Bodog Ari

I'm Ari Engel and am also known as BodogAri online. I've played poker for a living for virtually my entire post-college life. In the last few years I have started teaching people my style and philosophy on poker tournaments. Many of them have done very well. If you are interested in getting my help, email:

Monday, September 25, 2006

New Year

Happy New Year! I hope this one will be a great one for all of you and myself.

Sunday was just about normal, played in most of the majors, got my money in ahead most of the time and lost, crazy game we play. I'm in New Zealand for another week or so, and then not quite sure whats up, but almost for sure, back to the great US of A.

I decided to sit down with a bunch of full tilt pro's playing omaha hi lo tonight, and somehow came out ahead. It's preety cool, because for them it's low stakes and for me high, and I think they made many plays to just get at each other, without caring if i happened to scoop a couple of pots.

I got disconnected from one of the Party Poker tourney's I was playing last Thursday night, and they claim nothing they can do, so I'm a little pissed at them, and probably will show it by playing less there. (I'm really into symbolic/meaningless forms of protest:)

I'm going to visit my sister in Israel in December or January, and I'm trying to win a satellite to somewhere in Europe to play there on the way. There's even a tourney called the Amsterdam Poker classic, that'd be preety cool I figure, although I'm a bankroll management person, so I'm only gonna go if I can satellite in.

Thanks to all that have said congrats at the tables to me, sometimes I'm playing 3-5 tables, and I'll miss the chat, or see it but not be able to respond. Don't take it personally obv.

Wednesday, September 20, 2006


I played a couple of sit and go's at crown casino in Melbourne, before I left Australia. (Been in New Zealand for a day and a bit now) In one of them, the first hand, I had 1010, and lost a middle size pot to an ace on an ace high flop. Immediately following the hand, one guys says, Christmas time, another one is like, soooooooo obv. As they all bust, I don't say a word, but secretly enjoy their money a little more than the others. Some people play for the enjoyment of calling others donks, some play to have fun, and some play for $$$. Decide what your goal is, and don't let others distract you from it.

It is my belief that if you've never been called a donk before, you're doing something wrong. Shannon Shorr wrote in his blog,

Q) Do you post or read at 2+2 or PocketFives?
A) No. I can't get excited about the idea of posting/analysing hands when you have no idea who the people critiquing (sp?) you are. Have they had more success than me in poker? Probably not, so I'm not going to post a hand and get flamed for it by $.5/$1 players.

For those of us that do read the forums, and are serious about improving our game, keep that in mind. Just bec. some dude in an internet forum wrote that you are donk, DOES NOT mean that it is the case. On the other hand, there is nothing wrong with being open minded enough to listen to the opinion of others, even if they haven't had the same success as you.

As with everything else in poker, self honesty is king. Ego and self honesty do not match well, and when they clash, you must forgo your ego for a bit, so that you can actually improve. Not a day goes by, where I don't see errors in my game, and I'm sure I'm still missing alot of them.

Sunday, September 17, 2006

PokerRoom 300

Took it down, sweeeeeeeet. Haven't done much of anything else today, but who cares, this covers quite a few buyins. An interesting hand came up 5 or 6 handed. Myself and one other guy have the rest of the table covered by far, and I'm ahead of him, but a neglible amount. I raise 2.5-3X the Big Blind, and a short stack calls all in for less than the amount I bet. The other big stack is big blind and he also calls. I have k of clubs and q (x), and we both check (I'm in position) on a a,10,4 all club flop. The turn brings another clubs, giving me the nut (non-straightflush) flush. He bets into me quite large relative to the pot, and I just called. The river came a 5th club, and I was confident that he too had a club, so when he bet into me on the river again, i hesitated a while and overbet the pot by a large amount allin. He preety quickly called with the q of clubs, and busted. I preety much coasted (as in raised a ton) from there.

Day 1 of the wcoop went bad

hopefully today goes better.

Already busted in the bodog 100K and party 300. But I have some chips in the pokerroom 300, and party and Stars big ones start soon.

Saturday, September 16, 2006

Ads and Wcoop

I've gone all commercial- notice all those ads on the side. If you click on them I get some money.

Wcoop (World Championchip of Online Poker) starts today, and I'm looking forward to it. I hadn't started Poker Stars last year at this time, so this is my first experience with the Wcoop. Hopefully I can take one (or more) down.

The first one starts at around 4am local time, so I'm not yet sure if I'm gonna play, although, its a game that I have come to enjoy-Razz- I'm still pretty inexperienced in it.

Monday, September 11, 2006

Aggresive Poker

I like to play my draws fast and bet with them. It gives me two ways to win the pot, either my opponent(s) fold, or they call, and I hit. However, sometimes that can get you into trouble. For example, at last years world series, Joe Hachem at the final table check-raised his flush draw, and then was forced to fold, when Danneman came over the top all in.

