There are dozens of poker podcasts with new ones appearing seemingly every week.
Here are three new ones to try out next time you’re searching for something new to add. They’re easy to remember, too. Just think “A-B-C Poker” — Adams, Busquet, and Campbell.
What follows is an introduction to each show that focuses on a particular episode.
The Brandon Adams Podcast
This one technically sits over on the edge of the “poker podcast” category, given how longtime poker pro Brandon Adams characterizes it as a show that “lives at the intersection of poker, economics, and sports.”
Adams has an eclectic background. Besides having accumulated more than $5 million in lifetime tournament winnings, he’s a Harvard grad where he’s also taught courses in game theory, behavioral finance, and international macroeconomics, he runs a website dedicated to fantasy sports analytics, and has authored four books including a poker novel, Broke.
Unsurprising, then, that his podcast would feature a similarly eclectic array of guests. Since debuting in November, those who have appeared include tennis pro James Blake, political forecaster Nate Silver, filmmaker Billy Corben, and controversial sociologist Charles Murray.
Adams has poker pros on on occasion, too, such as recently when Max Silver appeared as guest. The first half of the conversation finds the pair mostly discussing Silver’s recent interest in nutrition and fitness, while the second half of the show includes some poker-related talk about what the future might hold, especially in high-stakes circles.
When talking about diet and exercise, Silver — who has lost 55 lbs. over the past year — notes how just like in poker, record-keeping can be a great help and motivator.
First of all, “you have excellent data to see what’s working and what’s not working,” he explains, giving such tracking a practical value. But keeping records also “becomes part of your daily routine… it means you can’t lie to yourself.”
Silver and Adams go on to discuss the negatives (both mental and physical) of overtraining. They also note the benefits of low intensity activity with Silver sharing his experiences with walking, pull-ups, and even at one point once-a-week boxing (with pads!).
They also talk about how for poker players like themselves, prop bets can be great motivators.
“I found that making the bets was the single best thing I did,” says Silver. “It gave me that real push to kind of get the ball rolling and keep it rolling.”
The second part of the show begins with Adams posing a question to his guest: “Where do you see poker five years from now at the highest levels?”
Among the relevant factors brought up that will likely affect how the games go, the pair discuss the differing paths of online vs. live poker, the significance of solvers, the increasing prominence of livestreams and related data collection from them, and the ongoing health of the economy (in general) in poker economy (in particular).
So what does the future hold for poker? Players will keep getting better and games tougher (especially at the highest levels), although there should remain a good ratio of recs to regs in live tournaments in particular to keep the game healthy.
Check out The Brandon Adams Podcast for this and other interesting conversations.
Two Lives with Olivier
I got a tip from poker podcast aficionado Chad McVean to check out Olivier Busquet‘s new show “Two Lives with Olivier,” and I was glad I did.
A poker pro for nearly 15 years, Busquet has a number of interests beyond poker including MMA, science, psychology, and nutrition. The first episode of his new podcast appeared in December, and on it Busquet tells how he intends for the show to give guests a chance to open up and share a side of themselves that might not be apparent otherwise.
He also explains the show’s title and how it comes from a quote: “Everyone lives two lives. The second one begins when we realize we only live once.” For Busquet, the quote refers to how we sometimes find ourselves changing course and finding new purposes, and in fact for him the podcast itself represents that very sort of change.
In that first episode Busquet answers questions about himself, a kind of “AMA” to get things rolling. Subsequent episodes have found Busquet talking with poker pro Dan Colman, mindset coach Elliot Roe, and poker pro and Busquet’s MMA opponent in a match fought a few years ago J.C. Alvarado.
Roe is someone we’ve talked to as well here on the PokerStars Blog about how poker players can up their mental games. His appearance on “Two Lives” is similarly insightful, giving poker players a lot to think about and perhaps even a head start toward improving their own games.
The conversation begins with Roe telling of growing up in England, getting interested in mixed martial arts, and eventually coming to America. He shares a story about his own experience with hypnotherapy and how it helped him with a fear of flying, and the pair talk about Busquet’s own session with Roe from a few days before.
