I Just Won $160,000

I started to title this blog something about getting eliminated or finishing in 53rd place but that’s an awfully pessimistic way of looking at it. I just won $160,000. I cashed in the Main Event of the World Series of Poker for the fifth time in six years, a feat that I’m told is unmatched in poker history. Perhaps more impressively, I’ve been in the top 100 three times in the last four years. I suppose that was an easy feat in the early days of the WSOP, but the average field size in the years I did it was over 6000.

On Day 1, I bet third pair for value on the river and got paid off. On Day 2, I called a turn check-raise all-in with an underpair to the board in a 3-bet pot, and I was right… until the river. On Day 3, I rode out a day-long run of bad cards without getting frustrated and doing anything (too) stupid. On Day 4 I induced a player to 5-bet his A9o all-in against my QQ. On Day 5, I had one of the best tournament players in the world on my left but even from out of position I kept him on his toes all day. On Day 6, I called three bets with Ace-high, and I was right. I almost called a flop check-raise all-in with Ace-high, and that would have been right too. On Day 7, I flipped a coin for hundreds of thousands of dollars in equity, lost, felt virtually no disappointment, and displayed even less.

And I did it all without ever speaking (never mind what I was thinking- I’m still working on that part) an unkind word to any of my opponents. There was no mockery, no muttering under my breath, and certainly no table slamming or card throwing or chair overturning. There was also no celebration, no gloating, hooting, whooping, or barking. I’m awfully damn proud of all of those things.

I’m awfully proud too to have so many great friends, many of whom I’ve never met in person, rooting for me from all around the globe. I had texts, tweets, emails, and blog comments pouring in from six continents, often from fans I didn’t even know I had. My only regret was that I wasn’t able to distract you all from your work for another two days, but I very much look forward to trying again next year. I wonder if anyone’s ever cashed four times in four years?

44 thoughts on “I Just Won $160,000

  1. Yeah, what Todd said!

    Your conduct is a fine example of why I call bullshit on players who say that they are incapable of controlling their mouths when something unfortunate happens to them, such as Allen Bari (http://pokergrump.blogspot.com/2011/07/powerless.html) and Phil Hellmuth (http://pokergrump.blogspot.com/2008/02/more-hellmuth-hating-yep.html). (I don’t mean to be pimping my blog in your comments, but the poker world badly needs even less tolerance for such bad behavior than is currently the case, and I try to spread the word any way I can.)

    • Even though I agree that some people go over the line when they win or lose, you have to have villains to have heros.

      Congrats Andrew! I wish we could have seen more of you.

      P.S. How do we get a thinkingpoker.net patch? I’d gladly wear that when I play poker.

    • Very good points in both posts. I agree that the “can’t help it” argument is BS. I also think that these guys would actually have even better results if they got the ego under control. Frm what I heard Hellmuth was much better behaved this year, and I don’t think it’s a coincidence that that correspnded with one of his best series.

  2. Awesome run! And yes, 2 people have cashed 4 times in 4 years (which is the record for consecutive cashes). In fact, Chris Bjorn’s 4 for 4 streak is live.

  3. Started following your blog before last year’s WSOP. Enjoyed the virtual sweat both years. Congratulations on back-to-back top 100’s and thanks for the glimpse into your game.

  4. Im very happy for you Andrew, have been following your blog now for the best of 2 years, and you stand out amongst poker bloggers everywhere. Congrats!

  5. My I add my voice to the congratulations (and add another Down Under follower to the list).

    It is incredibly apparent that your conduct and grace under pressure is a credit to you and your profession. Paradoxically, this often results in a paucity of updates on the PokerNews page!

    All the best again.

  6. Congrats to another great run in the ME. 5/6 cashes is just unreal. I definitely had a lot of fun following your run and I’m hoping for another one next year:)

  7. Félicitations (sorry, i’m french) !!
    It was awesome to follow you. I am sure you can cash 10 times in 10 years !!!
    And I just want to thank you to be a thinking player (and showing us the way to become one) and a gentleman !!
    Nice job !!

