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The Ten: Televised Poker Bluffs

This Week We Take a Look at Some of the Most Memorable Cons


Tom DwanWhen compiling a list of the best bluffs ever recorded on TV it quickly becomes a Tom “durrrr” Dwan infomercial on how to become a millionaire. The high-stakes pro is notorious for some of the most shocking, yet massively successful bluffs in the history of the game.

Thanks to some suggestions from our Facebook fans, we have established a list of the top 10 facades seen at a poker table. These hands have helped popularize the game, and, perhaps more importantly, have reiterated the notion that poker is a game of skill rather than luck. Aggressiveness and creativity win.

Below you will see hands not only from Dwan, but also from his adversaries Phil Ivey and Barry Greenstein, fellow online superstar Phil Galfond, tournament regulars J.C Tran, Chris Moneymaker, Isaac Haxton, and more.

1. Tom Dwan v. Barry Greenstein and Peter Eastgate: The young online legend from New Jersey turned top pair into arguably the sickest bluff ever. Dwan apparently knew Greenstein had the big over pair, and was sure that the timid Eastgate held trips with a weak kicker. The problem for Eastgate was he bought in for so much, a detriment which helped Dwan muscle his way into a historic con.

2. Isaac Haxton v. Ryan Daut: In one of the most aggressive heads-up duels in World Poker Tour history, the pair of Internet pros tangled in a brazen bluffing contest. It would be Haxton who would make the final play, re-bluffing Daut with the worst hand possible as $1.5 million was on the line.

3. Phil Ivey v. Paul Jackson: On a J-J-7 board poker’s best all-around player led out, was reraised, and then shipped it in with no pair and no draw. What is impressive is that Jackson had so little behind after his reraise that Ivey must have known his queen-high was good. All that was on the line was a cool $1 million first-place prize. Ivey has churned out some of the best fibs in cash games as well as tournaments.

4. Brad Booth v. Phil Ivey: One of the most daring plays in High Stakes Poker history saw Brad Booth risk $300,000 in bricks off cash with just a gut-shut straight draw in order for Ivey to fold pocket kings on a precarious flop. Booth, at the time one of the “best players no one had ever heard about,” quickly become a familiar face in the poker community.

5. Tom Dwan v. Phil Ivey: As the two best cash game players in the world, it comes as no surprise that the duo would run some insane bluffs against each other. Here is one of the best, as Dwan pulls an impressive three-barrel fraud with just nine-high in a pot that escalated to $676,000.

6. Chris Moneymaker v. Sam Farha: This semi-bluff turned blatant lie on the river might seem lackluster to some of the deeply thought out bluffs in recent years, but this 2003 gem from a then-amateur Moneymaker is arguably one of the most important in poker’s history. With the hand Moneymaker had confidence and chips to win the World Series of Poker main event, putting in motion his credited poker boom.

7. Tom Dwan v. J.C. Tran: The tournament powerhouse fell victim to yet another Dwan soul-read, folding an ace on an A-J-9-J-J board in a Premiere League sit-and-go. Tran surprisingly checked to Dwan on the river, and left himself open to an over-bet shove. Tran folded as Dwan, with a smirk on his face, mucked his Q-10. It’s hard to question anything Tran does at the poker table, but when do people give Dwan that much credit?

8. Tom Dwan v. Bob Safai: When Dwan asked his businessman opponent how much he had behind, Safai simply laughed and said it was about $150,000. After being in the tank for minutes, Dwan finally put his opponent to the test by overbetting all in for $133,000 into a pot of just $39,000. Dwan is capable of ultra-thin value bets, but in this spot he was running a stone-cold bluff.

9. Bill Klein v. Phil Galfond: With Internet cash game legend Galfond showing tons of strength, amateur-player Klein made one of the most unexpected deceptions ever. Old guys are stereotypically tighter than younger players, as Klein used this to his advantage by sticking in $150,000 with complete air.

10. Jennifer Tilly v. Herself: Having a set of jacks on the flop and turn before rivering a full house, the former actress tricked herself into thinking Patrik Antonius held quad kings. After checking behind on the turn and river, the reaction at the table from pros such as Ivey, Erick Lindgren, Jen Harmon, became an instant classic. No one could believe the preposterous bluff Tilly just ran on herself.



over 9 years ago

1-6 are solid, but IMO... durrrr's river overshove vs Sammy George w/ 7-2, luckexpress's insta all in on the river vs durrrr for less than a minraise, and Ivey's 5bet pre w/ 5-2off vs Veldhuis should be in there over anything from 7-10 on the list.


over 9 years ago

What difference does it make what Tilly did on the end since Antonius can't call ? It's not like she cost herself anything.