Andy Bloch Is a Poker Junkie
PokerJunkie meets Andy Bloch just a few minutes after he has busted out of the 2008 WSOP Main Event.
Andy, are you a poker junkie?
During the World Series I'm definitely a poker junkie. I've played 30 events, not including Ante Up for Africa.
I just got knocked out of the Main Event - I flopped a straight, another guy flopped a set and he turned a full house, and I had already lost more than half my chips so I wasn't getting away from that hand.
What's the longest session you've ever played?
I've probably played some 24 hour sessions. There are times when you come to Vegas or Atlantic City and you don't have a hotel room yet, and you just got to keep playing. You don't need a hotel room in Vegas, as long as you have a poker table.
What's the most you have lost in a single session?
I've probably lost $50,000 or so, online probably a little bit more than that playing $1,000/$2,000 tables - $100,000 or more. I can definitely afford it, it's not really going to affect my life either way, whether I lose or win that much, but, you know, it's irritating and you don't like to go to sleep after having just lost $100,000. I don't always play that high just because I hate going to be after losing.
What's the most you have won in a single session?
If you include tournaments, I have won $1 million, but not including tournaments, probably $100,000-$200,000 - that's it. It's still hard to sleep, but it's a lot easier when you've won $100,000 than when you have lost $100,000.
When was the last time you had a totally poker-free week?
That was before the World Series. I've maybe had one or two poker-free days since the World Series started. I'm actually almost happy to bust out early rather than just before the money so I get an extra couple of poker-free days. It's good to take breaks and that's why I don't play a lot of cash games, except online. I play so many tournaments and they last so long, so I feel I need to take breaks, but the more poker you play the better you get so it's always hard to take too many breaks.
Have you ever chosen poker over a partner?
Uhm, yeah sometimes, I mean when the World Series is around you got to play the World Series, almost no matter what's going on in the rest of your life. This is the time to play poker, but usually I look for excuses not to play poker, because it's so easy to play and I can play so often.
How many of your friends are poker players?
Pretty much all of my close friend that I see on a regular basis are poker players. I still have a few friends from before I started playing poker, but I don't get to see them that often.
There are lots of great people in the poker world - some of the most honourable, trustworthy people that make the best friends I've met through poker. Some people look at poker and they say "those guys are all addicts and gamblers", and that's not true at all, so I have a lot of close friend in the poker world.
Do you use a lot of poker lingo in your every-day conversation?
Yeah, you use all those terms all the time without even realising it. Sometimes you are joking around and something goes wrong and you say "Ok, now I'm on complete tilt for the rest of the day," or "that was a bad beat" if something bad happens to somebody.
What's the most expensive thing you have destroyed after a bad beat?
Haha, I'm not like some people, I haven't destroyed any laptops after getting a bad beat online. I'm usually able to take my anger out in other ways and control myself a lot better, so I don't destroy too many things. I have had some pretty bad beats in my lifetime and I have always been able to control my emotions.
Do you make side bets?
Yes, my biggest one lately was with Phil Ivey, that he wouldn't get a bracelet this year, so the Main Event is his last chance. He actually said that the World Series of Poker Europe counted, but instead of that I gave him some extra places in the Main Event here. If he goes deep I have to pay him, but I'll be happy anyway.
How much is the bet for?
There are two separate bets where I get back $200,000 and he can win $280,000. (NOTE: Ivey got knocked on day 1 of the Main Event, and Bloch won the bet.)
Do you ever have nightmares about poker?
Well, everybody has poker nightmares when you're dreaming you're at the table and you move all-in and you can't find your cards. It's kind of like when you're in school and you show up late to an exam, you know. But usually I have good dreams, like dreams that I'm at the final table or winning a tournament.
Who is the biggest poker junkie in the world?
Phil Ivey has to be pretty close to the top of that list, I don't think anybody can surpass him. He's not just about poker, but all forms of gambling, and he is always playing at the highest limits. There are a few people who can challenge him a little bit on being a big poker junkie, but he is probably the biggest and the best in my book.