  8. Congrats!

    Only found your blog yesterday, and spent a good 4 hours getting up to date, a cracking read!

    Well done on your latest result and you’re right to be proud of the achievement.

    Look forward to your future posts.

  9. Phenomenal piece….again. Huge congrats on a another tremendous run! I’m a big poker fan and i can say honestly that I’ve lost most interest in following the remaining 2 days.

    • +1 to this.

      I stopped watching the coverage. I can wait till it starts to air on Tuesdays and it’s edited.

  10. Congratulation to say the least!
    Showing so much consistency year over year is very impressive!

    • Heh, thanks. As you know I’ve generally tried to keep my poker life separate from my BDL life, in particular my interaction with students, but then again I suppose you’re no longer a student. So here’s an interview where I talk about debate and the BDL; it’s kind of long, and the BDL stuff is towards the end: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oj9naURTaW4

  11. Congratulations on another stellar run, Andrew. I am confident you will at least make the Nov 9 or actually win the ME in the not too distant future. I have enjoyed your blog for several years now and admire your play and professionalism. It’s great to see a fellow Philosophy grad kicking ass at life and poker.

  12. Great run, Andrew. Really happy for you, and really proud of the way you handle yourself at the table.

  13. Well done, your WSOP reports are by far the best read about tournament poker I’ve ever had, so I rooted for you to go all the way, simply because the 2011 report would be longer!

    Btw, you had my last standing fellow countryman Ruben Visser (rubenrtv) at your table at the start of day 6. He was the guy that fourbet you and then showed a 6. He later explained he had a pair of 6es and thought it a way too obvious threebet spot 🙂


    • Yeah I knew who Ruben was. FWIW the fact that it’s an “obvious” 3-bet spot doesn’t necessarily make it a great spot to 4-bet with anything (not that 66 is necessarily “anything”). If I know that he knows that it’s an obvious 3-bet spot, then that may change my 3-betting frequency and range as well as my range for flatting his 4-bet and for 5-betting. That’s not in any way to knock his play, which I thought was consistently very good throughout the day.

  14. Andrew,

    Congrats on another deep run. Those of us who have followed you for a while (and been beneficiaries of your prescient coaching) are not surprised in the least by your achievement.

  15. Having played the last three hours at your table on Day 2, I witnessed the grace with which you qietly paid off the terrible beats with the 33 and QQ.
    I was very impressed with your play, but unhappy about you being on my immediate left (except that I got to know you)!
    Nice run!

  16. Mad respect. In the end, how one conducts oneself is much more important than how much money one collects in life. Your poker skills speak for themselves, but you get more credit in my book for following the 11th commandment: Don’t be an asshole.

  17. Well done, sir,

    Its a shame that the PokerNews effectively ignored you during the last 3 days, except the post from Shamus which he just had to wrote. Next year they will definitely give you more attention, especially in November :).

    Please tell us a story about “literally a miracle I haven’t lost it all here”, near a top-100 appearance.

  18. I don´t really wear hats (asides from custom parties), but I´ll be sure to get one… and off to you it will be! You are trully an inspiration my dear sir!

    • Yeah I’m seriously considering getting some Tommy Angelo coaching. Although I would have told you prior to last week that “the mental game is very important,” I think I have a new appreciation of just how true that is. A lot of good players, myself included (not this year) have blown up under the pressure of approaching the Main Event final table.

  19. Congrats of course.
    I would love to hear more about this hand…

    “I almost called a flop check-raise all-in with Ace-high, and that would have been right too”

  20. Congrats. I have been following your blog for a couple of years, and I appreciate the fact that you are sharing your insights so freely. I’m happy to see that this does not appear to be negatively impacting you financially. I don’t know if you care about such things, but you are now listed on Wikipedia; I believe this was not true a couple of weeks ago. Anyway, thanks for sharing your thoughts, and like many here I am waiting for Thinking Poker the Epic Novel.

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