Sometimes you’re holding all the cards, and sometimes you’re just trying to convince the competition that you’ve got enough to take their chips. Bluffing is an art form that many have attempted, but few have mastered. With the boom in popularity surrounding Texas Hold ‘Em, national audiences have been treated to some incredible lessons on how to get the other players at the table questioning every move they make. Let’s take a look at a few of the most famous bluffs to ever play out on television.
Tom Dwan’s Smooth Q-10 Play
When a hand starts off with eight players, you’re going to need some serious skills to bluff your way to a victory, but that’s just what Dwan did in this legendary hand. With the flop revealing a pair of deuces, giving one player three of a kind, Dwan fearlessly raised nearly $40,000, but two players stood strong as the turn proved to be of little help to anyone. At this point, with the weakest hand at the table, Dwan raised a massive $104,200 to scare his opponents into folding and complete one of the best bluffs ever caught on film.
Issac Haxton’s 3-2 Showcase
With one of the weakest hands in the game, Haxton bluffed his way to a pot of over $2,000,000. If you think that’s crazy, consider the fact that his competitor held an unsuited 7-5, and the river gave nothing. This legendary hand featured two professionals, going head-to-head with nothing but courage to back it up. When all was said and done, Haxton pushed all-in to back his competitor down and complete one of the gutsiest hands in Hold ‘Em history.
Phil Ivey’s Q-8 Masterpiece
In a hand featuring two concurrent bluffs, re-raises came early and often. As the pot topped $1,000,000 in the championship hand with a queen high leading after the flop, Ivey proved why he is regarded as one of the best players in the world. Ivey kept the pressure high before pushing all-in to scare the competition into throwing in his cards and succumbing to one of the most memorable bluffs the game’s ever seen.
Tom Dwan’s 9-8 Lesson
In a head-to-head battle between two bluffing benefactors, Dwan battled Ivey with little more than a straight face and a prayer. Ivey, awaiting a flush on the river with an ace high, was forced to decide on calling a $123,200 bet. Dwan, holding a nine high following the river, was left to play mind games against Ivey’s superior pair of sixes. A fearless $268,000 bet from Dwan was enough to back Ivey down and complete one of the most ludicrous bluffs you’ll ever see.
Chris Moneymaker’s K-7 Misdirection
The turn brought about the raises in this legendary bluff. Moneymaker pushed in $500,000 against a pair of nines, despite his king high. In a true show of courage, Moneymaker immediately pushed his entire stack in following a disappointing river. His confidence paid off, as his competitor backed down and Moneymaker immediately made himself a household name in the world of poker.