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, November 27, 2006


Many people have wrote that setting goals is an important part of becoming a winning player. I am not so sure. I have never set a monetary goal for myself, and I feel like the inherent variance in poker make those kind of goals non-productive. Is it better for your long term game, if u repeatedly get your money in behind, but luck your way to a tourney win, or if you routinely get in as a favorite, but happen to lose money. Clearly, the latter is a better strategy, yet having a monetary goal will lead one to the wrong conclusion.

I try to be decision oriented rather than results oriented when it comes to evaluating my play and setting goals. My only goal for 2006 was to play my "A" game 80%+ of the time.

Another thing, what is the point of a goal? The bottom line is that at the end of every session, you will have issues to consider regardless of the outcome. By working on those issues, thinking them through, and trying to figure out the optimal move, you will become a better player. Meeting your monetary goal might just be enough to convince you that you are above this process, and that cannot be a good thing.

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I stand with Israel.

Friday, November 10, 2006

Creating Fold Equity

More and more, I'm realizing the importance of this. Ok lets say you're sitting in the BB, and your stack size is 8 BB's. If it gets folded to the button, he's likely to make it 3BB to go with a wide variety of hands. Of course, if you push all in there, he's obviously gonna call, getting greats odds even if his hole cards are very weak. However, if you just flat call, the pot will now contain 7BB's. Now on the flop, you can push all in (regardless of what comes out) for 5 BB's, and he can only call if he hit something. We all know that the majority of times, 2 cards will miss the flop. He'll be very hardpressed to call with the random 2 cards we put him on, and sometimes given the right flop, he'll even lay down the winner. (Imagine he raised with q9- and the flop comes a105- you're 67 will take it down with the push all in)

I noticed this same thing today playing a plo8 turbo sng on Stars. I was sitting on the button with 1135, and blinds were 100-200 (no anties in that game) with 4 people left in the tourney. Now in a regular sit and go, this would be push/fold time, but obviously, given that this was pot limit, that wasn't a choice. UTG folded, and the action was up to me holding 3357, a marginal hand, but one that I wanted to raise anyways given the situation. Given the 1-200 blinds, I was allowed to make it up to 700 to go. Of course, I realized if either of them called my 700 preflop, it would be foolish of them to fold on the flop for 435 into a 1600 pot. I chose to min raise, making it 400 to go. The small blind called and the big blind folded. So the two of us went to a flop with 1k in the pot. He checked on a flop of k106, and then folded to my bet of 735.

Creating fold is equity is very important, and was the difference in that Sng between 4th and 2nd.

Tuesday, November 07, 2006

It's been a while

If you're looking to learn about poker, this probably isn't your best bet. I haven't really felt like posting much.

Today is a big day politically speaking, with the midterm elections. Ever since early in high school I've been following the US political landscape preety closely. In 2004, I happily cast my first vote, voting straight down the line Republican, except for one Libertarion that I threw in for the hell of it. I knew at the time that my votes counted for nothing (being in a solid Democratic area), but it was a great rush, and something that I felt proud of doing.

This year I used my free choice and along with a majority of citizens (or real close to it) exercised my right not to vote. Yes I care about alot of the issues, and yes, I definately still have a right to my opinion. (Those go vote commercials are a joke to me, if u wanna vote-go, if not- stay home. You're not special because you exercised your right to vote.)

If I had gone to vote, I just would have voted blindly. None of the candidates appeal to me in the least bit. I really hope we get some decent candidates for the 08 presidential elections. The thought of Hillary having more power sickens me. Of course, I'll be staying up late tonight following the results. I'm a junkie like that.

Enjoy your day.