Episode 22: André Coimbra

André Coimbra is a member of PokerStars Team Online and the 2009 Magic: The Gathering World Champion. In 2013, he withdrew all but $100 from his PokerStars account, asked support to reset his VIP status to Bronze Star, and set about trying to raise $100,000 for charity. Coached by yours truly, he’s off to a great start, and he gives us all the whys and hows. You call follow André on Twitter @andrecoimbra. (Edit: Andre’s Twitter handle is @andrebcoimbra, not @acoimbra as I mistakenly had it).

Book Club

Today we discuss Ed Miller’s Playing the Player, specifically the Introduction and Part I: Tight Players. Thanks to @PieFarmer for the question. Next week will be Part II: Loose-Aggressive Player. Send your thoughts and questions to podcast@thinkingpoker.net or @ThinkingPoker on Twitter.


$5/$10 NLHE game at Foxwoods. Several limps, Villain raises to $75 in the HJ, Hero calls with AKo in the CO, SB calls, UTG calls, and a “really fishy and loose mid-aged European” calls.

Flop ($385) K42r. UTG checks, Euro bets $160, HJ raises to $450, Hero calls, SB folds, UTG folds, Euro folds.

Turn ($1445) K426r. HJ checks, Hero bets $700, Villain shoves $900 more, Hero calls.


00:36 Hello and welcome; About Andre Coimbra
4:00 The merits of pot-limit hold ’em WSOP events, stemming from a Twitter debate with @TheRealAnsky
14:15 Mailbag: Do poker professionals contribute anything to society? Should they care?
29:45 Book Club: Introduction and Chapter I of Ed Miller’s Play the Player
59:48 Strategy:  Top pair, top kicker plays a big pot on a dry board
1:20:10 Interview: André Coimbra
1:53:55 Outro: On money and happiness


11 thoughts on “Episode 22: André Coimbra

  1. Andre was a delight! Andrew and Nate had an interesting dialogue to start, including the game theory in politics. Andre was so unassuming and modest. Great idea to offer free strategy tips to his friends in Portugal. I liked the conversation about money and happiness, and I’d be interested in a follow-up to hear about the beneficiaries of Andre’s generosity.

  2. As always, great show. Hope to participate in the book club this week; I actually read through the first chapters with a critical eye (even taking some notes!) but got sidetracked over and over again driving to San Jose and grinding live poker.

    My biggest quibbles with the first parts of the book were shoddy copy editing (“exploitative” instead of “exploitive” over and over, “what if means to _pay_ ABC poker,” etc.).

    Spoiler alert: hilarious gaffe on p. 172.

    • While typos such as pay instead of play are egregious, I have to rain on your quibbelous parade with respect to exploitative: http://grammarist.com/spelling/exploitative-exploitive/.

      Like most questions of this kind it really comes down to, is this a medium in need of nittery? A poker book isn’t an Economist briefing, so I would vote yes to nittery on typos but no to nittery on diction (so long as intended meaning is conveyed). Even if we voted yes though, EM should get a pass on exploitative!

      Quibbelous, not a word by the way.

      • Every medium where you care about your readers’ understanding is a medium where you should care about grammar and usage.

        (Not that I have strong views on ‘exploitive’ vs. ‘exploitative,’ though I prefer the former, and the link you provide shows only that people use both forms–not that both are correct.)

        • Both are found in Merriam-Webster, exploitative preceding exploitive in usage/existence by almost 40 years (1885 v 1921), not to mention exploitive not being recognized by my spell check! We only know what’s correct from the authorities after all. Re: Leo, one might be favoured in the game theory literature, looking that up extends beyond my nit capacities, but their dictionary definitions are identical.

          The author should care, but the reader shouldn’t, or at least, the reader should be lenient. It just doesn’t make sense to hold poker authors to a high grammatical standard in my opinion. It is asking too much of them with respect to their capacities (not to mention their discipline) and not all imprecision will impact comprehension. Obviously this takes a low view of the poker writing population, but I read a lot and that seems to me to be quite a reasonable view.

          It’s like interviewing a day labourer for his views on unionization and interrupting to correct him on “me and him” v “him and I.” The correcter is the one wasting time, we want to hear what he has to say!

          • I guess (suspect, but am not sure) that both you and Andrew disagree with me on this. Its not like I wouldn’t want to have my poker educational material actually copy edited. I just recognize that I shouldn’t expect it and am not disappointed. In my own writing/editing I am the biggest nit for typos, parallelism, and diction — but that doesn’t translate to those things for which I would criticize others :).

      • I agree calling attention to exploitive vs exploitative is super nitty. I always thought (perhaps mistakenly) that exploitive is the game theory term (eg exploitive strategy) while exploitative is the negative connotation having term (eg the prison industrial complex is an exploitative blight on American society).

  3. Nate, you mentioned you would put your quibbles re the book on the website. Do you have a website, or did you mean this website? If you have a website, I would certainly be interested in knowing it. I’ve listened to most of the podcasts, but don’t think I’ve heard the URL.

    As for part I, I’m a beginner and trying to learn as much as I can in the little time I have. Part I makes sense, but I’m terrified of employing the strategies because it seems like an easy road to spewville for a beginner.

    • No, I meant I’d post them here if anyone wanted them.

      WARNING: some of these are very minor. Some of them aren’t critical comments at all, just reflections on the material.

      p. 10: “There is nothing fundamental about ABC poker”–really? Surely it’s often fundamentally good to, e.g., play tight? Also the metaphysics of fundamentality is very tricky. Is there “nothing fundamental about” Newtonian mechanics because there is another more accurate analytical framework available? Obviously NM is way better than ABC poker in its domain, but still.

      p. 25: Danger! This example reminds the reader of what Miller said earlier in the nit example. But this isn’t the sort of spot that can be exploited by playing any two cards–you have to get to the turn this way before it becomes auto-profitable!

      “Up” as a verb?! (OK, OK, this book is very well-written.)

      p. 27: “So bloat pots preflop, and then steal more on the turn and river.” Careful! Bloating the pot might change his preflop range in ways that drastically change the turn spot! (Of course, a lot of those ways might actually make the turn spot _better_…)

      “Absolutely don’t make big calls against [nits]”–well, OK, but sometimes their preflop tendencies are much more reliable than their postflop tendencies, and sometimes their preflop tendencies take every VB out of their range! What about then?

  4. As I was reading the introduction to this podcast, at first I thought the Ed Miller book was called Playing the Poker. Now that’s a book I would read, and for which I would have high expectations.

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