Andy Bloch – Poker Tips, Strategy and Insights


Andy Bloch is academia encarnate with two electrical engineering degrees from MIT as well as law degree from Harvard.He quit his engineering position to play poker full time and he does it well with career earnings over $2,000,000.
Here is a poker chat archive from full tilt poker with his poker tips:
ANSWER FROM Andy Bloch: Hello! I’ll be chatting for at least the first hour of the Mini FTOPS.

QUESTION FROM BMill97: how long approx. will this tourney take from start to finish andy?

ANSWER FROM Andy Bloch: The FTOPS main had fewer players (14,479) and took over 14 hours!

ANSWER FROM Andy Bloch: I’m guess this will be a litle quicker with shorter levels but more players.

QUESTION FROM AlwaysQuads: Hey Andy, would you rather encourage a micro player who is commiting to BR management for the first time to grind out iron man or would you advice to ignore it and relax on the sessions?

ANSWER FROM Andy Bloch: It’s all about maximizing how much you earn without increasing risk too much. Iron Man can get you some good bonuses, so I’d try to get it if you can.

QUESTION FROM WCU: Andy, if allowed, would you be more profitable playing poker or playing blackjack?

ANSWER FROM Andy Bloch: If I was allowed to bet without any maximum, I’d make much more playing blackjack. Gambling is about getting an edge, and getting the action.

QUESTION FROM RyanLafferty: how many big blinds should u get down to before u should start going all in in a tourney?

ANSWER FROM Andy Bloch: You should start moving all-in or folding at about 10 big blinds. At about 20-30, you should be reraising a raiser all-in. But it depends on your position and other players’ chip stacks and your hand.

QUESTION FROM Louui: sup andy, how accurate was the movie 21 with the mti team and their black jack system

ANSWER FROM Andy Bloch: Some scenes were accurate, but some were completely made up, and the story was made up. Check out my review at

QUESTION FROM QueenCasino: how many times r u entered into the game?

ANSWER FROM Andy Bloch: I’m only entered once right now so I can chat. I will enter the maximum of 6 times by the time registrations closed.

ANSWER FROM Andy Bloch: I like to enter as many as I can play at once, and then add more entries when I bust.

QUESTION FROM abrasif: Good luck everyone.

ANSWER FROM Andy Bloch: Good luck to you too!

QUESTION FROM Mr Diamond55: hello

ANSWER FROM Andy Bloch: Hi!

QUESTION FROM _SA17A_: is there any situation when it’s wise to fold KK in the beginnig of high stakes tournament, 1 opponent(PRO) involved, 100 blinds stakes? and if stakes r 5k blinds?

ANSWER FROM Andy Bloch: I assume you mean preflop. Obviously, if your opponent exposes AA you should fold. But otherwise I probably wouldn’t fold KK with only 100 big blinds. I would fold with 5000 big blinds in some situations.

QUESTION FROM Mark Haynes: andy why cant u learn hu poker in play money facility before u deposit for real as u need to practice before u feel fully comfortable? could it be added

ANSWER FROM Andy Bloch: There are heads-up sit-n-gos. I don’t know why there aren’t more or heads up ring games. I’m guessing that people were abusing heads-up ring games to build up big play money bankrolls.

QUESTION FROM pokergirlal: Hi Andy! Whats up? What do u think makes u such a great player? Tell me your secret. Well of course being a Harvard graduate. And GOOD LUCK tonight!

ANSWER FROM Andy Bloch: Always trying to get better.

QUESTION FROM HoneyBadger1965: hey andy what do you think to multi entry

ANSWER FROM Andy Bloch: I love multi-entry tourtnaments. If there’s a tournament I want to play and have the time to play, I don’t have to worry about getting knocked out early. I know I’ll have some entries still in after the late entry period is up.

ANSWER FROM Andy Bloch: It’s not too likely since there are over 30,000 players. Even if we both had 6 entries, you’d only have about a 1% chance of just being at one of my tables.

QUESTION FROM WCU: What makes you think I wont knock you out within the first out of mini ftops andy?

QUESTION FROM 1holic1: hey Andy waht was your biggest win ever ??

ANSWER FROM Andy Bloch: I won over $1M for 2nd in the first $50k HORSE at the wsop.

QUESTION FROM QueenCasino: i have enjoyed your lessons on FT Academy…thanks to all of you for having them!

ANSWER FROM Andy Bloch: You’re welcome! Nice to hear it. I had fun making them.

QUESTION FROM abrasif: So Andy, have you had a good night of sleep?

ANSWER FROM Andy Bloch: Yes, actually. First good night in almost a week!

