• Poker Stars

    horse poker

  • Don't Get Sucked Into The Bluff Vortex

    bluff vortexThe bluff vortex in poker describes those times where your money mysteriously disappears into a black hole (a pot). You know where your money went, but at the same time you have no clue where it went. Any player who has played a decent amount of hands will be able to relate to this situation. Players will get caught up in a hand (for a variety of reasons) and simply abandon all logic. Their one and only goal becomes winning the pot in front of them at all costs. It makes no sense as sometimes players will be betting their entire stack for a pot half the size. It really is unexplainable how the bluff vortex sucks players in, but I will do my best to explain exactly what it is and how you can avoid it.

    Texas Hold'em Articles:

    Getting sucked in, how it happens and how to avoid it

    We are playing against a few loose players at our table. They aren’t just calling-station-loose, they are spastic-aggressive-loose. Everything seems to be going the way of these maniacs. Every single pot is being shipped their way. They raise what seems like every single hand and never face an ounce of opposition. Now we are fed up. With total disregard for the 8h 7d that we are dealt we boldly mash the “Bet Pot” button. To hell with our cards, it is our turn to win a hand! These crazy players can’t play with reckless abandon and win OUR money! No, well will not stand for it, it is time to show them who is in charge.

    We bet pot and it folds around to the last player, one of our favorite maniacs. He elects to call and we see the flop.

    - Kh 2d 9c

    Pot! Gotta take it down now, he will fold and we can type “That’s what I thought” in chat. That will show him, last time he bluffs you. Our master plan fails and he again calls.

    The turn is now dealt.

    - Js

    This is our opportunity to seize control. The pot is now moderately large and we can book a decent win, but more importantly we will have put the maniac in his place. Bet the pot again, surely he will fold…but he calls.

    The river comes.

    - 10d

    We have to rep the straight, no, it doesn’t even matter, we just need to win. “All in!” Our money is in the middle as a few seconds pass. We have just put all of our money in the middle when it hits us.

    All we wanted to do was take one pot away from the guy playing every pot. Now we are on the brink of giving that same player our entire stack. He calls two seconds later and flips over KJ for the straight.

    Ego is one of the biggest factors in the bluff vortex (and many other aspects of poker). If you are able to put your ego aside the second you sit down at a table you will be able to avoid these types of situations. The only real motivation for winning this hand in the first place was an ego boost. Who cares if a crazy player is running hot for a few hands? Eventually that wild playing style will pay us dividends. We fall into the vortex when we let our feelings take precedence over our mind. If you look at this hand out of context it will look like it was poorly played, but in the moment it felt oh so right. If you can simply remember to leave your ego at the door you will be able to avoid the bluff vortex altogether.