Are there two kinds of bluff?
I've been getting decent results in MTTs for a while now, but over the last 6 months my game has evolved more than in the previous few years and to a postive effect on the usual size of my stack at critical points in tournaments.
A big part of this is my approach to aggression post-flop (and to the river) and identifying when to bluff. However it's not been about the mindless pushing of chips into the middle because I fancy a stab at the pot, it's about identifying one of two situations.
1) I believe that my opponent is weak
2) I believe that I can represent my own hand as strong
Suprisingly I don't think that it's that often that the two coincide and I'm trying to push them off weakness and represent strength at the same time. Although both are inevitably a factor I think it's usually one or the other.
My previous view of bluffing
focussed largely on the representing strength and considering whether I could get away with "pretending" to have a good hand. I think that this form of bluff is difficult not least because it requires your opponent to put themselves in your position and think through what you have done at each street and perhaps fold some form of strength of their own on the basis of it. Most players are too focussed on their own actions to consider this and so it's hard to pull off.
However if instead of representing strength you bet when you suspect that your opponent has nothing (or very little) then it's much easier for them to look at their own cards and agree with you.
Many hands fall into this category where whoever bets first with conviction will take the pot because no-one has anything. There's many times where I'm certain that the other guy has nothing, but he's first into the pot and I'm forced to fold. It takes real balls to reraise in this situation (balls I sadly don't often possess).
Identifying these situations takes observation of betting patterns and attention to the texture of the flop but it's a reasonably exact science (as far as anything poker is).
The situations where it's possible to represent strength effectively are I think few and far between and though the rewards may sometimes be greater are less critical to success in MTTs.
Anyway, I'm rambling and failing to articulate something I've been thinking about for a while.
Nonsense or something other people have considered?