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Team Full Tilt's Chris Ferguson Talks Bluffing with Seven-Deuce

Chris Ferguson

Team Full Tilt Poker's Chris Ferguson analyzes a stone bluff in a no-limit hold'em hand against hand against Mike Matusow on Poker after Dark.

This is a very strange hand I played last season on Poker After Dark. On this particular hand, I’m playing with Mike Matusow and four of our friends. We are playing a high-stakes cash game with blinds of $100/$200 with a $25 ante instead of the normal Poker After Dark sit-n-go. Mike Matusow has been wanting to play the seven-deuce game, where if you win a pot with seven-deuce, everybody pays you a certain amount of money.

He wants to play for $500 and I don’t really want to play, but to make him happy, I offer him $250. He and the table want to play for $500 or a little more, so I say no. Because of that, Mike gets on my case and calling me a nit, saying that I should want to play the seven-deuce game, and gets mad for preventing his friends and him from playing it.

After he started making fun of me, I decided that I’m going to bluff him the next time I get seven-deuce and I’m going to play it all the way. It’s something I never do. If I’m going to bluff, give me something. Give me the four-five of spades, but the seven-deuce is such a weak hand. But because he had been making fun of me, I had already planned it out and I was going to make a big bluff on him the next time I get seven-deuce.

Here’s the hand where that happens. He is in second position and it turns out he has {a-Spades}{8-Spades}. He makes it $625, and now I pick up my {7-Spades}{2-Spades} and this is the perfect opportunity to reraise him because he’ll fold and we can have a nice big laugh. Now I’m just thinking about how much I want to make it. Normally, you make it about three times the original raise and here I make it $2,000.

He calls my reraise and, of course, I just wanted to pick it up right there. I basically got caught here, but there is still plenty of room to maneuver. The flop is {10-Hearts}{A-Hearts}{Q-Spades}, which could have missed him. If he has a medium pair, he is sure to fold when I bet, so I think I have to bet here. I have absolutely nothing, so hopefully I pick up this pot here, laugh, and get on with the game.

I bet $2,500 and the pot was about $4,000, so it’s not that big of a bet. He has his ace and a backdoor flush draw, so he calls. Now a nine falls and I’m drawing dead. He checks and I feel again that I have to take a stab at this pot. It’s going to be very hard for him to call with a lot of hands. I reraised before the flop, so this flop could have really hit me good. Now I bet $6,000, about two-thirds of the pot, which is a regular bet and he calls again, which I’m not happy about. This pot is getting a little bit serious now.

At any time during the hand, if Mike had bet or raised me, I would have folded after I had made that original reraise. I wasn’t looking to sink a ton of money into this bluff, but it just kept seeming like the right play. So now on the river he makes two pair when an eight falls, but any jack makes a straight here and I figured I had to bet one more time. I had come this far, I can’t give up now. I bet $12,000, which is a little over half the pot and I’m just praying he lays it down.

I had shown so much strength on this hand that he would have had a hard time calling. Even though he made two pair on the river, now it’s looking like I have a jack. Maybe I have a higher two pair or something like that, but I think it’s really hard for him to call with two pair. So he folds and I show.

I thought the table would get louder, but I think it got a little quieter.

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