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Welcome to our weekly Weekly Burn & Turn, where we discuss the latest poker updates published during the week.

Episode 29: Bubble Troubles


Thank you so much for watching.

If you would like to read the articles discussed in our vidcast, please see the links below!

(1:54) How Not to Look Like a Complete Rookie at the WSOP

(6:59) Surviving the Bubble in Poker Tournaments

Have an idea of something we should discuss? Drop us a line at [email protected]. We would love to hear from you!

Transcription Below

Welcome everybody to Episode 29!



That is awesome!

Episode 29 of the Weekly Burn & Turn. I’m Robbie Strazynski here with you, and..

.. Shimi The Fish!

29 weeks man! We’ve been doing this for 29 weeks already.

Well, I have.

I did most of them!

No, no, no. I have not missed a single week and Robbie here has missed 3 or 4 weeks.

Yeah, I was busy in the Bahamas.

Yeah, you’re still on episode 25 buddy. 29 baby!! That’s right.

A big milestone for us here at the Burn & Turn as we have hit over 100 YouTube subscribers.

100!! That’s awesome!

That’s awesome baby! Did you just throw rice?

Dude, it was great.

100 subscribers! Probably up to 105 by the time they see all this rice. 1 grain of rice per subscriber.

There you go.

It’s like Pi – 3.14 subscribers per episode.

Yeah, totally. That was some good math by Robbie.

Well, thanks to all 100+ of you. We’re always happy to bring you each new episode each and every week. Thanks very much for tuning in. We’ve got a couple really great topics for you. What was that? More rice.

That wasn’t me!

We’re very happy! 100 YouTube subscribers!

Dude, I brought something to you to celebrate. Lollipops!

Yay! Wait, we have to do the show.

Lollipops! We’re celebrating.

You can celebrate.

Anyway, let’s dive right in. What’s our first topic?

Speaking of rookies in broadcasting, our first topic is ‘How not to look like a rookie at the poker table.’ Shimi, you know all about that kind of stuff don’t you?

I haven’t managed to drop that image since I started playing poker. I’m a rookie for life.

Shimi is the most experienced rookie you’ll ever find. So think about it, when you get to the poker table one of the biggest things is obviously image. You want to present an image that shows that you know what you’re doing.

So the first thing you do is you take out your cell phone and you take selfies.

No, that’s what you do away from the table.

Oh my gosh guys, we’re playing in a poker tournament! *Click*

Okay, well I wouldn’t do that.

This is why I’m a rookie for life.

This is how NOT to look like a rookie at the poker table, Shimi. One thing you shouldn’t be doing for example is, let’s say you see a famous pro at your table..

.. You ask him for an autograph.

See, that’s exactly the point. On the break you ask him for an autograph but when you’re at the table you don’t want to look like a rookie. You can bring your autograph book to the table though.

I’m sure that would make for great television. I’m telling you, one day I’m going to be at that televised table and we are going to have some fun baby. It’s going to be great.

I can see that happening. Another thing I see happening all the time, and I’m like: “Oh my God this guy clearly doesn’t know how to play,” is rabbit hunting. What is rabbit hunting? Let’s say the dealer is dealing out the cards and you get to the turn, you shove all in or whatever it is, and everyone else folds and one of them is like: “Oh let me see what the river would have been.”

Show me the last card. That’s right. Did I hit the flush?

Right, so in the home games where we play Shimi’s always asking what the last card would have been because he’s always folding so he doesn’t get to see the river.

There you go. We actually have a great rule for that by the way and it’s definitely something that you can pick up in your own home games. You are only allowed to ask to see the last card if you were in the hand. I hate those people who fold something like 7-3 and are like: “Show me the last card, I want to see if I hit it.” It’s like let it go man, let it go.

But don’t do that in a poker room, otherwise you’ll look like a rookie. Don’t ask the dealer that kind of question. What other kind of things? Oh right, don’t bring your kids! Hello!

Oh God. Who brings their kids to a poker game?

Hold on, not to any poker game. I’m saying to a live poker room. First of all, underage kids, no-go. I’ve heard stories of people who are like: “Okay kids, stay over there daddy’s going to go play some poker now.”

This is where people should be calling child services.

They’re rookies at other things in life too.

Another thing, I guess you don’t want to bring your spouse either and having them sit behind you to watch you play. I did that my first time playing.

I love it when other people do that. It’s great because they’re putting a big target all over them. “Oh honey, you got two of those red cards again, that’s great!” No, that’s a rookie.

Although, I’ve got to tell you, when my wife was watching me play she was my good luck charm. I was on fire.

And now she has since stopped watching you play, I imagine.

Yeah, it’s been a while since we went to a casino.

Tough to watch those losses accumulate so badly.

I’ve got to tell you though, I actually have an amazing story to tell you.

Story time! YAY!

