Episode 21: Tubby Boots

Something different today: Andrew interviews his grandmother about her brother, a 400-pound cross-dressing stand-up comedian with a love for all things gambling. The result is a moving, inspiring portrait of a life well-, if strangely, lived. Plus, some exciting announcements!

Tubby Boots was a performer with an ecclectic, eccentric career that spanned four decades. At the height of his popularity he played the biggest hotels in Miami and Las Vegas and released four albums: Tubby Boots Goes Topless (available on YouTube), Out of This World, Songs for Swingers, and Thin May Be In – But Fat’s Where It’s At. You can also see one of his live performances on YouTube.

Tubby’s sister, Sylvia Brokos, has nothing to sell. She does not have a website or a Facebook account, and you can’t follow her on Twitter.

Book Club

Next week, we’ll be discussing the Introduction and Part 1 of Ed Miller’s Playing the Player.

Strategy Segment

Game is 3/6 USD, 5% uncapped rake.

HJ opens to 20$. CO three-bets to 55$. Hero 4-bets to $125 with As 3s on the button. HJ snap folds, CO snap calls.

Flop is 8c 7c 2c Pot = ~275$

CO checks, Hero bets $110, CO calls quickly

Turn is 9d Pot = $495

CO checks making eye contact, Hero bets $165, CO calls unhappily.

River is Jc Pot = $825

CO checks quickly. Hero takes 30 seconds and moves all in for $340 effective, covering villain by $20 or so.


6:42 Introducing the Thinking Poker Book Club
9:50 Strategy: a hand from Gareth, currently in Uruguay
32:40 Old podcast episodes now available on iTunes!
33:54 Andrew and his grandmother discuss Tubby Boots

24 thoughts on “Episode 21: Tubby Boots

  1. I’m interested in Andrew expanding upon the notion that “most young pros playing the 3/6-type stakes aren’t rolled for it.” How does that compare to 1/3 and 5/10 type grinders?

    • For a game that played deep and in which you had a small edge (surely the case in an uncapped game) you’d probably want something like a $30,000 bankroll. That means $30,000 dedicated solely to playing poker, separate from 6 months to a year worth of living expenses. Most guys in their early 20s don’t have access to that kind of capital from non-poker sources, and it’s hard to get up that kind of money playing 1/2. Also I think a lot of 20-year olds, guys especially, don’t have the discipline to sit on that kind of money instead of buying a car or something. So either they’re backed or they can’t afford to lose. This is more true at 5/10 and less true at 1/2, for obvious reasons.

  2. Great interview Andrew. Your grandma sounds like a riot – reminds me a bit of my late grandmother.

    I wonder if John Waters was a fan of (or influenced by) your great uncle Tubby.

    • This was one of many things I didn’t get around to asking (this time around…). Waters and Tubby definitely knew each other. I have vague memories of one family member telling me that Waters offered Tubby some bit parts, but as far as I know they didn’t end up working together and it’s possible that the offer never even happened.

  3. I found myself strangely moved as I heard of the life of Tubby. For me, your grandmothers recollections of his life reminded me that I need to live each and every day as fully as I can. Further, it is so heartening to realize that with each passing year, our society is becoming more and more tolerant. It sounded almost strange to hear someone concerned about what one sexual orientation is. We aren’t there yet, but we are on our way nit is clear your grandmother has grown over the course of her life. I hope we all remember that we too can grow

    • Thanks very much for the comment, Mark. Those are very much my reactions to the interview as well, but I worried whether the interest of the subject was innate or a function of my proximity to it. So I’m glad to hear someone unrelated to Tubby say that.

      It’s funny to hear my grandmother say that it was actually my grandfather who talked sense into her concerning Tubby’s homosexuality, because he was generally far less tolerant than she of different types of people.

      I’d heard her talk about finding out Tubby was gay only once before, and I knew I wanted to talk to her about it in the interview, but I wasn’t sure whether she’d bring it up voluntarily or whether I’d have to convince her to talk about it. I just wasn’t sure whether some part of her would still want to treat it as an embarrassing or taboo subject, but she came to it on her own, which was great. As you can probably tell, she is generally an honest, open, and straight-shooting person.