QUESTION FROM NightStalkerk: how would you play AK in the sb/bb, would you 3 bet a mid pos. raiser? early on in the tournament

ANSWER FROM Andy Bloch: Sometimes, it can depend on the situation, and you don’t want to be too predictable.

QUESTION FROM P_i_55_take: Hi Andy, do you have a different strategy playing 6 entries compared to 1? if so – what is it

ANSWER FROM Andy Bloch: No, I play the same, except I might sometimes play tighter on some if I need to pay more attention to another entry.

QUESTION FROM MADMEL1: hi there andy can you loan me $5 plz

ANSWER FROM Andy Bloch: No, I don’t loan or give money to beggars on FTP. Begging is against the site’s rules and will just get people to ignore your chat. Then if you wanted to ask me a real question, I’d never see it.

QUESTION FROM shadowstep92: any motivational words or advice for someone who’s chasin a dream of becoming pro?

ANSWER FROM Andy Bloch: Don’t go broke. Never risk more than a small portion of your bankroll and move up in limits slowly as your bankroll and skill allows.

QUESTION FROM over the topps: WHY only 1 buy in for your own tourney, higher stakes to play?

ANSWER FROM Andy Bloch: I’ll play all 6 eventually. Starting with 1 at a time so I can spend more time chatting.

QUESTION FROM pinkfloyd10z: Hi Andy, big fan… What do you think in long period which is percentage of luck in holdem poker, and which of skill??

ANSWER FROM Andy Bloch: Eventually 100% skill in the long run.

ANSWER FROM Andy Bloch: Hi! Looking forward to the Montreal Open in a week!

QUESTION FROM FeltGrinder: hey andy

ANSWER FROM Andy Bloch: Hi! Looking forward to the Montreal Open in a week!

ANSWER FROM Andy Bloch: How much do you need to live? If you go pro, you have to be able to live off your earnings without hurting your bankroll enough that you can’t play the games you want to play.

QUESTION FROM balla_889: andy, how much prize money is required for a player to go pro?

QUESTION FROM NCM88: Andy how do you play aces early in a tournament? I riased 3x BB and had 3 callers and eventually lost a decent sized pot.

ANSWER FROM Andy Bloch: Bad luck. Not much you can do if no one reraises you pre flop and someone out flops you.

QUESTION FROM RussMac11: hello andy,good luck in your tourney,when you are playing th big tournaments what is the best style to play TAG is it?what is your option if you are not geting the cards just be more patient and tighten up more?i love your blackjack dvd amazin

ANSWER FROM Andy Bloch: Tight agressive is usually a decent strategy, but don’t play too tight. You have to go after the blinds and antes.

QUESTION FROM froggy951: Do you think PLO or another card game will be as popular or close to what NL hold em has become.

ANSWER FROM Andy Bloch: Eventually, yes. Peolpe will want to play a wider variety of games.

ANSWER FROM Andy Bloch: I don’t mind them. When I am short-stacked, I know I’m more likely to get called so I tighten up a little.

QUESTION FROM JCoffee644: Do you like the pro bounties? How does that change your play, if at all?

QUESTION FROM QueenCasino: I am learning razz, stud hi and omaha hi/lo…do u think it opens opportunities in playing more types of games? As far as being able to win or place?

ANSWER FROM Andy Bloch: Definitely. You want to play whatever the best game is, and at the higher limits it’s usually not no limit hold’em. Also, if your goal is to win bracelets, you want to play as many of the 55 events as you can.

QUESTION FROM 0-GRAVYTRAIN–0: what did u just bust out with

ANSWER FROM Andy Bloch: I had QQ against 22 that floped a set on a low flop. I bought back in, entry 2 of 6.

QUESTION FROM FeltGrinder: Well Andy I hope I get the chance to meet you in Montreal, you’ll know me I am the only BombSquad member who brings his own chair! Maybe we will see you at the playground on the 26th

ANSWER FROM Andy Bloch: I won’t be in Montreal until the 27th for the first night of the Montreal Open. Good luck!

QUESTION FROM scorpsfan1: Just want to say Thank You for being so nice to this little old lady who visits the WSOP every year. You always take the time to say something kind! Good luck this year.

ANSWER FROM Andy Bloch: You’re welcome! Are you the one who takes pictures with the pros one day and prints them and brings them back the next day to get them signed? I love that!

QUESTION FROM IngeMat: hi… just curius,… how many hours of actual poker playing do you put in as a pro?? i can imagine your time is filled with all sorts of stuff… and gl in the tourney….