Table $35k Gtd. Rebuy(826973) Table 28 (Real Money) -- Seat 4 is the button
Total number of players : 10
Seat 1: BodogAri (35499)
Seat 2: jualia (8306)
Seat 3: samotJ (7805)
Seat 4: Fullerton__ (24690)
Seat 5: BAGSIK829 (2722)
Seat 6: fabcorleon (28614)
Seat 7: manticorePP (34557)
Seat 8: ARVIQ (19454)
Seat 9: nabirebs (9476)
Seat 10: clator2 (8674)
BAGSIK829 posts small blind (150)
fabcorleon posts big blind (300)
** Dealing down cards **
Dealt to BodogAri [ 7c, 6c ]
manticorePP folds.
ARVIQ folds.
nabirebs folds.
clator2 calls (300)
BodogAri calls (300)
jualia folds.
samotJ calls (300)
Fullerton__ folds.
BAGSIK829 folds.
fabcorleon checks.
** Dealing Flop ** : [ 4c, Ks, 9c ]
fabcorleon checks.
clator2 checks.
BodogAri bets (601)
samotJ calls (601)
fabcorleon raises (3353) to 3353
clator2 folds.
BodogAri calls (2752)
samotJ folds.
** Dealing Turn ** : [ 8d ]
fabcorleon bets (24961)
fabcorleon is all-In.
BodogAri folds.
In the above hand, I choose to come out betting on the flop, when it checks around to me, and I'm second last to act. I then get checkraised, and figure him for some decent made hand, so I call, hoping to hit my draw. He then goes allin for an amount that I have 0 odds to call. Similar to Hachem's hand, If I had played it slower, I probably would have been able to see a river. (Notice I hit an open ended straight draw on the turn too, but it still was way too much too call.)

Having said that I like to play my draws fast, it only makes sense that I play my made hands fast too. All too often, I see players that are loose and aggressive, yet slow down, when they flop a set (or any great made hand.) In my mind, this makes absolutely no sense, and can easily be exploited. Once it is known that you play less than premium hands fast, you must play your big hands in the same manner, and you'll be shocked at the action you get from hands that are drawing dead.

Sept 12 and my thoughts

Happy 22nd Bday to my brother and favorite soldier Avner.

To just pick up and leave our middle class Jewish suburb of Chicago in the middle of a war, and volunteer to join the army, is a sick act of courage, that few (if any) I have met have come close to matching. The fact that we can live the way we do, as we freely as we do, etc. is in large part to the efforts of soldiers throughout the years.

It was only a little more than 50 years ago, that American soldiers were rescuing Jewish people from the Nazi death camps. FDR (G-d curse his soul) didn't allow them to come sooner, and many (myself included obv) blame him indirectly for many more deaths than was neccesary.

When my brother went to Iraq, forgetting all the politics and other reasons for a sec, the fact that he was going as a Jewish soldier in American uniform to liberate an oppressed people from a murderous dictator, would have sent shivers down Hitlers (and many current day libs) spine.

Thank to all our soldiers, and have a great b-day bro.

Sept 11 and the various thoughts it brings out in me

I love America. Terrorists be damn. Let freedom flow etc.

Our airline security is one huuuge joke. You really would think that the most advanced society ever, would have figured out a better approach. Oh well, gg lighter, toothpaste, and yes bottle of soda.

Poker playing will be outlawed in the future Islamic State of XXXX. (XXXX= any country where it is currently not outlawed) Forget Goodlatte or congress, there would be no ifs ands or buts. Lets not forget that the goal of Islamofascists is exactly that, to take over the world and convert everyone to Islam or kill them. Gambling, alcohol, and being non-Islamic are among countless of activities that are prohibits according to Muhammadean Law. Women's rights-LOL, and yet the liberals are loving Bush's stumbles?

The incredible amount of support for these terrorists absolutely baffles me. Goes back to that journalism comment a bit, what's the story with the Galloway's of the world?

It seems in this part of the world that I'm visiting (Australia and NZ) people would rather have Usama than Bush. Forget, it seems, there's no doubt, enemy # 1 to these people is the president of the greatest country in the world. WTF?

With all these Usama sympathesizers out there (clearly lacking something in the mental region) is it any wonder the amount of dead money out there? I went there, if u support Bin Laden over Bush, please come to my table.

Saturday, September 09, 2006

Played some Live poker

tonight at the Crown Casino (10-20 Fixed) and got killed for about 8-900 Aussie dollars. It's a nice casino, and the pokerroom has been renovated since I was last down here. However, I never seem to do well there. Hmmm.

Came home at 1 or 2 local time, and I realized that Party and Stars 300's were starting. I went preety deep in both, but finished short, finishing approx 70'th in stars, and 20 something in party. Oh Well, tommorow.

The local papers here are ridiculously anti-Bush/America. It's almost comical that this stuff passes as news. Unfortunately, it appears like most of the world has to suffer through this. Self loathing makes me sick, and for some reason it seems, like that is one of the traits neccesary to graduate from journalism school.

My party DB #'s have gone through the roof, which probably means I'm playing too tight everywhere else. I'll do a little experimenting tommorow. Hope all of you have big sundays, and finish 2nd to me in all the majors.