This is for real. You’re going to love this. The first that I played in a live tournament was, I think, at the Foxwoods in Connecticut. It was a big experience for me. I was a late registration and they gave me my ticket and I made it over to my table and there were two open seats and I didn’t know where to sit.

It’s supposed to say so on the ticket.

It’s supposed to say so but I didn’t know to look there. So I turn to the dealer, and he’s dealing out the hand, and I go: “So do I just pick where I sit?”

Seriously? And everyone was already sitting at the table?

Yes! Everyone was sitting at the table and there were two spots that were open. It was funny because the dealer had dealt out the hand and he then tried to fold my hand because I hadn’t sat down yet to take the cards. This sweet guy who’s sitting two spots to the right of me yells at the dealer: “Come on, give the guy a break! He doesn’t know what he’s doing. Here, sit down, these are your cards.” So he pushes my cards to me and I didn’t end up folding the hand. Now wait for it, it gets worse.

Wait, you folded that hand?

No. I end up calling and I’m holding A8 and it’s the ace of spades and the flop is three spades. Everyone folds except for one guy.

It’s that guy!

It’s the guy who kept my hand. I felt terrible and sure enough the river is the fourth spade. Now I have to tell you, normally you would slow play that a little bit but I kind of felt a little bit bad because this poor guy was probably holding trips or something. So I pushed all in and I sort of broadcasted that I had a really strong hand and he folded, I showed the ace and I apologized. You know, it was a nice thing to do.

Another rookie move.

That’s right, you’ve got to take advantage when you get into that spot. Blood baby!

Was this a tournament?

This was a tournament.

Did you survive until the bubble burst? Or until the final table?

You know, I did really well but then I started getting short stacked and right before the bubble I ended up going all in and it just wasn’t the right time. The other guy had aces and I ended up going out right before the bubble.

I see. So this is when you learn how not to survive until the bubble bursts.

You know, if you want to actually see it, there’s some good footage from that tournament.



Let’s roll the tape baby.

– – – – – –

Day 1

I arrived here for my first tournament expecting a large crowd, and I wasn’t disappointed. Throngs of people seated at tables as far as the eye can see. There’s poker to my left, poker to my right, and plenty of poker at my table of course. I brought plenty of supplies, food, extra chargers, water, and even an extra hat. I’ve been practicing in my home game for years specifically for challenges like these. I’ve trained and I’m ready. I know I have a long journey ahead, but I feel I am ready and can make it to the end.

Day 2

Many friendly faces have fallen by the wayside. I’m still playing my game, but the atmosphere is becoming harder and harder to endure. The breaks are few and far between and the lines to the bathroom are interminably long. Maybe if I ration my water supply a bit better, I won’t need to go and pee as often. I can’t seem to find someone willing to go and get me food and my supply is dwindling fast, but at least I’m healthy on chips. Still keeping my eye on that final table and pushing forward.

Day 3

Many of the players who were with me are now gone. Thankfully this meant I could treat myself to the stuff they left behind. There was a half eaten bag of trail mix and an unopened bottle of RC Cola. I am not desperate enough to drink the RC, but I will hold onto it in case of emergencies.

One player left behind a reading light which I am going to try and Jerry-rig to charge my phone because my battery is almost dead. I don’t know how much longer I will be able to continue tweeting.

Day 4

The hands keep coming at me faster and faster, and it is getting harder and harder to stay focused. I feel like it has been ages since I got dealt anything good. No one told me it was going to be so damn hard! I haven’t showered in days, and my food supply ran out hours ago. They keep telling us that once we break through the bubble it will be clear skies from then on out. Once we break through the bubble there will be a payout that will make it all worthwhile. But my stack is running low, and I don’t know how much longer I can hold on. I don’t think I can make it.

Day 5

We’re playing hand for hand now, and they tell us the bubble will break soon. Everyone is looking at each other wondering who will be the next one to drop. Who will be left on the wayside, forgotten, left behind in disgrace. My stack is almost gone, I won’t survive much longer. I’m terrified of the big blind… I know it’s going to finish me off. If only I could find a way to break free before it gets me.

Oh G-d… it’s coming. I can see it inching closer. I won’t be able to escape it this time around. If you are watching me from the rail, please… tell my wife and kids I love them. Tell them I tried, I tried to reach the payout. All I wanted was to make some money… bring back a small bit of fame that they could remember me by.

I stand up and look around… Please, let the bubble break. Don’t do this to me when I came so close. Please no, I can’t go out like this… Oh G-d… it’s here!! The Big Blind has come… I have to beat it, I have to double up… Please, give me the cards to get past this, give me the cards continue… PLEASE!!!


– – – – – –

I’ve got to tell you man. It’s worse watching it. That was harsh. I was so close.

How many people have actually seen that video?


That narrator’s voice sounds really familiar. It’s like I know the guy.

I know right. But what would you have done? It’s so close you can taste the money, it’s right there in front of you, but you just miss it.