ANSWER FROM Andy Bloch: I play about 10 hours a week on average online, sometimes a lot more. Live, sometimesI play 70+ hours a week, like during the WSOP, and sometimes 0.

QUESTION FROM Aces582: Andy, Do you play poker on poker on Full Tilt on the couch relaxing?

ANSWER FROM Andy Bloch: Yes, usually. I’m sitting on the couch now, watching basketball while playing & chatting.

QUESTION FROM evlscotsman: Good evening Andy, what do you do during these kinda long tournys to stop yourself getting bored and impatient?

ANSWER FROM Andy Bloch: See above

QUESTION FROM over the topps: any big action coming up andy, onyx cup??

ANSWER FROM Andy Bloch: Onyx is pretty big action. Plus the WPT Championship.

QUESTION FROM EurasiaN: hello Andy! When did you start playing poker?

ANSWER FROM Andy Bloch: I started playing in casinos around 1992 when I was 23.

QUESTION FROM shadowstep92: how do you feel about cash game multitabling, is that a good way to success?

ANSWER FROM Andy Bloch: Yes, if you don’t play too many that you can’t keep up with the action and your opponents.

ANSWER FROM Andy Bloch: Yes, I’m looking forward to it.

QUESTION FROM Timp17: are u gonna play tha onyx cup???

QUESTION FROM shadowstep92: andy, do you decide before you sit at the table for how long you’re going to play that particular session or you set yourself some profit and play until you get it?

ANSWER FROM Andy Bloch: Sometimes I do, sometimes I don’t. Usually I like to play as long as the game is good.

QUESTION FROM P_i_55_take: When are you next in London? I’d love to come see you play!

ANSWER FROM Andy Bloch: I don’t know when I’ll next be in London. I will be in the UK soon for the Poker Lounge in Cardiff, but you can’t really watch that live.

QUESTION FROM skatertee91: Hi sorry im sending you again my comptuer shut off and i havent seen my Q, but do you use the rule of 4 and 2 or do you do fractions ?

ANSWER FROM Andy Bloch: Sometimes I use it as an estimate.

QUESTION FROM IngeMat: is ther a long line of questions? since mine is so delayed….

ANSWER FROM Andy Bloch: Yes, over 100, and I don’t ansert all of them. Some of them are repetitive, so you can check later in the archive to see if it’s been answered.

QUESTION FROM madisoncb29: For those of us who don’t have a whole lot of money to blow on training schools and such, how do you suggest getting better with strategy and in general?

ANSWER FROM Andy Bloch: You can learn on Full Tilt Poker Academy for free. Plus there are books, play money, and low limits.

QUESTION FROM timtheshark1: how many tables do you play at once?

ANSWER FROM Andy Bloch: Right now, just one. Sometimes 6 or more, but I play on a small laptop so not usually more than 4.

QUESTION FROM jadenb01: what is the onyx cup is it wsop or wpt or what

ANSWER FROM Andy Bloch: It’s a new, ultra-high-buyin tournament series sponsored by Full Tilt Poker, with buy ins of $100k to $300k! You can qualify for free online, if you don’t happen to find $100k in your bank account.

QUESTION FROM IngeMat: andy do you believe in the long terme successs of ONYX cup?? People are afraid there aint enough with the br to play the series and they might go broke….

ANSWER FROM Andy Bloch: With buy-ins that high, you don’t need many players to have a nice prize pool. And, there will be lots of qualifying tournaments, so it’s like a lower-buy-in online tournament where the final few tables are live (and you can buy in to the final few tabl

QUESTION FROM Nice221: Hi Andy! Enter in a tournament in the period of Late Registration is a bad thing?

ANSWER FROM Andy Bloch: No, it’s actually slightly advantageous if you’re an average player to enter late. Plus you save a lot of time. That’s important if you’re thinking about your hourly rate.

QUESTION FROM P_i_55_take: Hi Andy, how do you decide when it is the right time to leave an online cash room? Should you leave once you double up as a rule?

ANSWER FROM Andy Bloch: No, you should leave when the game isn’t good or you’re too tired to play well.

QUESTION FROM jadenb01: how do you stay awake if you have ben playing in a tourney a long time

ANSWER FROM Andy Bloch: Caffeine, food, etc.

QUESTION FROM Nice221: Do you prefer Nadal or Djokovic?

ANSWER FROM Andy Bloch: They’re both great players… I like underdogs so I’m hoping for James Blake to make another comeback

QUESTION FROM froggy951: How do you feel about the Durrr challenge? I feel like as long as it has been going on it has been bad for full tilt. Now they’re having this new Durr challenge stuff going on. What are your thoughts Andy. BTW, love the hat!

