Episode 107: Kevin “Kevmath” Mathers

Kevin “Kevmath” Mathers’ job title is Manager of Poker Information for Bluff Magazine, but even before he had that position, he was known as the go-to guy for structure sheets, redraws, and just about anything you would want to know about the poker world. We talk to him about his career, his reclusiveness, and his passion for helping the poker world. All that plus straddling strategy!

You can (and should) follow @kevmath on Twitter. You can (and should) vote for the Thinking Poker Podcast in the 2014 Bluff Reader’s Choice Awards.


:30 Hello & Welcome
8:47 Strategy: On Straddling
30:23 Interview: Kevmath

11 thoughts on “Episode 107: Kevin “Kevmath” Mathers

  1. I find that straddling the button can actually decrease the action that I get. The loose passive recreational players in my games are happy to call a 5BB raise in the SB with hands like J7o, but would open fold their SB if I Mississippied. Further, I find would-be limpers or openers play tighter and trappier against the Mississippi, expecting me to isolate or 3bet OTB (even more aggressively that I’m apt to).

    Much of this is contingent on my possession of an aggressive image and the desire of the rec players in my games to see the flop cheaply with weak hands out of position, a leak that I’d rather exploit than disincentivize.

    • Yeah, that’s a good comment.

      I do think that a lot of players simply don’t want to fold K8s or whatever before the flop and will both call a straddle and call the blind, so it’s rare that I won’t put in the button straddle. But when I don’t, it’s for roughly the reasons you describe.

    • Very good point. I do think that Mississippi straddles tend to be bad for the game in general for this reason, and there have been times when I’ve played three-handed with two other regs, trying to get a game started or keep it alive, and we’ve agreed not to straddle.

      • Yep; it’s probably a bad rule to have, all things considered.

        FWIW, I think it’s no accident that there are Mississippi straddles at the Rio at WSOP time, just as I think it’s no accident that there’s also Big O. These games create sucker propositions that would either kill off a recreational population or the game if it were a permanent ecosystem. For a couple months with a lot of new money coming in, it works.

  2. That was a tough vote. You guys are by far my favorite poker media, but Somerville has been doing amazing things to attract more recreational players.

  3. I have exercised my right to vote. If TPP doesn’t win every category, I will demand that Kevmath recounts and recounts the numbers until the poll is fixed! 🙂

  4. I’m just getting caught up with TP, so I was too late to vote – it doesn’t sound like my vote would have put you over the top, and I can’t really begrudge Jason the victory but I still would have liked to cast for the TPP.

    Funny to hear Nate talking about Kevmath arriving – I felt like *I* had arrived when Kevmath retweeted some silly post of mine for the first time.

    I’m guessing that Kevmath’s posting of Day 2+ table draws has added at least a couple thousand bucks to my WSOP tournament equity – Sick double-namedropping brag: knowing I would have Johnny Lodden at my table the next day in the 2010 main (thanks to Kevmath) allowed me to get specific advice from Chad Brown about how to play him, which worked out very well.

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