With the World Series of Poker (WSOP) having wrapped up this week, Andrew has made his escape from the wilds of Las Vegas and returned to civilization on the west coast. Although they crossed paths a few times at the series, he and Alex still have a lot of catching up to do. The result is a chummier and somewhat less formal podcast than most episodes, as the two hosts discuss their respective summers, their thoughts on this year’s November Nine, and go back over some of the stories Andrew missed from the last episode.

The strategy segment is also a departure from the usual format, in that both hosts know the outcomes of the hands being discussed. The hands in question both involve a player folding quads on the river in a major tournament: one in this year’s WSOP Main Event, and another from the 2012 Big One for One Drop.

Welcome back (0:00-2:15)

Alex welcomes Andrew back to the podcast and gives a brief preview of the topics to be discussed in the episode.

Andrew Barber and the Terrible, Horrible, No-Good, Very Bad Summer (2:15-4:20)

When you’re running bad at poker, it’s very hard to muster the motivation to think about anything else, so if you’re wondering what happened to Andrew, here’s your answer. He discusses his experience at the series this summer, and how it did not quite live up to expectations.

Day Five for the summer save (4:20-17:30)

Andrew’s story has a happy ending, however, as he managed to make Day 5 of the Main Event to wipe out a lot of his losses and go home from Vegas on a positive note. He tells Alex about his run, including managing to find a just-call on the river in a set-over-set situation on Day 1, and some later clashes with the likes of Mustapha Kanit and Jens Kyllönen.

Looking forward (17:30-21:00)

With the series over, what’s next for Andrew? Back to the PhD grind, mostly, but his experience at the WSOP hasn’t turned him off of poker. On the contrary, he says that looking at the final table live streams, he’s realized just how substantial some players’ leaks are in the mixed games, and it’s motivated him to work even harder on his own game for next year.

Player-banked games in California (21:00-26:55)

Although Steve Ruddock is the expert on California gambling legislation, it’s Andrew’s home state, so he and Alex revisit last episode’s story about player-banked games at the card rooms. Steve’s version of the story focused on the rules regarding these games, but Andrew fills us in on what the reality is like for the players there. In particular, he raises an interesting point about the social pressures involved, that although players have the option to serve as banker for the games, there is strong social pressure not to do so, and leave it to a professional third party, or “Corporation.”

Prop bets revisited (26:55-31:55)

Another story from last episode was Alex’s Main Event prop bets. Alex bemoans Tom Marchese costing him a $350 score by narrowly failing to make the November Nine, and re-explains the details of his “Alpha-Bet” with Nate Meyvis, and how that’s shaping up.

A fascinating November Nine (31:55-44:15)

In contrast to last year, this year’s Main Event has produced what promises to be a fairly interesting final table, with Cliff “JohnnyBax” Josephy leading the pack, and a rather mixed group of competitors behind him. Alex and Andrew discuss some of the more interesting backstories and potential narratives which could arise come November.

Drawmaha (44:15-54:45)

One of Andrew’s exciting discoveries at the WSOP this summer was a variant called Drawmaha. Alex wrote up some of his thoughts on the game earlier this week, but since Andrew’s the one who’s actually played it, they go over his experiences with it and how they line up against Alex’s predicted strategies and game dynamics.

How to fold quads, Part I (54:45-1:04:25)

Kyle Bowker played the most talked-about hand of the series during the Main Event, making a crazy fold with quads on the river, while getting pretty good odds no less. Andrew describes it as a “textbook” example of relative hand strength, and is a wholehearted fan of Bowker’s play. Alex is a little less sure, largely because there are so many assumptions that all have to be right in order for folding to be correct.

How to fold quads, Part II (1:04:25-1:17:50)

Bowker’s hand echoed one played in the 2012, million-dollar buy-in Big One For One Drop, in which Mikhail Smirnov folded his quads to the businessman John Morgan. This one was a little sketchier, in both hosts’ opinion, and whereas Bowker’s opponent did say he had the straight flush, there are only three people in the world who know what Morgan held, all of whom have sworn an oath of secrecy. It’s a mystery up there with the JFK assassination, Jimmy Hoffa, and who put the bomp in the bomp bah bomp bah bomp.

Outro (1:17:50-1:21:34)

Wrapping up, Alex and Andrew mention that they’ve both recently appeared on other podcasts: Just Hands Poker in Alex’s case, and the Remko Report for Andrew.


The following are links to the articles discussed on this episode of the podcast. Links by one of the co-hosts are in bold, offsite links are in italics.