Twittertainment: 8 Rules for Bluffing, Free Poker Tips from Phil Galfond

In this week’s Twittertainment, we remind ourselves why Phil Galfond is the poker hero we need but don’t deserve. That’s right, in what’s become something of a theme in recent weeks, Galfond has disseminated a series of invaluable, but free, poker tips on Twitter.

It all started on Jan. 16. Galfond celebrated his 38th birthday and, as a gift to the community, he outlined 10 lessons he’s learned from poker, business, and life. He followed up those tips on Jan. 24 with another masterclass.

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Phil Galfond Gives a Masterclass on Bluffing

This time, he set his sights on a topic that’s often misunderstood and misapplied: bluffing. 

Everyone loves the thrill of stealing a pot with the worst hand but, in a lot of cases, people get it wrong. That’s hardly surprising given the fact bluffing is part science, part art (see video below). 

Galfond’s attempts to educate the masses like a poker messiah won’t change the fact that some people still bluff too often in bad spots. However, if you pay attention to his latest sermon, your chances of finding +EV spots should increase dramatically.

Phil Galfond’s eight tenets for bluffing in poker are as follows:

  1. Attack flops that miss an opponent’s range
  2. Be careful when draws miss
  3. Know what you are representing
  4. Know when to focus on their hand
  5. Know when to focus on your range
  6. Know your opponent
  7. Understand what the stakes mean for your opponent
  8. Use leverage

Listing those tips would be enough, considering that Twitter is a free medium and Galfond has his own training site (Run It Once). But, as he often does, the high-stakes pro went above and beyond. A detailed explanation of each point followed in subsequent tweets. 

Poker Community Can’t Get Enough of Galfond’s Free Poker Tips

Judging by the reactions from recreational players and established pros, it’s a Twitter thread worth reading. We’ll let you read through the poker strategy tips at your leisure. For now, we’ll focus on the reactions to Galfond’s tweet. 

Perennial tournament grinder Allen Kessler recounted an old tweet from Daniel Negreanu who claimed he wasn’t bluffing enough rivers. Negreanu fixed that leak and, now, Kessler wants to do the same with help from Galfond’s bluffing masterclass.

8 tips on bluffing from @PhilGalfond @RealKidPoker poker said he wasn't bluffing rivers enough and fixed that.

I need to bluff more rivers so players can't play me perfectly in those spots.

Great tips Phil!

As you’d expect, the words “thank you” appear dozens of times within the viral thread. 

Alexandros Lazaridis went a step further and praised Galfond’s ability to distill complex poker tips into a format everyone can understand.

Don't know how you do it but you really manage to explain complicated stuff to be simply understud as 123. Great content 👍 Can't thank you enough End Boss.

Galfond Describes His Best Bluff

Fellow poker pro Max Silver came at the discussion from a different angle. While he no doubt took something from the advice, he wanted to know what Galfond’s best bluff was.

“There was a PLO hand in Bobby’s room when I was still pretty new to live poker. The blinds were either $300/$600 or $500/$1K. [Patrik] Antonius pot bets the river for $80,000 on J-A-3-K-7 and I shove for $20,000 more with A-T-T-X. It was my proudest because I was nervous in there & still went for it, laying him 12:1. (and proud because it worked),” replied Galfond.

American pro Matt Vaughan wanted a deeper dive into the Antonis bluff. He knows that 10s are great blockers, but he wanted to know which hands Galfond was trying to make Patrik Antonius fold.

Yeah, targetting sets specifically.

Free Tips You Have to Read

Anyone who takes the time to read through Galfond’s guide to bluffing poker strategy tips and the breakaway discussions will undoubtedly learn something. In fact, “something” is probably an understatement. 

Phil Galfond is a master at making tough topics accessible and his guide to bluffing has struck a chord with everyone. 

Thanks for the awesome, concise tips. You’re doing a fantastic job distilling complex ideas to their essential principles and communicating them clearly. I appreciate it a lot and think you are providing incredible value through both Twitter and YT vids. Thanks so much Phil!

Perhaps the most impressive thing of all is that Galfond isn’t for anything in return. In his own words, he’s made $1 billion worth of bluffs over the last 18 years, so he’s learned a lot. 

Now, out of the goodness of his own heart, he’s condensed those lessons in a series of free poker tips. 

If you only read one poker Twitter thread this week, make sure it’s Galfond’s guide to bluffing. It doesn’t matter if you’re a newbie or pro, the advice is invaluable. 

Then, if you want even more advice on how to bluff in poker, you can check out Phil Galfond’s YouTube channel for more videos like the one shown above.

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