How to Play Poker Basics
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World Poker Tour
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Bloch was born June 1, 1969 and grew up in Orange, Connecticut, a small suburb of New Haven. From a very young age and throughout high school,
he was always playing card games with friends and family, and quickly learned how to win. Along his way to becoming a professional gambler
and poker player, he managed to squeeze in two degrees in electrical engineering from MIT, and a Harvard law degree for good measure.
Bloch’s academic inclination, and his close proximity to Foxwoods Casino, played very important roles in determining his destiny.
In 1993, Bloch used his intellectual skills to write computer programs to help determine a player’s strategic edge in a
particular table game newly introduced at Foxwoods. His noted success at beating “Hickok 6-card Poker” (which forced the
casino to first try changing the rules adversely and ultimately abandoning the game altogether) led Andy to his first real
foray into professional gambling. By 1994, he was part of the infamous MIT blackjack team and subject of the book Bringing
Down the House by Ben Mezrich, which chronicled that undertaking. His blackjack team experience was also featured in a
DVD documentary called “The Hot Shoe”, and led to a TV appearance on the reality series “The Casino” in 2004. His investment
and participation in the MIT venture paid for his law school tuition, and he somehow managed to be at school and in Las
Vegas seemingly at the same time. His expert knowledge of blackjack is also shared in an instructional DVD called, “Beating
Blackjack”. Despite the best efforts of higher learning institutions and “white-collar recruitment”, Bloch eventually chose
gambling over the corporate world for which he is so aptly suited. After a few attempts to put his formal education to use
by working various engineering and legal jobs, casinos are now his workplace and poker provides his income.
While 1992 was the year Andy had his first taste of (small buy-in) tournament poker, he didn’t get serious about it until a
few years later. While achieving some success in his earliest events (he won the first No Limit tournament he ever played, a
$100 buy-in), Bloch was soon boring of the lifestyle. However, his waning interest in tournaments suddenly skyrocketed with
the overnight launching of the World Poker Tour. The allure of competing in this new televised poker spotlight rekindled his
competitive juices. He had two 3rd place finishes in the first season (the 2002
Foxwoods World Poker Finals for $102,350, and the 2003
Commerce LA Poker Classic for $125,460) and
decided right then to continue following the tournament circuit more closely. He now travels the world from tournament to tournament.
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Bloch has won several million dollars playing poker tournaments. Besides his World Poker Tour final table appearances, other
major accomplishments include a $1 million payday for his second place finish in the first $50,000 buy-in H.O.RS.E.
tournament at the 2006 World Series of Poker and winning the Pro-Am Poker Equalizer tournament in Las Vegas. Andy has also
made television appearances on NBC’s late-night “Poker After Dark” and “Heads Up Poker Championship.”
Not surprisingly (given his scholarly acumen), Bloch attributes his poker success to studying books and articles, reading
and participating in Internet newsgroups (rec.gambling), using his intellectual skills to constantly analyze new situations,
and delving into poker problems and discussions with fellow players. Poker was merely another arena to exercise his constant need
to learn and conquer. His competitiveness and brains have made Andy a force to be reckoned with in a world of “finding the edge”.
Taking advantage of the poker boom, Andy joined forces with several other top professionals in helping to develop and represent the online poker site
Full Tilt Poker. Bloch plays online exclusively at FullTiltPoker.com, a minimum of about 10 hours a week, usually making himself available to the low-limit
players as well as participating in charity and promotional events on the site.