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:

Sunday, June 10, 2007

Sunday Morn ramblings

So online players are still killing the WSOP, but it's got to the point, where there are too many of them/us doing well for me to write about. At this point its definately clear, if you can beat the 100R on Stars, you're preety much set to beat live poker tournaments.

On a personal note, I have yet to play any live poker since getting to Vegas, (and obv will not today-Sunday) but Monday I will play my first WSOP event of the year, a 2500 NL event. Monday also represents the start of the Bellagio Cup series of touraments, and I absolutely plan on playing more live in the coming weeks.

I have heard many a poker player claim that he/she is "playing the best poker of my life" and as clicheic as that sounds, I believe it right now about myself. Of course, this likely means that I will be making alot of unconventinal moves, and I hope to get thouroughly embarrased from my various bustout hands throughout the WSOP. (I just hope pokernews keeps on top of things, so that when I finally call off with k high, you guys can all laugh about me paying off the nut fullhouse.)

A couple of months ago, I stopped playing more than 4 tables at a time, and I have tried to keep it at 2-3 most nights. I am now a strong believer in limiting the # of tables one plays at once. Obviously there are people that make there living on volume, but for most of us, more tables leads to worse reads and more standard play, and that is simply a losing recipe for winning tournaments. That is not to say you can't make money that way, but to win a tournament, you must "play the player" and I dont see how you can do that w/ 22 other tables running. Maybe that's just me.

Another thing that I have improved upon, is my willingness to go allin when I have more than 20BB's. In the past, if I thought a guy was weak or I liked my hand, I'd move in from any spot w/ any amount of chips. I feel like I used to blow alot of chips, when I finally did run into a big hand. Now @ the time, I'd just chalk it up to, "they need a monster to call, so they woke up with one... it happens" and that clouded my ability to think about the return/risk part of the equation.

The following hand took my place in my third tournament ever (first cash) on pokerstars, a 100R in which I took 2/96 for 6400. The original raiser in this hand, hold_emNL is a young poker player who goes by "Durrr" and is widely considered to be among the best of the very best in the world. He is often seen multitabling the highest NL holdem cash games on the internet. Of course at that stage, I knew nothing about him, and very little about tournament poker, and just pushed; $680K in PokerStars winnings later, this is something I can't imagine myself doing.

PokerStars Game #2748119950: Tournament #13241851, $100+$9 Hold'em No Limit - Level IX (300/600) - 2005/10/07 - 16:29:06 (ET)
Table '13241851 2' Seat #7 is the button
Seat 1: Hold_emNL (20060 in chips)
Seat 2: wedlowjones (11675 in chips)
Seat 3: BodogAri (15810 in chips)
Seat 4: Tipsy (7233 in chips)
Seat 5: nickelrulz (4190 in chips)
Seat 6: The Camel (25290 in chips)
Seat 7: smokingjoep (29635 in chips)
Seat 8: Ship_It_Boys (9900 in chips)
Seat 9: thopra (12285 in chips)
Hold_emNL: posts the ante 50
wedlowjones: posts the ante 50
BodogAri: posts the ante 50
Tipsy: posts the ante 50
nickelrulz: posts the ante 50
The Camel: posts the ante 50
smokingjoep: posts the ante 50
Ship_It_Boys: posts the ante 50
thopra: posts the ante 50
Ship_It_Boys: posts small blind 300
thopra: posts big blind 600
*** HOLE CARDS ***
Dealt to BodogAri [Ac Tc]
Hold_emNL: raises 1200 to 1800
wedlowjones: folds
BodogAri: raises 13960 to 15760 and is all-in
Tipsy: folds
nickelrulz: folds
The Camel: folds
smokingjoep: folds
Ship_It_Boys: folds
thopra: folds
Hold_emNL: calls 13960
*** FLOP *** [3c Qc 7c]
*** TURN *** [3c Qc 7c] [Kc]
*** RIVER *** [3c Qc 7c Kc] [5c]
*** SHOW DOWN ***
Hold_emNL: shows [Ks Kh] (a flush, King high)
BodogAri: shows [Ac Tc] (a flush, Ace high)
BodogAri collected 32870 from pot

Full Tilt Poker is running a 1K buying sattelite to the 50K WSOP Horse event. I
have managed to win 2 seats to the satellite, and am very excited to play in it
today. That combined with the 2 regular Horse Sunday tournies, makes this the
biggest day of Horse in my life. If somehow I manage to luckbox my way into that
50K seat though, I cannot imagine actually playing in that tournament, and from
FTP's guidelines it seems like I'd just be able to take the 50K cash, and not
play in the event. Obviously this does not bode well for the main event's
participation numbers...

Different legislation is being thrown around vis a vis the internet gaming bill.
I'm very disallusionized w/ politics right now, but I strongly hope they don't
mess it up more than they already have. As usual congress (and I'm talking about
even the one's on our sides) have decided "if its worth having, its worth
regulating." Now regulation in theory is a good thing, protect's the innocent etc.
but like everything else the government enters, they will no doubt operate an
inefficient burecaracy that does not little to nothing to protect gamblers, but
does alot to eat up tax money. (Just like almost every single govt project-its
just so sick that I have to pay close to 50% every year to fund these ridiclous
schemes- while the people making these laws are opening up bank accounts in the
Cayman Islands.)

Sunday, June 03, 2007

The Coming of the Online player

Firstly, a huge congrats to Jared "The Waco Kid" Hamby who has absolutely dominated live poker this year, and just got to his first TV final table and took 2nd. Thayer (last name is real hard to spell so I won't bother-and how many thayer's are there) took 4th in that same tournament-the Mandalay Bay WPT. PrtyPSux and Daut barely missed the TV final table finishing 8th and 9th respectively.

Going into tommorow's first WSOP Final table, and 2 online players are still kicking. PearlJammer (famous for 16 tabling MTT's profitably and being the 6th ranked internet MTT player) is one of the short stacks after getting sucked out on the FT bubble. MrSmokey1 (who many consider to be the best internet combo player - mtt, sng and cash) goes into the ft 4th in chips. In 2nd place chips wise, is 2006 PCA winner, Steve Paul Ambrose, trying to dispell the myth that he only plays good poker one week a year. (He has gone deep back to back in PCA finishing 20th this year.) Good luck to them all.

Going into day 2 of the 1500, Alex Jacob (who is questionably an internet player-having started online, but really making a name for himself live w/ multiple big ft's and a win in the USPC this year- he is also infamous in my mind for absolutely schooling me @ the Foxwoods WPT a year or so ago where he went on to finish 2nd to Victor Ramdin). Basebaldy is also one of the chip leaders w/ 150K+ and average @ 33k.

It shouldn't be a shock to anyone following the poker world - and it is waaaaay obvious to me - that online players are gonna do well @ this years WSOP. I just hope that I'm one of them.

However, if there's one thing that's not gonna change this summer, its playing online on Sundays- the holy day of online poker. Of course, I'll be playing all the majors today, and both the Stars and FTP Horse tournies.`

Interesting hand of the day: I was in the aformentioned Mandalay Bay WPT, and I came into Day 2 very short. So anyways, here I am sitting w/ 8500 on the button, the blinds are 400-800 w/ a 100 ante, and Jaime Gold opens from the Hijack (or-1 from there) for 2500, I look down at AJ, and I take it as a given that I am well ahead of his opening range. However, instead of auto pushing, which is the standard move, I make it 5000 to go. It gets back to the World Champ, and he laughs at my bet, and calls. The flop comes q94, and he check folds to my 2500 bet (I had 1k left behind).