Bluffing Advice From Annie Duke: Don’t
We saved a little of our interview with Annie Duke for today just to celebrate her appearance tonight (May 21) and tomorrow in the Harrah’s poker room.
Duke, as we noted in the interview, spends a lot of time teaching poker and we asked her what are the most important points she tries to get across to players. The answer: position is everything and bluffing, well, just don’t fall in love with it.
“I think a lot of players don’t really value position properly,” says Duke. “And particularly nowadays you see a lot of people play a lot of goofy hands right up front. I try to drive home just how big a disadvantage it is to be out of position on a poker hand.”
But Duke was much more pointed about players who over rely on bluffing.
“I talk about what bluffing is and when it’s appropriate,” she says. “Because I think right now bluffing is overused and generally badly executed. And that’s a really disastrous combination. If you do it too often and not well, that’s pretty bad.
“One of the things that people don’t realize is that the hands you choose to play are intricately linked to bluffing,” Duke continued. “Because when you choose to play a hand, you’re actually at that moment setting your bluffing frequency. Meaning that clearly the worse the hand, the more likely you’ll have to bluff to win.
“So if you choose to play a hand like seven, six of hearts, chances are on the flop, if you want to win that pot, you’re going to have to bluff most of the time. Where if you play pocket aces, you never have to bluff. So you have a lot of control over your bluffing frequency.
“You should only play bad hands in situations where you can bluff effectively,” she says. “Because that’s probably what you’re going to end up doing. But what people think about with those hands is making the straights and flushes, but you should actually be thinking about making nothing, because that’s what’s most likely to happen.”
Duke appears tonight in the Harrah’s room at 6pm with a Q&A session with the public scheduled for 8 pm. Saturday, Duke will be playing in the poker room at 11am. Her appearances are to promote the WSOP super satellite event at the casino going on through May 27.