EPT12 Malta: Show the bluff

I think it's fair to say that the general perception of poker, from those that don't play it, is that a) they think there's a lot more bluffing in poker than there actually is and b) bluffing is the most important skill/part of poker.

Well, if they (the outsiders) knew what had transpired at table 44 a short time ago they'd be able to wear their 'told you so' faces as a bluffing competition has just commenced. Not everyone is taking part, in fact the only participants are Mustapha Kanit and Remi Wyrzykiewicz. The rules are pretty simple 'you must show' (obviously), the best bluff wins and the prize for the victor is dinner paid for by the loser. They signified that the deal was agreeable in the time honoured way with a handshake fist bump.

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To get to how they reached this point we must rewind 10 minutes to a hand played between Kanit, Simon Deadman and Sergii Zubariev. The pre-flop action is unknown but all three players had checked to the river on a K♦8♣3♣2♠9♣ board. After Deadman and Zubariev checked Kanit bet 2,700 and Deadman was the only caller. The Italian showed A♠9♠ but Deadman had him beat with K♥J♥.


The chief bluffer (pictured at EPT12 Barcelona)

These two never shy away from a conversation and some playful banter between them began as the dealer shuffled the deck for the next hand.

"I was in your head," joked Deadman.

"My head is f@*%$d," replied Kanit. "I look crazy, I look Italian. I always bet with nothing so I have to bet when I have something," he continued.

He then took a look at his stack and said: "Now I'm short," and told Deadman he was down to 29,000 (below starting stack).

"You're struggling now then," joked Deadman. "You've got the same as me. I should have lots of chips but I folded," he added.

"I don't have the problem," quipped Kanit to much laughter. "I raise too much and never fold. It's the only leak I have."

Another hand played out and after Kanit and Deadman had both folded the conversation began again. "I can't believe you checked three streets," joked Kanit.

"I can't believe you bluffed with a nine," replied Deadman.

"Ace-nine!," shot back Kanit, tongue firmly in cheek. "I get calls from a pair of deuces with this face," he joked.

At this point the idea of the bluffing competition was broached and Kanit and Wyrzykiewicz - who finished eighth in the Main Event in Season 11 - were quick to sign up. Deadman though was more reticent saying, "I feel like I always get shown bluffs," he said. "I don't think I get bluffed the most often, but when I do I get shown it."

"That's because your face looks friendly," jested Kanit to Deadman.

A decent insight into table image there then, both in how you are perceived by others and how other perceive you and something many poker players would say is far more important than bluffing.


Would you bluff this face?

Everything about EPT Malta is on the main EPT Malta page. More specifically, all the side event coverage can be found here.

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Nick Wright
@PokerStars in European Poker Tour