High stakes players Paul Phua and Sam Trickett give us an insight into bluffing in the Big Game in a new Paul Phua Poker video.
“Never bluff billionaires,” say Sam Trickett and Paul Phua, in this new Paul Phua Poker video – just in case Warren Buffet turns up to your home game regularly.
We caught up with Sam and Paul in beautiful Monenegro at the Triton Super High Roller Series to quiz them about the dynamics of bluffing in the high-stakes games they play.
Other takeaways from this good humoured and entertaining tête-à-tête include the revelation that, despite being the UK’s most successful poker player ever, Sam Trickett still sometimes gets nervous when he’s running a huge bluff – and the riskier it is, the more he sweats, he says. Also, you should be very careful about bluffing a losing player, because he’s probably gonna call you down, say Paul and Sam.
Sam also recounts the time, early on in the days of the Big Game, when Paul bluffed him in a big pot and showed the deception with glee, an incident that had Sam “steaming off his face.”
That was a long time ago, though, and they’ve put the episode behind them. These days, Sam Trickett and Paul Phua are best of friends. “He tends to pick the right spots, actually, in these big games,” says Sam of Paul. “So, like he just said, he doesn’t bluff that much, so when he does it tends to work. So yeah, he’s got an art for it.
Key pointers for bluffing:
- Never bluff a loser: “The guys that are losing find it hard to make good folds because they’re losing,” says Sam Trickett. “Guys that are winning, they’re already happy in their mind, they’ll protect their winnings.”
- Know your table image: “For me, because I have a very, very, very tight image, you know, people think I bluff less,” says Paul Phua. “When l go to a game l say, ‘Ooh, ooh, who’s on the table? These three guys know I’ve a tight image, you know, so l will bluff them more.’ ”
- Look at the whole picture: “You get into a pot and there’s all different dynamics, these variables, you know,” says Sam Trickett. “If he’s a really tight guy, he’s more likely to fold, do you know what l mean? What’s your image like, how have you been playing that day, you know? What type of hand you think he has? If you think he has that hand, do you think he will fold that hand? There’s so many different things you have to think about.”