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 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.


Blogger MachoMan2701 said...

It was great to play with you the other day Ari. I was just too nervous .Anyway Ill add this to my arsenal. I too slow down some times when I flop strong.It must look crazy to my opponents after Raising 4-7 hands per orbit. It only makes sense to bet my strong hands fast.thanks Ari. Quick ?? How do defend aganist somone who smooth calls almost every time you raise around the Bubble??

7:56 PM  
Blogger Kalamazoorob said...

Raising 4-7 times a orbit? Does this type of play work, please explain Macho? Is this done on the bubble or do you play that many hands.

10:16 AM  
Blogger qrkid said...


I just found your blog a week or two ago, it makes for interesting reading.
I guess you can say I have become a fan. Fear not, I will not b eworrying about how stable your income and bankroll is.
Just a question. Do you play cash games as well as MTT's or is all your time pretty much consumed by the MTT's?
Good luck and keep blogging.


8:10 AM  
Blogger MachoMan2701 said...

Ive watched Ari do it for a few months know. It works for sure.WHen I get about 40-50 to the bubble I raise whenever its folded to me. Ive had alot of success at the Under 20$ buyin level.Three 1st,one 5th,one 9th and about 15 other cashes within a 2 week period.Evrytime I play A tourny over 20$ the players seem to understand what I am doing and smooth call my raises. I dont know what to do. Play tight??

10:01 AM  
Blogger BodogAri said...

K-rob, there are times on the bubble, where I don't raise 4-7 times, but more like 8-10 times a round. However, alot has to do with what the table will let you get away with.

Back in the day, I just used to reraise blind every time it got folded to someone in mid to late position, and they made the first raise. I still believe that is a plus ev move, it just gets fustrating when good players start realizing what you are doing, and insta call with a4, (having your 104 dominated). In poker, you cannot just do one thing, everything is based on your table situation.

Personally, I don't mind when they flat call, it's all those reraises that get me. Either way, you have to be real careful of the flat calls in my experience, because, since they know you're raising so much, its more likely that they will reraise with marginal holdings. (To a tight players raise aj shrinks up, to an aggresive players raise, it becomes the nuts.) So when they just flat call, many times they have an absolute monster, and are trying to "trap".

Of course, if they're calling your raises, and then folding unless they hit the flop- well, that is a dream scenario. Mostly they miss the flop, and I will keep raising all day, continuation bet, and then reelvauate.

2:04 PM  

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