The 4 most reckless bluffs in World Series of Poker (that won)
Top 4 Most Reckless WSOP Bluffs That Actually Worked
Poker is a game of skill, strategy, and calculated risks, but sometimes it’s the audacious bluffs that steal the spotlight. Anyone can flop the nuts. It takes a certain kind of person to come in card dead and act like they’ve got the nuts, though. In this article, we’ll cover some of the most outrageous reckless bluffs in WSOP history. Fortune favors the bold!
Setting the Stage: The World Series of Poker
Back in 1970, the World Series of Poker (WSOP) didn’t attract much attention outside of niche gaming circles. Of course, it grew steadily over the years. By 2003, when ESPN broadcast Chris Moneymaker’s $2.5M win at the WSOP, however, it instantly entered the mainstream and launched millions of poker events.
It’s the gold standard No Limit Texas Hold’Em event on Earth, and if you want to win, you need to put in a few timely bluffs. The guys below took bluffing to a completely unhinged, uncalled for level! They fired off bluffs that would have the average player going pale and feeling sick. Some poker players are just built different.
Many hands in poker have names. A-K is “Big Slick.” Aces are “bullets” or “pocket rockets.” Ten deuce off is famously now named after legendary poker champion Doyle Brunson, who won the WSOP TWICE with it as a final hand. And 9-5 is the “Dolly Parton,” a reference to her hit song “9 to 5” (what a way to make a livin’).
2-3 is now known to many as the “Dirty Diaper” thanks to Nick Rigby and his fellow yinzers in Pittsburgh. Apparently, they get their kicks from playing it routinely, especially when it’s offsuit.
Rigby (with 9.6M in chips) was deep in the 2021 WSOP Main Event in position against Ronald Jensen (holding 4.8M). Rigby was stuck with the Dirty Diaper, but Jensen had the misfortune to look down and find pocket kings. Naturally, he raised 325K preflop, and Rigby then tossed his garbage cards, right? Nope.
Rigby thought for a moment and then 3-bet it up to 920K. With 3-2o! What a game.
Jensen took a moment to reflect and 4-bet his premium hand to 2.1M. He’s repping tremendous strength against a sizeable preflop 3-bet. He’s gotta have the goods. Rigby definitely can cut bait and muck his cards now.
Nah. He calls the reraise with his nothing and prepares to play the flop like the psycho gambler that he is. Then came the flop. A-4-4.
Outstanding for Rigby, actually. The ace is the scare card that haunts the dreams of anyone holding pocket kings. And Rigby has picked up a straight draw with his A-2-3-4.
Jensen considers, then checks. Rigby instantly snaps all in, putting Jensen on the ropes for his tournament life. Jensen thought for a while and decided that the royal kings just weren’t strong enough for this joker’s game.
Can you believe it, he folded his kings to live another day? Then he had to watch as Rigby flipped over the Dirty Diaper. Pain. Life is pain. Poker is pain.
In 2003, Chris Moneymaker (yes, it’s his real name) sat at the final table of the WSOP opposite Sam Farha, who can soul read anyone and knows how to smoothly chat information out of the most ironbound opponent.
The two were heads up, and were both dealt middling hands: 7hKs for Moneymaker, 9hQs for Farha. The flop came with 9s2d6s, and both players checked. So far, so good. Then came the 8 of spades, giving each player a flush draw. Farha was a 61% favorite at this point.
Farha bet and Moneymaker raised it up with his open-ended straight and flush draws. Farha quickly called, bringing in the river 3h. No flushes, no straights. Farha had the best hand with top pair, nines. Moneymaker reflected for a moment and said words that would cement his place in history:
“I’m all in.”- What a boss.
Farha put him on a busted flush draw, and shuffled his chips for a bit. Moneymaker’s own PARENTS were fooled by this outstanding bluff. Farha considered making a “crazy call” with what could be the best hand… but ultimately, he had to let the hand go. He folded, and Chris Moneymaker was one step closer to his legendary first-place finish.
Bluff #3: Lococo goes loco
Argentinian freestyle rapper Alejandro Lococo, aka “Papo MC,” is clearly good at thinking on his feet, using his wits, and staying focused under pressure. With this hand, from Day 5 of the 2022 WSOP, he put Karim Rebei in the blender.
He was in the hijack with AcJd and raised it up preflop. Rebei defended from the BB and the flop came 9s8h7h. Both players checked. The turn came with a king of spades. Rebei took a 140K stab at the pot, and Lococo went over the top with ace high for 485K. Not one to be deterred, Rebei bumped it to 1.135M! Lococo, in a show of dominance, raised it up again. 1.785M total.
Things are clearly out of hand, at this point. We’re inching our way to all ins one re-raise at a time. Rebei 5-bet the hand to 4M. 4M in chips, and Lococo had to take some time in the tank. After deep reflection, he came up with an earth-shattering all-in bet for 5.71M.
With ace high. Huh? What? Why? Well, because he made Rebei lay his hand down.
Somehow, this insane bluff into a huge show of strength had paid off, and helped Lococo ultimately finish 39th and win over $200K at poker’s biggest game.
Fortune repaid Rebei for falling victim to that rough bluff by allowing him to pull one off of his own two days later.
On Day 7 of the 2022 WSOP, Karim Rebei and Brian Kim would have a clash that would leave one of them quite a bit poorer in chips. And it was all thanks to a convincing bluff by Rebei.
Rebei was in position on the button with 21.5M in chips, and he was dealt Ad5d. Kim sat to his left in the small blind with a beautiful set of pocket queens. Thanks to preflop raises, the pot was built up to nearly 20M before we even saw the board come out. The flop was Ts6d9c.
Kim checked and Rebei fired out 6.5M with ace high. That’s when Kim started chatting, asking Rebei normal personal questions for a job interview. “Where are you from?” “Any kids?” Rebei only mentioned that he was “playing bad.” Kim fished for info, but Rebei wasn’t giving away the goods. It was too much for Kim to bear.
Kim pushed his overpair, the best hand, into the muck. As the crowd cheered, Rebei quieted them down so he could deliver a final twist of the knife: “You wanna see, right?”
Kim might have thought he was about to find out if his queens were good… Rebei tossed his hand into the muck, saying, “OK, pay.” Mike drop.
Some cool down reading
After going through the geological-strength pressure of those bluffs, we’re ready for a little light reading. How about checking out how to bluff in online poker? Maybe one day you’ll have your own entry on this list.