Episode 39: Carlos Welch

Carlos “loxxii” Welch is a grinder if ever there were one. The former math teacher was happily learning the game playing small-stakes online tournaments until Black Friday complicated that plan. Undeterred, he now travels to casinos, sleeping in his truck or on sofas to keep the trips cost-effective. We talk to him about bumhunting WSOP satellites, the dearth of black poker players (especially women!), and riding Las Vegas public transportation in the middle of the night.

You can follow Carlos on twitter @HipHop101Trivia. As the name suggests, he knows his hip hop. Here are recommended songs from the artists he mentioned on the show:

J. Cole http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SO97eMXF9K0
Black Thought (lead rapper of The Roots) http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aHRLXvvLO_U
Sha Stimuli http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4oYfjnDZAYc
3D Na’Tee http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=J9J0-salzCE

You can read more about Carlos’ first year as a professional poker player on the Tournament Poker Edge forums. He’s also promised to answer questions diligently and thoroughly in the comments section here!


0:27 Hello and Welcome; Andrew and Nate arrive in Las Vegas
10:05 Strategy: Pre-flop decisions with AK
46:00 Interview: Carlos Welch


Hand 1

$2/$5 NLHE at the Rio.Villain 1 ($500) raises UTG to $20. Hero ($500) calls UTG+2 with AKo. Villain 2 calls UTG+4. Villain 3 reraises to $75. Villain 1 calls. Hero shoves. Villain 2 folds. Villain 3 calls. Villain 1 calls.

Hand 2

$1/$2/$3 NLHE at the M8trix in San Jose. Hero covers the table and opens to $10 UTG+2 with AhKc. MP ($350) raises to $35. BB ($350) calls. Hero calls.

Flop (~$105): Kh 7c 2h. BB checks, Hero checks, MP bets $85, BB calls, Hero shoves.

24 thoughts on “Episode 39: Carlos Welch

  1. Carlos was kind enough to provide links of particularly good work by the artists he recommends:

    (1) J. Cole: http://goo.gl/aXwua

    Others to be linked in other posts… Andrew’s blog decides I’m a spammer if I include four links in one post.

    • I like to use parts of songs as inspiration for when I am playing poker. I’ll give a few here.

      In this J. Cole song when he says “Long live the idols may they never be your rivals.” I think about all the guys that inspired me to try and do great things in poker from Moneymaker to Ivey to the TPE and Thinking Poker guys. I idolize these guys. The love they have shown me this summer has fostered a great sense of loyalty. I couldn’t imagine being their rivals, meaning real life enemies. Of course this doesn’t mean I would hesitate to 3bet the hell out of them or steal their blinds if it made sense to do so. It just means that I am not ashamed to say I hold them in high esteem. When I play badly, I feel the shame of telling them down like J. Cole felt towards Nas.

      • Roots – This one speaks for itself. I think each and every line can apply to how each and every one of us has felt about poker at some point in our careers. My favorite and the one that most applies to how I feel about this summer is “Lord knows I’ve waited for this a lifetime and im an icon when I let my light shine.” This is basically my new poker theme song.

        Sha Stimuli – This one speaks to Nate’s point about multicultural acceptance at the poker table. My favorite line is “Tell me the game plan. What would it take to put the Ku Klux and the Wu Tang in the same clan?”

        3D Na’Tee – This one speaks to how I see poker as a viable career that I can use to build a financial legacy for my family since my father chose to walk out on us. I am the man of my extended family back home and I feel a tremendous responsibility to use the mental ability God gave me to help those in my family who are less able. My favorite line is “(you) see me at moments in my career yelling at the sky, ‘nigga you didn’t get me here’ “

  2. I’ve been listening from the start (mostly for the strategy talk tbh), but your interviews are pretty good too.

    Carlos, you’re the most entertaining interviewee so far. You literally had me laughing out loud, but with plenty of food for thought too. I hope you make it as a pro, good luck!

