Poker is a game that was created by liars, played by liars and all the money is owned by liars.
Never believe a word that comes out of the mouth of a poker player. They have become so good at fooling their opponent’s they can’t remember what parts of their lives are even real anymore.
This is what makes this game so beautiful. Nobody likes to tell the truth. We all wear a mask, and bluffing is the sexiest way to keep people from seeing who you really are.
With that in mind I reached out to as many of the games greats as I could to ask them to share their theories on the top 10 lies poker players like to tell.
1# The Good Old Bust Out Lie
It’s a rare thing indeed to find a poker player who gives you an honest appraisal of their bust-out hand. Inevitably, some amazing feat of mathematical outlandishness has resulted in the exit when in general things are generally a lot simpler than that.
“I just played the hand like an idiot.”
“One of the biggest lies I hear the most is the one when they bust out and make it seem as if they were the victim of a bad beat, when in fact they just played the hand terribly,” says Rupert Elder.
2# Good Luck
It’s the final hand of the biggest buy-in event in the world. It’s winner takes all, with $1m in prize money going one way and the insides of a balloon heading the over.
The two combatants have managed to duck and dive their way through a field of 10,000 people and they stole the $10,000 buy-in from their mothers purse, and need to get it back in their before she dips her hand in searching for the Silk Cut.
The player’s look at each other, liquid leaks from the sweaty palms as they embrace.
What a load of sweaty horrocks.
“Players saying good luck is the biggest lie in poker.” Says Nicolas Levi.
“I hope you die of a heart attack right now,” Is a more apt response.
3# I Never Tilt
When I first read the Mental Game of Poker by Jared Tendler I was blown away. It was as if the little man was inside my head. I got so excited I told everyone I knew to buy it and it was then that I feared for Tendler’s book sales.
“I don’t suffer from tilt.” Came the chorus of replies.
“I never tilt” is the biggest lie in poker. Everyone tilts, even if it’s in minor ways they may not even know about.” Says Max Silver
4# I Had You Beat
According to the French Pro, Benjamin Pollak, the most common lie that he hears reverberate around his earlobes is the ‘I had you beat’ line that inevitably comes after another super cool lay down from Pollak.
“When I ask a player what he had, and he tells me that he had me beat, I always know that I would have won the pot.” Says Pollak.
5# I Had to Fold or Move All-In
This little beauty is the personal favorite of Paul Jackson who has been around long enough to hear his fair shares of porky pies.
“I would say the biggest lie I hear is ‘I had to fold or move all-in,” says Jackson.
Not really mate.
You could have raised, looked interested in the hand, took less than two minutes to make your decision, or even smiled.
6# I Got it in Good
Kara Scott gets particularly irked with this one.
“The one lie that I hear a lot is ‘I totally got it in good,’ when they quite clearly didn’t.”
This lie is used quite commonly by people whispering their sordid tales away from the main action on the felt, and generally follows a hand that has led to complete and utter disaster.
I use it when trying to explain to the wife why I have just blown £1,000 on a tournament buy-in after telling her we can’t afford a vacation this year.
7# I Put You on That
If you think Derren Brown, Dynamo, David Blaine and Paul Daniels are the greatest mind twisters of all time, then you haven’t met a poker player.
It’s true that these guys can ask you to think of an animal and always know you are thinking of a cat or a chicken, but poker players can guess a complete hand with suits thrown in for good measure.
“I like the one where players always put you on a hand once showdown has been reached and they can see your holdings. It’s strange how their predictions are strangely similar to your actual holdings and yet their decisions in the hand tell a completely different story.” Says Rhys Jones.
8# The Classic Bluff Spot
As I reiterated earlier: bluffing is black stockings and suspenders. It’s the sexiest thing about the game of poker, but it’s also the foundation of a lie that the Dane Morten Mortensen hears time and time again.
“The lie I hear a lot is when a player is talking through a hand and they tell you how good a bluff spot it was, and how they would have surely done it with any two cards, yet always seem to have the nuts.”
9# The Pants Down Scenario
There is nothing more cringe worthy that watching someone squirm in their seat after being caught with heir pants, or knick-knack-paddy whacks, well and truly warming the ankles.
Here is Leon Louis with the chapter and verse.
Player 1: “I had AK!”
Player 2: “If he didn’t call I was definitely going to call.”
Player 1: “I folded the ace of hearts.”
Player 2: “You couldn’t have. I folded the ace of hearts.”
Player 1: “Maybe it was a diamond?”
10# I Never Bluff
This is a line that comes from the old school way of thinking. More roaring 1920s than digital 2000s.
“I always have a good laugh at the older men you find yourself up against from time to time,” says Anton Wigg. “They always find the opportunity to tell you that they never bluff and then always take the first opportunity to bluff.”
I also asked Mathew Frankland for his input in this article and he told me that he was too busy trying to find the soap in a Jacuzzi he was sharing with The Royal Flush Girls, but if I Facebooked him the question he would reply later.
“Promise?” I asked.
“I always tell the truth.” Said Frankland.
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Very nice article. I really enjoyed it!