      Thanks again for listening and for sharing your reactions!

    • Oh, I’m curious to know also: had you already guessed that he was gay? Were you surprised at all to hear that?

      • I hadn’t thought about it while listening, but, the revelation wasn’t surprising. I just like knowing that someone who was, affected people he never new existed well after his death. I have actively been trying to live a more interesting life since the podcast. It has only been a few days, but its a start.

  4. I enjoyed that interview, and I’m sure Grandma enjoyed talking with you about Tubby. He was very generous with his vacation home, and you spent some fun times there! Your poker genes come from their side of the family for sure.

  5. Your Grandmother sounds like a blast. The only thing I found a little frustrating is that there wasn’t really enough of it.

    Also, is “built” a euphemism for having really nice, ahem, eyes?

    • Thanks BR. Funny you say that, it was actually a really long interview, nearly two hours, but it required a lot of chopping up. Grandma goes off on tangents really easily and often speaks as though you already know the parties involved in the story, which can be confusing even for me let alone for people who don’t know them.

      That said, we were pretty aggressive with the editing – I like the last few minutes of this so much that I was really worried about people getting bored and giving up on it before they got there. We’ve gotten a lot of nice feedback so far, though, so maybe I can convince Grandma to do this again sometime…

  6. Been enjoying your podcasts a great deal. Tubby sounds like a huge slice of life. Podcasts are a great medium for storytelling/reminiscences such as this. I’ve invested big dollars in the Ed Miller book and am looking forward to the book club thing. His description of the ABC player sounds frighteningly close to who I am as a poker player right now.

    • Glad you like the show! I’m sure Ed’s book will justify the price itself, but we’re hoping to supplement it with plenty of good commentary.

      I certainly slide into ABC play too often myself, so we’ll work on it together…

      Thanks for the comment.

  7. Love the podcast! It’s in my top 5 of all podcasts on any topic.

    Just a quick question. During the discussion of the 3/6 hand (and hands in previous episodes) the result of the hand isn’t discussed lest we the listeners become “results-oriented”. And I understand the thought behind that since we should be focused on ranges and proper play and not specific hands.

    But wouldn’t it be useful information for the listener to hear the result of the hand so we can see if that hand was part of the range we were putting the villain on? And therefore the result would either help confirm our thought process (if the hand was in the range) or it would open our eyes to considering a different range (if the hand was not in it).

    In other words, I don’t think of the final hand as a “result” – instead I just think of it as additional information… information that we poker players are always trying to gather and analyze. Put another way, the ranges we put our opponents on come from experience – the experience of seeing the “results” of the many hands we’ve played!

    Keep up the great work!

    • Fair point. We generally do give results – in that case we didn’t have them, so I suppose you could justifiably demand to know why we didn’t get them before recording the segment…. Wea culpa.

    • Thanks for the note.

      We don’t withhold results for any paternalistic reasons. When we withhold results, it’s because we don’t have them (or just forgot to say them).

      Agreed that it can be frustrating not to hear how things turned out, largely because it can be strategically valuable information. But we are usually as frustrated as you are about this.

      That said, we’ve found out results to some of the hands way after the fact, so perhaps we should just have a “results compendium” segment sometime?

      • Thanks for your thoughts on this, Andrew and Nate! And I’m sorry, I didn’t mean to be a podcast listener nit by focusing on this one small thing in what is an overall awesome podcast. There is nothing better than having two smart, observant, and thinking poker players discuss a hand in-depth for 30 minutes. Thanks again!

        • Villain in the 3/6 hand had QcQs and called me after about 30 seconds :). Sorry it wasn’t included in the show Mike, like AB and NM said, I didn’t include it in my email. My fault.

          • And I definitely agree about results being ‘extra information’ worth analysis and what you/AB/NM posted above. After all if something was ruled out, and then it happened, that’s a valuable piece of information!

    • Thanks eldodo, glad people are still listening to this and finding it interesting. I’m not as familiar with Pryor’s work as I’d like to be, but it wouldn’t surprise me.

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