Best of the Thinking Poker Podcast

Nate and I were flattered to be nominated for Best Podcast in the 2014 Bluff Reader’s Choice Awards. Hopefully this will prompt some new listeners to come check out the show, and with nearly 100 hours of content out there, it might be hard to know where to start.

In addition to valuable strategy content, we aim to find unique guests and discuss interesting topics that you won’t hear anywhere else. If you’re new to the show, here are a few of my personal favorite episodes. If you’re a veteran listener, please suggest some of your favorites in the comments!

Best Strategy

Ed Miller – What begins as a discussion of Playing the Player turns into a wide-ranging Q&A session on beating live no-limit hold ’em cash games. Ed’s penchant for explaining high-level concepts in easy-to-understand terms really shines through in this interview.

Olivier Busquet – Even you aren’t a heads up player, you can learn a lot from listening to how one of the best heads-up sit-n-go players in the world stays sharp and works to refine his game. Olivier is remarkably open about his thought process and strategy in the first half of a this two-part interview.

Isaac Haxton – Like Olivier, Ike is remarkably open about how he plays and thinks about poker at the highest stakes. In fact, the two even talk about each other in their respective interviews, making these two episodes fascinating companion pieces.

Fascinating Guests

Shaniac’s Back – Shane Schleger returns to the show to talk about getting out of debt, getting married, getting turned around at the Canadian border, and final tabling the WCOOP Main Event. He does it all with characteristic wit, charm, and humility.

Keone Young – You might know Keone Young as Mister Wu from Deadwood, or as the voice of Storm Shadow from the 1980s GI Joe cartoons, or as Chen Stormstout from World of Warcraft, or from one of the hundreds of roles he’s had in his decades-long acting career. But did you know that he’s also a poker player? Keone shares his fascinating journey from the streets of Honolulu to the movie studios, and poker tables, of California.

Carlos Welch – We first met Carlos in Las Vegas, just days after he’d made the decision to quit his job as a high school math teacher to play poker full-time. The key to his success isn’t crushing at the highest stakes, it’s keeping his expenses to an absolute minimum so that he doesn’t need a lot of money to sustain his lifestyle. His stories of sleeping in his truck in casino parking lots and showering in laundromats are sure to inspire and entertain.

Unique Topics

Ray J – Poker media is full of stories about the people playing at the WSOP, but about the people slinging the cards? Ray J tells about his life as a traveling poker dealer and shares his thoughts about proper procedure and how dealers ought to be trained.

Tubby Boots – There’s not much poker in this episode. Instead, Andrew sits down with his grandmother to talk about her brother, a 400-pound cross-dressing stand-up comedian who loved food, gambling, and life.

Ben Wilinofsky – NeverScaredB brings some high-level strategy to the show when he and Andrew talk about a heads-up match they played as part of the World Championship of Online Poker, but Ben also opens up about his struggle with depression and his Movember campaign to raise money for mental health issues among Canadian men.

Thinking Poker Bookclub

From time to time, we feature poker books on the show. We spend several weeks reading and discussing a book and then bring the author on the show to answer your and our questions.

Jared Tendler on The Mental Game of Poker 2

Tommy Angelo on Elements of Poker

Ed Miller on Playing the Player

9 thoughts on “Best of the Thinking Poker Podcast

  1. Well deserved nomination in my opinion!

    Personal favourites of mine are PLO8 tournament episode, both of the PLO specialists, Faraz Jaka, Ike, Ray Jay the dealer and Killingbird, thought there are plenty of other excellent episodes as well, I think your discussions surrounding optimality of limping v raising BVB is what really got me hooked on your show.

    Also feel Gareth and Leo both deserve honorable mentions as their appearances are always great

  2. So while still obsessing over Ari Engel (I will exact my revenge at some time in the distant future), I remember someone telling me that he was on the 2+2 podcast. I didn’t like it the one time I listened a while back but I decided to listen again in order to try and understand his game more. While at 2+2, I hear the guys mention this Bluff Magazine poll. I check it out and low and behold the Best Damn Poker Podcast anywhere had been nominated so I voted.

    I learned a ton from the episodes with Ed Miller’s book. I think you nailed this list actually, but I am obviously biased.

    I’d like the thank Andrew, Nate, and any listener that enjoyed my episodes. I am flattered to be among the Best guests of the Best episodes of the Best podcast.

    Screw it! Im going to go vote again just in case I left any chads hanging.

  3. I add my congratulations and I second the input of Duggs. My personal favorites are the episodes with Gareth, followed closely by those with Leo.

    Everyone rightfully enjoys Carlos. And despite the disclaimer about low poker content, everyone should listen to the story of Tubby Boots.

  4. The first episode of the Olivier Busquet interview is the one I listened to twice and still have undeleted on my phone – I found it really inspiring to listen to what Olivier does to get where he is. And any of the episodes with the semi regulars. But really, I don’t think that there’s any episode I haven’t enjoyed and got something out of. The nomination says more about bluff’s good judgement IMO, than it does about the quality of the podcast (which was already a known known).

  5. Congratulations on the nomination guys.

    Lots of good stuff to be found in ALL episodes

    Always enjoy the hand analysis sections.

    Shoutout for Ed Miller, Olivier Busquet, Roy Bhasin – (PLO strategy) and Carlos episodes.

    Will need to listen to the Tubby Boots episode myself.

    Keep up the good work


  6. I’ll add my congratulations as well, just voted for you guys in the poll. My personal favorites are the Olivier interview and the Pokersnowie episode, with Ed Miller and Carlos 1 tied as second-favorites. Keep up the great work!

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