ANSWER FROM Andy Bloch: like the new challenge. They should hurry up and finish the old ones (I almost wrote finnish, lol). Lock themselves in a room one day and get it done.

QUESTION FROM IngeMat: will we see you in copenhagen, denmark anytime soon?

ANSWER FROM Andy Bloch: I don’t have any plans, but I’d like to get there… in the summer. I don’t think I’ve been in Copenhagen since the summer of 1988.

QUESTION FROM Sofris: would you push a lowstack with AA on the WSOP main event moneybubble ?

ANSWER FROM Andy Bloch: probably

ANSWER FROM Andy Bloch: There are thousands that try… some are going to make it. Only time will tell if they are good enough to win in the long run against top competition.

QUESTION FROM Louui: what do u think about these kids that go on amazing runs turning 4k into 2 mill in a week (XWINK)

QUESTION FROM Louui: y dont u answer any of my Qs? :-/

ANSWER FROM Andy Bloch: Happy now? I’ve answered 2.

QUESTION FROM 1holic1: what is the best rule for bankrollmanagment ??

ANSWER FROM Andy Bloch: Don’t put more than 5% of your bankroll on the table in a cash game or tournament.

QUESTION FROM nuddlegekko: with a 100$ bankroll, what should i buy in at mtt?

ANSWER FROM Andy Bloch: Even $5 buy-ins are pushing it, unless you are willing and able to reload.

QUESTION FROM JCoffee644: How long do you think this Tourney will last, with some 38,000 entries?

ANSWER FROM Andy Bloch: 7am ET?

ANSWER FROM Andy Bloch: Yes, he was one of the players who got me involved with the MIT blackjack team back in the 1990s. He’s the subject of the book Busting Vegas.

QUESTION FROM no1cares83: andy, did you/do you know seymon dukach?

ANSWER FROM Andy Bloch: Sometimes it does get annoying… like when people ask me for autographs in the restroom or while I’m in a hand. But otherwise if they are polite I don’t mind taking a sec to sign something

QUESTION FROM WCU: Andy do you ever get annoyed by the attention you get due to the poker boom? I was standing next to you 2 wsops ago railing a final table with huck and brunson at it and was going to talk to you but decided you probably get annoyed enough

ANSWER FROM Andy Bloch: when you can take a few seconds of your time to make someone happy, howcan you say no?

QUESTION FROM no1cares83: andy, i know you’re a collector of poker books, what are your top 3 (either for strategy or storytelling)?

ANSWER FROM Andy Bloch: I have several from the 1800s. Bohn’s New Handbook of Games from 1850 has the first printed mention of Draw poker. I like Pen and ink; papers on subjects of more or less importance, since it’s like an 1888 version of a weblog.

QUESTION FROM Tiergarten21: when is the next million euro challeng in hamburg/germany??

ANSWER FROM Andy Bloch: I don’t think they know yet, probably in September. Keep an eye on

QUESTION FROM 1holic1: hey Andy , what are the odds for a flush draw on the flop is it 4.22 :1 or 1.86 :1 ??

ANSWER FROM Andy Bloch: 1.86

ANSWER FROM Andy Bloch: I didn’t realize that Nadal & Djokovic were playing right now… I was watching basketball. I’m rooting for Djokovic.

ANSWER FROM Andy Bloch: Other than Aussie Millions, I have played a lot. I’ll be playing the WPT Championship, the Onyx Cup, and the WSOP of course, and some Poker Lounge in the UK.

QUESTION FROM bullet tooth24: hey andy hows 2011 treating you! i see you took down the 8game at the aussie millions. great work! you got any plans for any tournies soon?

ANSWER FROM Andy Bloch: I answered that a little while ago. Check out my review at

QUESTION FROM scurkrow: ow accurate was 21?

QUESTION FROM funwheel: why don’t you ever play on ftp other than these big-field special donkaments?

ANSWER FROM Andy Bloch: I do, just not while you’re watching. You can see when team full tilt pros are online here:

QUESTION FROM froggy951: do you still play alot of blackjack?

ANSWER FROM Andy Bloch: Nope, I get recognized too easily and then they won’t let me play.

QUESTION FROM stova: with the 100k tourneys all the pro’s playing are only using 5% of there bankroll, or there is a lot of backing.

ANSWER FROM Andy Bloch: Some people are playing over their bankroll for sure. But I’d say most of them have a $2M bankroll. I consider my bankroll to be something between my liquid and total net worth

QUESTION FROM adamski33: do you like the big fields of players that multi-entry produces?

