I love poker podcasts and have found that listening to them has had a significant influence on my game. So I put together a list of the podcasts, in no particular order, that I believe can help you transform your game into something to be feared.
As far as I’m concerned, Thinking Poker has become the gold standard of poker podcasts. Each week, hosts Andrew Brokos and Nate Meyvis bring listeners a perfect mixture of hand analysis and interviews with some of the most interesting members of the poker community.
— Cate Hall (@catehall) November 6, 2016
The interviews are extremely well done and feature many fascinating players often neglected by the mainstream poker media. But it’s the hand analysis section at the beginning of the podcast that will help transform your game. Nate and Andrew break down a single hand to it’s bare bones, hashing out every possible action, trying to deduce the optimal play at every moment in the hand. They don’t always agree, which serves to prove how there are several ways you might play a hand successfully. This kind of high level thought and thoroughness is something all serious, thinking low-limit players should aspire to and emulate.
Nate Meyvis pic.twitter.com/kzKCWwZ5fn
— Andrew Brokos (@thinkingpoker) December 17, 2015
There is also an option to purchase premium podcasts as well. There are two sets, one is on tournament play and the other on cash. I purchased the cash game version and I have listened to the episodes several times and highly recommend it. It features the always entertaining Carlos Welch (check out my interview with Carlos here), but more importantly features a ton of valuable information that is guaranteed to improve your live game. I look forward to this podcast so much that I think I’ve developed a Pavlovian-style response to the opening theme song because I know the awesomeness that always follows.
If you’re a fan of the hand analysis section at the beginning of the Thinking Poker podcasts, you’re going to love Just Hands. The podcast started out only doing in depth analysis of a single hand, and though that’s still the main focus of the show, hosts Zach Resnick and Jack Laskey have branched out with bonus episodes which include additional interview segments with guests that were brought on to help review hands. These guests have included Greg “Fossilman” Raymer, Nate and Andrew from the Thinking Poker Podcast and Carlos Welch among others. I find this podcast incredibly inspirational. The way Zach and Jack think about hands is exactly the type of deep, logical, and creative way I hope to eventually think about hands too. I think I’ve learned more about properly breaking down and analyzing hands from this podcast than from any other source. The also follow up their podcasts with an even more in-depth breakdown of the hand on their blog which can be a great reference for those of us still learning how to analyze hands thoroughly. This is one of the newest podcasts on the list and definitely one to watch. Not only do the guys offer the podcast and blog but coaching, and special events like the live coaching event where participants have the opportunity to play a live cash game on an RFID table and have their game and leaks examined by not only by Zach and Jack but also by Greg Raymer. Just Hands also offers premium podcasts available for purchase on their website.
The Mindset Advantage
The Mindset Advantage has quickly become my favorite of all the mental game shows, not to mention one of my favorite podcasts period. The guest list is top notch, ranging from players like Fedor Holz and Brian Rast to Jonathan Little and Olivier Busquet. Just as important, it is hosted by two people who are quickly becoming some of the most respected names in the field. Elliot Roe and Dr. Tricia Cardner’s ability to get such high quality guests is a testament to how much respect the two get in the poker community. The show always starts with some vital tidbit of information from Dr. Cardner informing listeners about the latest research in the world of psychology, how it relates to poker, and how you can effectively apply it to your game.
— PokerMindCoach (@pokermindcoach) October 28, 2016
These little bits of information run the gamut of psychological enhancements, from how eating things like dark chocolate or nuts can improve your poker performance to new findings on how proper sleep or meditation can transform not only your game but the quality of your life.
— Robert Dewberry (@HistNerd1776) March 18, 2016
Following the host’s thoughts on Dr. Cardner’s findings, it’s time for the guest. You’ll find a variety of guests in the Mindset Advantage lineup. It is often a who’s who of the high limit killers, but the show also features up-and-comers with interesting stories or mental game techniques like Carlos Welch, Christian Soto, or even MMA fighters who surprisingly share several mental game needs and techniques with poker players. The hosts keep the focus on the mental game and what the guests are doing to constantly improve in that area. I find the discussions to not only be informative, giving me endless amounts of information to add to my own mental game study and practice, but also incredibly inspirational. I usually come away from the show feeling a deep need to hit the books.
Two Plus Two Pokercast
I can sometimes take the Two Plus Two Pokercast for granted. It’s been around for so long, and kept consistently at such a high level, both in content and production value, that I kind of just get used to it and assume that’s the way poker podcasts just are. But if you listen to as many poker podcasts as I do, you quickly realize how rare this kind of quality is and how much the Pokercast deserves to be appreciated and acknowledged. Hosts Adam Schwartz and Terrence Chan along with producer (and king of the drops) Ross Henry, bring a mixture of poker news, hand analysis, weekly segments, and interviews with some of the biggest names in poker. Not to mention it’s simply fun. Adam, Terrence, and Ross have great chemistry. Adam’s personal life of speeding tickets, kid’s hockey games, love of bacon, and being the 4th member of the Violent Femmes is always entertaining. Terrence’s point of view coming from both the poker and MMA adds a ton of flavor to the show and his hand analysis is thoughtful, informed, and unpretentious. And Ross’s drops are on point and hilarious. Plus, I love the long format. I don’t know how I’d make that lengthy commute to my home casino or out to Atlantic City without it. But it’s not just all goofing off on the Pokercast. There’s a ton of strategy to be had as well. The hosts regularly analyze the hands of listeners during their email segment, discuss strategy with top players during interviews, and most episodes end with a segment called The Ross Report where the hosts discuss the play (usually PLO) of producer Ross Henry. At the time of this writing, there have been an astounding 436 episodes and I only hope that they produce another 436 more.
Smart Poker Study Podcast
The Smart Poker Study Podcast, hosted by Sky Matsuhashi, is laser-focused on one thing, improving your poker game. Where some of the podcasts on this list might touch on poker news or the poker lifestyle, Sky stays true to his mission to make you a better poker player by bringing his listeners a steady stream of strategy discussion, poker software tutorials, tips on improving study and practice, interviews with players like Alexander “assassinato” Fitzgerald, and anything else Sky can think of to help you improve.
— Sky Matsuhashi (@smartpokerstudy) October 27, 2016
But it’s Sky’s endless enthusiasm and seemingly unending desire to improve his own skills through hard work and study that is so inspiring and makes this podcast one of my favorites. If you are an online player looking to move up in limits or want to improve your study skills, this is definitely the podcast for you. Even though there is a definite focus on online play, there is no doubt in my mind that live players would find a ton of value in this podcast as well.
Red Chip Poker Podcast
The Red Chip Poker Podcast features a different topic every week and has something for everyone, from the very beginning player making his first trip to a casino to the seasoned low-limit grinder looking to improve his edge and move up in limits. Most episodes are hosted by James “SplitSuit” Sweeney with fellow Red Chippers Doug Hull and Zac Shaw stepping in to host an occasional episode themselves. Like I said, this show covers a wide swath of material from strategy considerations like short-stacked play and bet-sizing to mental game concepts like finding a balance between poker and life and figuring out how much you should play vs. study.
— Red Chip Poker (@RedChipPoker) August 10, 2016
One of my favorite things about the podcast is the interviews that are sometimes done with Red Chip members. The two that come to mind right away are the interviews done with ChipXtractor and Fausto. It’s fascinating to hear about the lives of these lower limit killers and how they’ve used what they’ve learned on Red Chip and other sources to crush their games.
So what do you think of these choices? Are there any poker podcasts I’m missing? Any that shouldn’t be there? I’d love to hear what you think. Leave your comments in the section below and remember to subscribe by leaving your email address in the subscription box to the right.