    • The cents on a menu observation (plus delivery) made me laugh louder than any moment of the podcast (and I’ve listened to every episode multiple times). I can say that, having to edit these, Carlos’ was the first interview that I didn’t want to end in the course of my working on it.

  3. Great podcast. Carlos you have a good head on your shoulders. When many young men your age are angry and reckless you seem to have such a productive and positive spirit. I admire you. The love and generosity you hold for your family and friends is awe inspiring. Im in my 60th decade on this planet and have learned lessons the hard way. Glad you can take from those around you and utilize it.
    One advice I do like to share with you is don’t be afraid to spend it when you do have it. Take that cab ride home when you can afford it. A good buddy of mine who is now passed, Danny Medina, a great pool champion walked to Binions to enter a tournament and was clubbed by a couple of guys and robbed of his bank roll. Danny was a big guy tough guy too and an old school gangster. He spent a week in the hospital. And this happened around 7PM at nite.
    Good luck to you and Ill be following your career.

  4. Carlos,
    I have a story similar to your Binions story. I final tabled at the Nugget this summer, and was leaving downtown at 2:30am with $3k+ in my pocket.

    I wouldn’t have shared a cab with anyone under any circumstances. *Maybe* one of the other folks from the final table, but since I knew it was only about $25 back to the strip, it seemed like it would be -EV to take any chances with someone I didn’t know.

  5. Thanks for all the kind words everyone. Andrew and I spoke about what I can do going forward as far as sharing my journey. I have some ideas and I will keep you guys abreast.

    I agree about the late night bus ride. I will try to do a little better in that department.

  6. Great podcast. I can relate to Carlos sleeping in his vehicle to save money. There are lots of ways to save money and sleeping in your vehicle is one of them. I was lucky enough to go out to the WSOP this year for a $150 plane ticket and stay with a friend (I was lucky enough to have connections from when I lived there for three years). All I had to pay for was food and drinks I wanted. I have to give it up to Carlos for also being able to bargain on Craigslist for his monthly rent. He is a great representative for someone being frugal with their money.

    • Thank you Baxter. One other thing I failed to mention is how lonely 45 days in Vegas can be without female company. During my last week, I was fortunate enough to meet a nice young lady who lives in North Las Vegas. She invited me to stay with her on future trips and even offered to show me around Vegas and Los Angeles. Of course, I will pay for most of these expenses, but it is nice to cultivate long lasting friendships as opposed to weird craigslist business arrangements for housing.

  7. Oh oh. Women and relationships are a leak. Right now Im in San Diego with the family to Legoland, San Diego Zoo, and San Diego Marineland. Legoland admission $100 per person. Hotel $300 a nite. All Vegas winnings out the door.LOL!!! But whose to say without them I wouldnt have the career I have today. So plus and minus. Relationships are as difficult as poker strategy. Loneliness has its advantages.

    • I agree 100%. Notice I said long lasting friendships, not relationships. I am happily single. I don’t plan to get married or have kids until I grow up which hopefully never happens.

  8. Great interview! Very entertaining. Carlos, you’re more grown up than you realize (in a good way). You’ll never be old, just wiser. I also loved the comment about cents on the menu. All the best to you, and thanks to Andrew and Nate!

  9. Keone says: “Im in my 60th decade on this planet and have learned lessons the hard way.”

    Okay, y’all listen to Carlos and all his “life lessons”. More power to ya.

    Myself? I’m only working on my 6th decade, and so am VERY interested in Keone explain HIS lessons…..

    please hurry Keone, I am running out of time!!


      • Such sage advice. I felt bad in Vegas because I was so excited to tell Nate that I was starting to drift towards raw veganism (to get myself healthier) and as soon as they offered to buy me dinner, I went straight for the cashew chicken. I enjoyed the cashews way more than the chicken if that counts for anything. Andrew scared me when he talked about getting food poisoning so I just went for the thing I was most familiar with. I am happy to report that since Wednesday, I have only eaten fruit and veggies and I am absolutely loving it. Cheap, nutritious, and tasty.

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