107 – Andrew Brokos – Why We Fail

Andrew Brokos - Play Optimal Poker

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In this episode, Andrew Brokos, poker coach, host of the Thinking Poker podcast, and author of the book Play Optimal Poker talks about why we fail. He shares what he has learned on and off the table and stresses why it’s so important to manage your money wisely – even during upswings. Elliot and Andrew reveal why we can’t – and shouldn’t – always rely on predictions.

Listen in to hear why knowing poker theory is critical and learn how Andrew has made it accessible to the casual player.  

Time Stamped Show Notes:

[00:40] – Introducing Andrew, his work, and his background

  • 02:00 – He never played full-time but now it feels more full-time between everything he’s doing
  • 02:45 – Coaching is nice in an environment like poker where everyone is seen as an opponent

[03:20] – On what hinders most players

  • 04:00 – Most player don’t handle downswings well – but they don’t handle upswings well either
  • 04:10 – Money management is critical; the game is different now and not all about experience

[05:45] – On having Europeans in the World Series

  • 05:50 – It makes the game harder; they’re all good

[06:25] – On Andrew’s summer at the series

  • 06:35 – He was profitable but it started off poorly

[08:00] – On managing money in upswings and downswings

  • 09:00 – Some winners spend their cash and think that their one big win translates into a new monthly income
  • 09:20 – Some people prioritize moving up over reducing their risk of ruin
  • 10:00 – There are players who feel the need to always be at the highest table
  • 10:55 – With tough players and big games he walks away regretting decisions; he’s not big into challenging himself

[11:50] – Andrew’s game plan

  • 12:05 – He got good feedback from the book; he’ll be paying in a Boston casino with his podcast co-host

[13:35] – Andrew’s book Play Optimal Poker

  • 13:45 – The idea of the book is to explain game theory in terms everyone can understand
  • 15:48 – Most people make decisions based on predictions; sometimes guesses can be done well, but game theory is a way out of that
  • 17:20 – Knowing the default strategy when you can’t make predictions about your opponent is useful
  • 17:40 – You can learn how to exploit other players by knowing when an opponent should be bluffing

[19:45] – On burning less energy

  • 20:00 – There’s so little to be certain about in poker; game theory gives you certainty in your play when you don’t know what your opponent is going to do
  • 21:05 – If you have doubts on if your bluffs are the right decision, you may look more nervous

[22:45] – Seeing the game one hand at a time

  • 22:55 – Poker is like a puzzle; it won’t always go well and you won’t always win, but you must play it hand by hand
  • 25:40 – People start playing bad hands because they feel the need to play; don’t get sucked into this mentality

3 Key Points

  1. Practice wise money management during upswings and downswings.
  2. Poker is a puzzle; see every hand as a piece to the puzzle.
  3. Game theory is important to know because you can’t always predict your opponent’s next move.


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Ready To Become An A-Game Player? Click Here To Check Out Elliot Roe’s A-Game Poker Masterclass

About the Author Elliot Roe

Hi, I'm Elliot Roe... And I Help Poker Players Squeeze Every Ounce Of EV From Their Poker Skills and Abilities. Over 7500 poker players have downloaded my Mindset MP3s to boost their focus on the table and to relax and recover post-session. I have personally worked with hundreds more on mastering their emotions and the tabling and developing the “Pro-Athlete Mindset” needed to be successful into today’s games. Creating a strong poker mindset has been the “secret weapon” of the high stakes elite for years now, and I started this site to bring that edge to any player willing to work on that area of their game.

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