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 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.


Blogger Fred Titmus said...

Hi, new to the blog (though we've seen a bit of each other on the tables). I'm the one who's your namesake!

Regarding unregistering if you don't like the lineup, I play heads up quite a lot, but have a long list of players I like to avoid. The annoying thing is that on Stars, if you are the first person to put your name down for a heads up table, you have no choice of getting up if you don't like the guy who sits down to play you. I think there should be a ten second or so opportunity to refuse to play a particular opponent.

The alternative is to wait till someone else seats himself, but particularly at Omaha hilo, that can be a long wait.

Good luck in Aus.

6:15 PM  
Blogger Ari's Prodigy said...

Hey bro,
Great chilling in NY and watching you take down the FT Horse. Have fun in Ausi, Send regards to the Boys and see you back in Bing in a few.

8:49 PM  
Blogger Lovehate said...

Now tell me am I entitled to be your fan now?

Anyway, numbers required are as follows:
Yoilish - efes, arbah, echad, sheva, shalosh, echad, chamesh, shalosh, echad, sehva

Abem - efes, arbah, echad, shmonah, shesh, shalosh, shalosh, shalosh, shalosh, sheva.

Eli G - efes, arbah, shtayim, shalosh, chamesh, teisha, chamesh, shesh, shalosh, shesh

10:10 PM  
Blogger Ari's Prodigy said...

Tom K 4-8 holdem Tom K 4-8 holdem

12:19 PM  
Blogger SirLuscious said...

great post ari, this is exactly why I check your blog with regularity. I've been struggling lately for reasons you bring up and your discipline and success are a great inspiration (so corny but true). That #1 spot keeps getting closer.

1:48 PM  
Blogger razboynik said...

Hi Ari !
Great advise.

5:07 PM  
Blogger -EB- said...

obv pwner! Ari- watched the clinic at the bubble for about 20 minutes on PR when you raised every pot. You were playing perfectly with the lack of talent at PR, especially on the bubble. The 23, i didnt mind so much....coulda sworn that suckout/(rant by the guy holding AK was coming). Good luck in AUS, you rock bro!

9:24 AM  
Blogger Lovehate said...

Hey Neri,

We miss you down here. When you gettin yo ass down here.

We can find a nice shidduch for you as well if you like.

5:14 PM  
Blogger Jordan Lewis said...

ty for the post about poker it was much needed i really enjoy ur poker information and hope u right momre often

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