Arguments about which generation is the most talented and hard-working, and which is more entitled and lazy are so universal as to be a cliché. This week, we take a look at a few related questions with our guest Darrel Plant, aka “the Poker Mutant,” a fellow poker writer and low-stakes tournament player. He joins us to talk about the live pros vs. online pros debate, the question of people buying their own action and selling others’, how poker compares to Hearthstone, and how old or young this year’s WSOP Main Event winner is likely to be.

We also address some fan feedback and use a hand submitted by a fan for our strategy segment. Can Alex and Andrew finally agree on the correct move in a spot? Tune in and find out.

Clearing up some misunderstandings (0:00-10:30)

In the episode intro, Alex responds to some of the first feedback we’ve received from our listeners. One fan was upset because he felt we’d been disrespectful of Episode 4 guest Olivier Busquet in the full, unedited interview (which we posted as “Episode 5”). Alex explains the circumstances involved in recording the interview in question, and that everyone knew from the start that he’d be unable to be involved throughout.

Alex also has some advice for would-be game designers, such as the one who contacted him for help. It’s a tough business to make money in, and it’s a common misconception that game ideas on their own have much value, so Alex explains how it is that game designers can get value from their ideas, and the amount of work that’s involved.

Kids on Kid Poker’s lawn (10:30-19:50)

Daniel Negreanu’s nickname, Kid Poker, grows increasingly ironic over the years, as he’s become the oldest player of his degree of prominence, and the most prominent player of his age. When Doug Polk offered to sell marked-down action on Jason Mercier in the SCOOP $21,000 Heads-Up High Roller, Negreanu felt Polk was being disrespectful of the heroes of the generation which preceded his. Predictably, this ignited a Twitter war between younger internet pros and older live pros.

We discuss whether poker is easier or harder to succeed at now versus when Negreanu was starting out, or whether, as is often the case, things are a little more complicated than the question itself suggests.

Andrew vs. Original David Baker (19:50-24:40)

Another common Twitter fight has to do with markup, and whether people charge too much. David “ODB” Baker effectively offered a bet on Twitter that he can manage 40% ROI in WSOP bets under $5000 buy-in, and Andrew has considered taking him up on it. We discuss the details of the bet and whether or not Baker is likely to have the best end of it.

Darrel on Markup and Achievable ROIs (24:40-33:10)

On the subject of markup and ROI, Darrel brings up his first published poker article, in which he analyzed the results of players who’d played full WSOP schedules and concluded that as a group, they achieve ROIs in the low double digits. Andrew has some issues with his methodology, however, and so a debate about the validity of his results ensues. In particular, Andrew makes the point that running deep in one event often precludes the player from entering other events he intended to play, and so selecting players who’ve played over a certain number of events may be excluding some of the most consistent winners.

Poker vs. Hearthstone (33:10-53:00)

PokerCentral ran a little tournament this week, pitting three top poker players against three top Hearthstone players. As Alex suspected, the poker component used an extremely fast structure, which made it far more luck-dependent than Hearthstone, resulting in a sweep by the Hearthstone players. Darrel shares some of his experiences with Hearthstone, and Alex nerds out about one of his favorite topics, the question of luck dependence and skill depth in game design.

Guess the Age of the Main Event Winner (53:00-66:05)

The three of us discuss the various factors contributing to the extreme youth of Main Event winners over the past 8 years, and whether that’s a trend that’s likely to continue. We also take our best attempts at setting an Over/Under line for the age of this year’s winner. We come close to agreeing on that front, but when it comes to the money line odds for a winner 40 or over, Darrel and Andrew have rather polarized opinions. That leads to the subject of prop betting on the show, and Andrew and Alex toss around an idea for a new segment for future episodes.

Strategy Talk: Nut Straight on a Flush Flop (66:05-79:48)

The situation is this: a short-stacked maniac opens from early position and is called by a nittier player in the Hijack. Hero is on the button with Ace Ten and calls. The flop brings King-Queen-Jack to give us broadway, but it’s all Clubs and we don’t have any of those. The preflop raiser bets a third of his stack, the tighter player flat calls and the action’s on us. Do we just call, or is there a better play?


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.