Episode 82: Ari Engel

On this episode of the Thinking Poker Podcast, Nate and Andrew set the location for the meet up in Las Vegas, break down a cash game hand that listener Jason played at Maryland Live! Casino, and talk withAri Engel about how to travel the circuit profitably, the difficulties of multi-tabling online, and the value of live tells.

The 2014 Nitcast Las Vegas meet-up will be from 10AM – 1 PM on Saturday, July 5 at the Gold Coast bowling alley. Please stop by to meet Andrew, Nate, Carlos, and lots of other Thinking Poker Podcast listeners and guests.

New episodes will no longer appear on the Thinking Poker feed, so please visit http://www.pokernews.com/podcast/ or subscribe to the PokerNews feed to ensure you won’t miss future episodes of the show.


  • 0:00 — Intro
  • 3:14 — Thinking Poker meet up information
  • 11:14 — Breaking down a cash game hand from Maryland Live!
  • 44:15 — Interview with Ari Engel

15 thoughts on “Episode 82: Ari Engel

  1. Is the RSS feed for the whole Poker News podcast or just the Thinking Poker podcast? Is there a way to get just the TPP?

    • There’s a single feed for all of the PokerNews podcasts. Sorry, I do realize that’s a bit inconvenient.

  2. Interesting personality and a lot of content.
    Self-reflection and self-assessment usually is very ego emotional matter.
    In this case is different.
    Very articulate,no embellishments or protective gear.

    Missed opportunity regarding (PLO) PLO8 hand analysis from Ari.
    Hello! You both have credentials to ask such question.
    With his focus for cold introspection it could be very premium content.

  3. Well if that was a last minute interview, you guys are the nuts. Very good, high quality.
    Ari seems like a fellow well worth following. And his nitcast ideas about travelling were sharp.

  4. For those interested, I scooped a monster pot. After I called, I showed immediately, as I was fairly certain I had the winning hand, and in those situations, I don’t typically wait to show (due to a combination of being excited (working on that!) and general annoyance at people who would delay the game when it was an obvious outcome). I realize that seeing his cards would have been optimal.
    With regard to my read that he wasn’t a pro, part of his rap with the cute girl was around his day job, and from their general discussion, it was obvious to me at least he wasn’t deriving his income from poker.

    Further information is that I had actually moved seats to be in better position against him. The more I think about it, the more I think he might have had 99-QQ with a spade, or AJ-AQ with J/Qs and gotten stubborn, or felt I was making a move.

    With regard to the flop bet size, I did consciously bet small on the flop to appear weak/induce a raise.

    With regard to my decision to 3 bet AK, I will balance myself in this situation between raising and calling (although weighted to raising). This isn’t true for worse aces down to A2ss-A5ss (which I will often raise on the button (at least online @6max which has reasonable action where I live (NJ)). I rarely 3 bet AQ or AJ ,typically reserving that for raising LAGtards.

    My AK play leans heavily on an extended discussion I has with Nate in Las Vegas last year after a cash session at the Rio, where he won a monster potten with the hand AIPF…

    Thanks to Andrew and Nate for reviewing my play. I feel I’ve taken a bath on previous analyses, so good to know this blind squirrel found a (the) nut(s) this time!

    Also, headed to Borgata to play a summer open event tomorrow. I assume that use of my hand history in the podcast qualifies for run good status, and am setting my expectations accordingly.

    Finally, those who play often at MD Live know they spread $1/2 not $1/3.

  5. I enjoyed the chirping birds during the strategy discussion. Was one of you outside during that discussion?

    Great hand – I like the small bet & great discussion around it. Too often I just either reflectively check back or bet big in that situation, so a good alternative to consider.

    • I’d just be careful to not use it as a bluff. I’ve seen recently (albeit online 6 max games) that those small bets that look like blocking bets will often get raised. So, unless you want the heat to come, I would use it sparingly…

      • Yeah, that’s a good point and part of what made it good is that in this spot you definitely wanted him to do that. Although how often you’ll get raised will depend on the game and the opponent – the more likely this bet will gets folds then the more bluffs you can include in the range for this bet. Some players will fold pocket K’s to this bet and some will bluff-raise air.

      • The thing about betting 1/3 pot is that it only needs to work 25% of the time even if you have 0 equity in the hand. In a heads up pot, even if your opponent never folds a pair or a draw (he’ll have such a hand about 1/3 of the time) and also bluff-raises half of the time that he has nothing (that’s another 1/3), he’ll fold 1/3 of the time, which is more than enough to make this bluff profitable.

    • 🙂

      They’re pretty noisy outside of my window (right next to desk where I record). That was with the windows closed. I don’t have air conditioning so at night I generally keep the windows open, which means the little buggers wake me up at like 5:30AM. Other than that they are pretty charming.

  6. Oh, and I hope everyone has a ball at the Nitcast meetup at the GC bowling alley. I’m gonna feel responsible if nobody wants to walk across the street due to the location change. In general, are poker players lazy? Well, I promise it’s worth the two minute walk. You can check out the noodle exchange, plus the slots are pretty soft and they have low limit craps so get your degen on!

  7. The “Nitties”! just a suggestion for end of year thinking poker podcast awards. ari engel might be able to find some bonus miles for a cheap airfare but can he find a 99cent can of chicken in Maryland for trip to Atlantic City? Carlos still an early favorite

  8. Why do I feel after listening to Ari I was in a tunnel? It happened here and at the TPE podcast. I get the feeling that he isnt talking but yelling at you most of the time. Is that what happens after youre arguing all day about how many angels can fit on the head of a pin?

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