Thinking Poker Podcast Episode 3 Featuring Jason Strasser

Edit: Sorry, I didn’t properly embed the file last night. The player/download tool on this page works now. Not sure how long it will take for the change to propagate to iTunes. Apologies for the inconvenience.

Our guest this week is Jason “strassa2” Strasser. Jason was one of the first titans of online poker. He dominated the biggest no-limit hold ’em games, won a WCOOP, and penned (well, typed) some of the most strategically rich forum posts of the era. Now on his way to becoming a titan of finance, he talks about what made him successful at poker, how it’s helped him as an options trader, and what it feels like to sit down at the felt these days. If you’d like to read a few highlights from Jason’s ouevre, here are our recommendations:

Life is Good As a College Poker Star – This is actually a great story Jason wrote for his school newspaper.

Things That Scare Me In My Opponents – It’s worth skimming the whole thread, because Jason’s original post is short (though insightful).

You Might Win Some But You Just Lost One – If you’re not familiar with the term “shania”, there’s a link in one of the first few posts to a post that explains it further. It’s related to what we now know as “balance”.

Taking Blinds – This is my personal favorite.

The Saturday Giant provided this week’s music. You can find tour dates and download their digital album When Death Comes, including the song “Who Can Recall His Past Lives” featured on this show, at thesaturdaygiant.com 

Finally, a note about the sound quality: it’s a bit wanting during this interview because Jason and I were both on cell phones. This is something we’re going to avoid doing in the future, and hopefully it won’t detract too much from your listening pleasure. So no need to mention that when you e-mail your comments and suggestions to podcast@thinkingpoker.net – we’re on it!

11 thoughts on “Thinking Poker Podcast Episode 3 Featuring Jason Strasser

  1. Great work guys – surprised you got another one out so quickly.
    I liked the discussion of the 1/2 hand, especially since I’m going to foxwoods & mohegan this weekend to play 1/2. I’ll be playing deep stacked and about 40/20 – as you said it’s easy to play against most 1/2 players post-flop and plus it’s more fun to play more hands!
    I wasn’t playing online back when Strasser was big, so I didn’t know about him – thanks for the interview and the links to the favorite threads.

  2. This podcast is better than the 2+2 pokercast, because there is less chit chat and bragging and the discussions are about poker strategy, not about random nonsense. Also, very interesting guests.

    • +1 . This was my favorite poker site before (though I rarely make any comments, I’m always reading the new articles), and that 25 minutes analisys on a single hand made it my favorite pokercast already. I can only enjoy 2+2 pokercast when I’m drunk btw… Please keep up the good work! 🙂

    • Thanks for the kind words, but let’s not make them at the expense of other shows. I enjoy the Pokercast a lot!

  3. Listened to the first 30 minutes. That was awesome. Love the focus on what could villain have. Thank you.

  4. I liked this episode the most of the three so far.

    What might be an interesting device for discussing a hand one week would be for each of you to talk through the same hand, one talking about the villains thought process and the other the hero, as in a separated thought process, as if you’re listening to each players thought bubble? Maybe a bit contrived but it could be quite an interesting way to listen to a hand.

  5. I’m loving the podcast so far. It’s really good to get some decent hand analysis and the interviews have been good, too. I think that you’ve found a niche that presents a nice complement to the more entertainment focus of the 2+2 pokercast, and the pure strategy of Bart Hansen’s deuce plays (although I have to confess that I stopped listening to that when it went to a subscription format as I no longer play nearly enough volume to justify paying for it).

    One thought I had when listening to both you and Strasser discussing ‘poker players’ and the many qualities that they pick up – I’m not sure that you don’t really mean a minority who might be better called ‘smart, thinking, reflecting poker players’ because, in my limited experience, plenty of (even winning) poker players don’t seem to show much evidence of the sort of self awareness that you were discussing.

    • I do think the self-aware players benefit more from playing poker, but I still think anyone can benefit to some extent. Even if they get upset about it every time and don’t process it in any sort of self-reflective way, the experience of losing money, making mistakes, etc. without the world coming to an end still has a behavioral conditioning effect. The neural pathways from “something bad happened” to “go into full panic mode” get weaker whether you think about them or not.

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