ANSWER FROM Andy Bloch: Personally I like small fields where you’re much more likely to get to the final table. But I like the big prize pool and the excited the large field generates.

ANSWER FROM Andy Bloch: Full Tilt will probably never have regular blackjack. I could imagine blackjack tournaments though.

QUESTION FROM froggy951: Will Full Tilt poker ever have Black Jack as a game? I would love that!!

QUESTION FROM noodlearms: andy u should advertise the aid for japan tourney on the chat?

ANSWER FROM Andy Bloch: Sure. Join me playing the $14+$12 Aid For Japan charity tournament. Late registration (up to 4 entries) is still open. All tournament fees will be matched by FTP and donated to disaster relief in Japan!

QUESTION FROM Dee U Tru: Andy, I follow you on twitter, any chance that I can get followed?

ANSWER FROM Andy Bloch: Maybe, I’m already following 445 people though. Mention me in a tweet and I’ll see.

ANSWER FROM Andy Bloch: For more information on the Aid for Japan tournaments, and how to donate directly and have FTP match, visit

QUESTION FROM hawk721: is it hard to stay in shape spending so much time at the tables ?

ANSWER FROM Andy Bloch: It can be. When you’re not getting a lot of exercise you have to make sure you’re eating healthy.

QUESTION FROM niftyfingers1: andy i have 30cent in my account wot can i do with it ??? i cant find anything…HELP

ANSWER FROM Andy Bloch: Play a freeroll and win more.

QUESTION FROM jlenno1: djoko’s being playin well recently. I wouldnt be surprised if he won it as well as another grand slam this yr. Maybe US.

ANSWER FROM Andy Bloch: He’s running away with it right now. How long until he’s ranked #2 or even #1? He’s playing like #1 right now.

QUESTION FROM BMill97: Getting closer to 42,000 people in this tourney Andy, do you still think I’ll make it into work tommorrow for 9, if I make it til the end?

ANSWER FROM Andy Bloch: Sure, with a new jersey. But, I’d take the day off… I think you’d be able to afford it.

QUESTION FROM Gary Alderdyce: Andy. What is the best game to build your roll with regard to varience

ANSWER FROM Andy Bloch: low limit cash games or single table sngs

ANSWER FROM Andy Bloch: omaha 8 was great for me early in my poker career

QUESTION FROM WCU: Any idea why this MiniFTOPS ME is paying out a lower than normal % of players? currently over 42k runners but its paying under 3700. Usually they are at least 10%, is this done to increase the first place payout/tournament appeal?

ANSWER FROM Andy Bloch: Because you can play multiple entries, a min cash is worth more. This way you can cash twice and make a profit with 4 entries.

QUESTION FROM StarDivinity: Does Fulltilt have some program that can warn me of upcoming freerolls?

ANSWER FROM Andy Bloch: Nope, but you can filter the tournament lobby for freerolls.

QUESTION FROM stugotts2006: How good are your chances if u only have two entries as opposed to 6 in this tourney

ANSWER FROM Andy Bloch: If you’re asking about me, I will have six, at the end of the entry period I will use up the rest of my entries.

QUESTION FROM Amudturtle: Any suggestions in playing Single table SNG vs Multitable SNGs. Do well at single tables, not as good at multitables

ANSWER FROM Andy Bloch: Keep playing single tables. You probably need to work on your full table strategy.

ANSWER FROM Andy Bloch: Yes, they are fun and quick and there is still skill. Keep your eye on you chances of making it into the money. It’s more important than trying to win 1st.

QUESTION FROM pableu: Andy, ¿Do you like the super-turbo SnG’s? If so, ¿How do you recommend playing them?

QUESTION FROM WheresTheAA: If you’re starting with 2 entries then buying 4 later surely your chances of going dep are improved if you start with 6? Why are you doing it this way?

ANSWER FROM Andy Bloch: It’s hard to play 6 and chat at the same time. It’s fine to enter late in a tournament anyway.

QUESTION FROM madisoncb29: What would happen if two of the same entries made it to the final table? Extremely unlikely, I know.

ANSWER FROM Andy Bloch: the two chip stacks would be combined and the player awarded 9th place.

QUESTION FROM Dee U Tru: Andy, Definitely tweeted you on twitter @tru_le, why aren’t you Multi-Entrying more than just your 2?

ANSWER FROM Andy Bloch: We’re nearing the end of the mini FTOPS late registration so I’m about to end the chat so I can play 5 tables at once.

ANSWER FROM Andy Bloch: Thanks for watching and asking. Look for the transcript on the archives or
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