I have bubbled my share of tournaments but most of the time I’m either busting early or making the money because I play to win. You’ve got to play more aggressively. Basically, what happens often when you’re in a bubble-type situation is, you’re short stacked because up until that point in the tournament you haven’t been aggressive enough. You’ve sort of allowed yourself to arrive at that situation where it’s the bubble and you don’t have that many chips to play with.

You’ve stalled too long and you don’t have that much left. You know what? I am definitely for the stalling tactic.

When it’s hand-for-hand?

Hah! At that point you’re not really stalling now are you? Nice try Robbie. Either way you want to make those chips last. You want to hit that payout. Yes I want to hit that final table as well, but for me, first and foremost I want to get back my buy-in. You get that high of hitting the payout. This is spoken like a true rookie – someone who doesn’t see that payout very often.

Yeah but I don’t really enter the tournament with the hopes of getting my buy-in back. That’s not what it’s all about. You want to win more money.

But when you hit the payout it’s like twice your buy-in. It’s almost three times your buy-in. That’s awesome!

Well, when it happens so rarely I imagine it’s very, very awesome.

It’s like winning 5 bucks in a scratch-off lottery ticket.

Whatever floats your boat Mr. Fish. You know who doesn’t usually have problems with bubbles? A pro! Which means..

Oh baby!

It’s time for Name That Pro! We are ready. Everyone’s favorite segment of the show. The questions, please.

Can we just pause for a moment and remember that the only person at this table who is currently on a winning streak for naming that pro, is this guy, Shimi The Fish!

For now!

Robbie, how many times have you missed it in a row?


Three times baby.

Question #1 Shimi, are you ready?

Wait, don’t I get to throw out a guess?

Yeah okay, throw out a guess. It’s not like he’s going to get it.

You know what?

Go for it. Come on fish, name that pro!

Mike Matusow.

No! Very much not Mike Matusow.

Darn it! Very much not?

It’s not anyone named Matusow for that matter.

Oh! So is it someone named Mike? Come on, help me out here.

It might be but it’s certainly not a Matusow. Are you ready?

I am not.

Clue #1: This pro defeated Chris Ferguson heads-up to win the 2006 NBC National Heads-Up Poker Championship.

We just did this one didn’t we?

No, 2006 Shimi.

What was the last one that we did?

That was 2016, Shimi. This is 2006. You’re on the clock.

Jason Mercier!

No! Jason Mercier only became a pro in 2008.

You were always a pro to me Mercier.

For your second clue, Mr Fish, we have a special guest.

Oh! Who’s reading it this time?

We’ve got 888 Sponsored Pro, Jessica Dawley.

Jessica: Hi everyone, Jessica Dawley here with your clue for PokerUpdate. This pro has 6 WSOP bracelets in addition to a WSOP Main Event bracelet, but he didn’t win the Main Event. He purchased the Main Event bracelet off the 1992 champ, Hamid Dastmalchi, for $1,500 after Dastmalchi claimed that the bracelet was cheap. Good luck.

Thank you very much Jessica. Thank you for dropping by.

I was going to guess Phil Hellmuth, but he has a lot more than 6, right?

And he actually won a Main Event bracelet.

That was a long time ago.

There’s got to be a point where it expires and it doesn’t count anymore. Sorry Phil but after 20 years it doesn’t count.

Speaking of expiring, your time is expiring.

Well I got a little bit lucky here because now I know it’s a guy.

It’s certainly a guy and not named Matusow.

Michael Mizrachi?

No! You were so close to, no not even close. For your final clue, this is the river Shimi. Do you think you can name that pro?

I think it’s time to cash in my chips and walk away from the table, because technically right now I still haven’t missed the answer.

In 2010 this pro put his health on the line for a $2 million prop bet. To date, he has reportedly only received $70,000 of that money. I will even give you another clue if you want.

No I think I got this. Was this the prop bet where he had to lose all that weight? Oh my gosh, it is isn’t it?

It is.

I actually know something! I remember this.

So close. I’ll even give you another one. Mike Matusow is the guy that he bet against.


You are this close too.

This is gonna kill me. I remember that he was working out and he was at a health risk because he had so much weight to lose.

Have you ever watched a fish squirm? This is pretty cool.

Well you take me out of the water and that’s what happens.

Five seconds.

No I get more!

7 seconds.

No, more than 7 seconds!

Can you name that pro? Throw something out there.

I can’t.

Answer’s coming.

Antonio Esfandiari.


Phil Laak!

No. The correct answer is Ted Forrest.

OH! I knew this one. I actually knew this one. I was right about the prop bet right?

You were but you got the name wrong.

I remember this because I was watching the Main Event in 2010 live on Television.

Such a shame.

You know what? My losing streak is only one.

I would have gotten this on the first try though. Anyway, thank you once again for tuning in to Episode 29 of the PokerUpdate Burn & Turn. Thank you to all the 100+ subscribers. Remember to comment, like, share if you like this show.

Ask us what the hell is up with the rice!

Thanks everyone. See you next week.

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