Friday, September 08, 2006

Embrace Failure

So easy to write, so hard to do. I'm working on it, but given my competitive nature, it is very difficult to be satisfied losing. But that is the nature of the game we play, and I realize that it is something that eventually needs to happen. All I can do is play my game, it's not like I can win every tourney, and since I always play for first, obv. I'm gonna be unsuccessful much more often that not. But that is the way to make $ in tourneys.

First night in Australia= lots of beer. Even hit a beer bong:) We went through "millions" of beers, and no foster's in site fyi.

Monday, September 04, 2006

2 Years of Pro Poker Playing

and thank g-d (no evil eye) I haven't gone busto. There is no doubt that I have gotten lucky, but through my experience i have learned to avoid some trouble areas.

When I sit down @ the table I don't fear anyone, but, when given the choice, I choose not to sit down against other good players. Game selection is huge, and although not too relevant in MTT play, it is huge in cash games and sngs. If u see a sng getting filled with Sheets, Shaniac and #1pen, there might be better spots, just hit unregister and go play something else.

A while back I won the UB sunday tourney, I proceeded to sit down at the 50-100 and above fixed limit tables on that site for the following week. Why, u ask? Well, I had a bunch of money in my account, and clearly I didn't suck at poker since I had just won it all.... buuut, (which I unfotunatly only realized after a significant portion of my tourney winnings) there was no need for that. I won a tournament, well guess what, that's my job. Winning a tournament should not change the way you go about your poker activities.

I alluded to this already, but if poker is your sole income, it is your job. Yes, I enjoy it, but that's not why I sign on daily. Try to always make decisions with long term profitability in mind, and not anything else. (Would you really be chatting on Im w/ friends while in the middle of an important business meeting?)

There are too many ups and downs in poker to get caught up in the moment. Like I said before, it's our (tourney donkeys) job to win tourneys, we do that by busting out of tons of them, in the hope that one day things will go right, and we will win. Most of the time, they go wrong and you lose. In my mind, bad beat, bad play, cooler, its all the same, I lost and that's what I do most of the time. If there's something to be learned from the situation, learn it, and then sign up for the next one.

Always play for the long run. So you're up 20K on Stars this year, but it used to be 30, and you've been on a horrible down streak. You're now sitting with 5 big blinds on the button w/ one left till money in the 50R. If you look down at 77, and say I haven't one a coinflip in ages, lets just ship it into the muck and gamble after I make the money, NOT GOOD!! Poker is the game of the long run, and long run profitable decisions is what brought you to where you are, no need to switch up now.

Hand of the day: Yesterday there was 108 people left in the UB sunday $200, that paid 100 people. I get moved to a new table, having just been crippled, and am sitting with 4.5 big blinds UTG+1. The big blind was the only stack at the table that had less than me, but my stack was enough to put a little dent into most of them. I decided that with only one more hand to the big blind, I could adopt one of two strategies. Either fold, and then fold utg, unless a monster, and then continue to fold the next 2-3 hands till we made the money. Or go all in, and basically pray that everyone folds. Remember, I had just gotten moved to the table, and therefore had no idea how tight/loose everyone else was. (and vica versa) I pushed, and it got folded to the sb who called with aq. I looked at the tourney page, and there was no 103 people left, but no suckout came, gg.

Yesterday was a sick day for me, here's a little summary.

I chopped the party 300 4 handed yesterday, but got money right in between the first and second payout. I coulda played it out, bec. I was probably the best player there, and had the chip lead, but I'll take it. Last thing I needed was to collapse out of big money to start my sunday. Also, I was deep in the pokerroom 300....

As we approached the bubble (40 paid) from about 55 players onward, I began to raise virtually every time it got folded to me. I arrived at the actual bubble 2/41 in chips, but proceeded to reraise ak with 23, and kk with aq. Neither time I sucked out, and we were still on the bubble. I was now in the middle of the field, when the ak guy raised, I decided to push from the button with 108, and was quickly called again with ak. The flop came aq6, but a 9 on the turn and j on the river, doubled me up. I then moved all in again once we got in the money with kk and against the kk vs. aq guy from earlier, and he quick called me with aj, to give me a nice stack again. My aggresion got the best of me when we got down short again with 2 tables left, and I busted in like 12-13 place.

I then proceeded to bust in the Stars (2nd chance too), Dise, Party and FT big tournies among countless other smaller ones. The last tourney of the night was the FT Horse, which i got 4th in last week, after Erick Lindgren played absolutely horribly and somehow got lucky every time to take it down. (I know, I know, he's amazing, obv. he wasn't treating it too seriously.) This week the final table included another pro, Andy Bloch (who got 2nd in the 50k Horse event). He kept drawing to half the pot in split games, and I bet every street with kkx unimproved in stud hi lo, to take down a monster pot from him, when his low never showed. I came in as a middle stack, but by the time we got shorthanded I was chip leader. Everyone proceeded to fold to me, to allow me an easy victory.

Leaving tommorow for Melbourne Australia.