Busquet tells how quickly what he and Roe had done had helped him when later playing online.
“It’s amazing how much calmer I felt during the sessions,” says Busquet. “The same stimuli just produced a different emotional response in me… a more muted response. It wasn’t like the disappointment or frustration of getting bad beat or losing a hand or losing some money… wasn’t there at all, it was just more muted.”
As Roe explains, hypnotherapy involves in part getting at our memories — in some cases ones that are well hidden otherwise — and figuring out what emotions and responses those memories evoke. A lot of times we make these memories in childhood, never realizing how much they affect us later as adults. Roe himself had such an experience, having heard a story of a plane crash as a child that later contributed to the anxiety he felt about flying.
“You’re creating those programs in that part of your life due to those emotions that you feel,” explains Roe. “It’s the set-up for how you’re going to live the rest of your life. So we learn in childhood what keeps us safe and what puts us in danger… then if we go back to those memories and see them through our adult lives, we see how ridiculous they are.”
Diving back into those memories and recognizing their influence enables us to manipulate how we respond to them, for example, by reducing their impact. “It changes the way those triggers fire,” says Roe.
Roe has worked with many of poker’s top players, and on the show he shares some of the traits he’s discovered most successful poker players tend to share.
One is how they recognize the importance of networking and comparing notes with other players. “That’s like a turbo-charger for your chances of success,” says Roe.
Another is how good players avoid instinctively criticizing others’ play, but are inspired instead to analyze what other players are doing differently. “Very strong players… will be more open-minded and they will say ‘why is this person who I know is intelligent doing this?’… rather than, ‘oh, he sucks.'”
They also have a high level of effort when it comes to studying while away from the tables, are especially able to focus, and are willing to do whatever they can to increase their edge and not just be “looking to get by.”
There’s more of value in the show as well, including discussion about the importance of sleep, fitness, diet, and meditation.
Check out Two Lives with Olivier for more in-depth talk about life, poker, and everything.
So we all know Australian poker pro Robert Campbell is the reigning World Series of Poker Player of Year. And not Daniel Negreanu. Right?
But did you Campbell is also a former top-ranked Pokemon player in the world and eSports crusher? And a stand-up comedian and masterful song parodist? And… that he’s got a podcast?
In November, Campbell and radio host Angus O’Loughlin launched their show “Podker,” and it’s a fun one.
The show has featured a few guests thus far, with Tony G, Kahle Burns, and Lynn Gilmartin among the latest to appear. The gist of the podcast, however, involves O’Loughlin sharing his adventures playing low-stakes ($1/$3) no-limit hold’em and Campbell’s efforts to help him improve.
For example, on an episode from late January,O’Loughlin describes several hands from a losing session, including a trio involving a player he lovingly dubs “Mr. Stinky” thanks to some less than ideal hygiene. The player calls a lot, too, which of course is not terribly unusual in low-stakes games.
“This guy was very sticky. Not only was he stinky, he was sticky,” explains O’Loughlin.
“He was probably flammable, too,” deadpans Campbell.
After O’Loughlin talks through three hands he lost to the player, Campbell has a thought.
“We should have had Mr. Stinky on the show.”
The hand analyses wrap up with a couple more hands, including one in which O’Loughlin calls a turn shove from a loose opponent in a spot where doing so required a greater than average amount of optimism. At showdown he learns his second pair was crushed by her two pair, and Campbell delivers a lesson.
There’s “a recurring theme” at the lower stakes — and at higher stakes, too — Campbell explains, namely, that “you invent bluff ranges for your opponents that they just don’t have.” He adds more advice about trusting your judgments and reads, and by the end the listener has collected a handful of worthwhile tips to take to the tables.
The latter part of the episode finds guest Jason Gray coming on to share entertaining stories about playing in Amarillo Slim’s Super Bowl of Poker, playing against Stu Ungar, and playing a $20,000 pot at the Bellagio against none other than Batman himself, Ben Affleck.
Check out Podker for a great mix of poker guidance and poker grins.