely to get called, because it looks like there's no way you can have the hand. But you think about the way you play your hands when you have a hand, OK, and you try to emulate that when you're bluffing...

About the Instructor

At age 38, Phil Ivey became the youngest player to win 10 World Series of Poker bracelets. Now the man known for his enigmatic table presence—and widely regarded as the world’s best all-around poker player—gives you unprecedented access to his mental game. Learn poker strategy, pick up new poker tips, and review hands with the player who’s won more than $26 million in live tournament earnings.

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Phil Ivey

Phil Ivey opens up for the first time about his poker strategy and teaches you how to make smarter moves at the table.

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