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PostSubject: Transcript from Poker Power Hour Radio Show   Sat Mar 01, 2008 8:21 pm

Internet Poker Radio Online Show Transcript

Josh Arieh Interview Highlights 10-07 w/ guest Poker Pro Mark Swanson www.JoshArieh.com

PPH: You're a pretty big sports fan, right?

ARIEH: Yes. I love all sports. And growing up -- we'd always play pepper in the front yard. And I was always Ozzie Smith. Ozzie was my favorite player growing up and I kinda grew a liking for the Cardinals. I was a pretty big Cardinals fan back then.

PPH: So, how does a guy that grows up loving baseball end up sitting down at a poker table and earning a living at it?

ARIEH: I've just always loved competing -- no matter what it was. Sports kinda took a back seat to gambling -- and the pool room, playing pool for money when I was about 14 or 15. And then when I got to be about 17 it got hard to gamble with people playing pool because everybody was looking for an edge. But when the pool room would close they would all pony up to a pool table and start playing poker. And I was like "wow, these people are playing horrible." So, I just tried to learn how to play poker. And I just got a liking for it. Took some pretty bad whoopin's along the way.

PPH: Is this something that your family knew about when you were playing for real?

ARIEH: Yes, every time I talked to my dad it was always "Josh, when are you gonna get a job? Josh, it's time to get a job -- Josh, Josh, Josh." And then in '99 I won a bracelet at the World Series (of poker) and won a pretty good bit of money. And my dad saw the light a little bit and kinda got off my back. But then it went from "Josh, get a job" to "Josh, you need to open a business." So, I've just always loved competing and playing cards and I just kept at it and caught a couple lucky breaks here and there.

PPH: So, you won that bracelet in '99 about four years before the game tookoff in 2003 with Moneymaker and you were still under the radar -- and boom, you end up on the Final Table (Main Event) against Raymer and David Williams. Did you sleep well? What were you worried about?

ARIEH: The weird thing is -- I had been getting real close. Leading up to the Main Event I was the chip leader with about 50 people left at the WPT in 2004. And in Tunica that year, it was another big $10,000 event. I was the chip leader going into day 2 and took a real bad beat. So, I had been doing a real good job of building my chips, but I could never get over the hump. I just wanted to grab the moment and get the most out of it that I could because it's not every day that you get to play for five million dollars. I just really really wanted to win. You hear all these people talking about being a world champion. And I just wanted to be a world champion. The money was great but at no time did I think about the money at the final table. I remember the following night -- the night after. My wife and I both woke up at like six o'clock in the morning and started to figure out what we're gonna do with the money. I wanted the money. I really wanted to make my family "set." But I really wanted to be world champion at the same time.

PPH: How intimidating was it for you when you got to that final table (2004) knowing what you had seen on ESPN the year before? You had to know that you were going to be a very recognizable person -- to say the least.

ARIEH: I just wanted to be myself. I didn't want to look back and say "Well, I can't believe I didn't do this. And I can't believe I didn't do that." I wanted to be myself and play my game. And I did the best I could to not worry about the cameras and I think I did that a little too much. Yes, I was a little out of line. No, I was more than a little out of line at different times. But you know -- I don't care. I said what other people want to say. It's like when somebody puts a bad beat on you -- you're saying in your head "I can't believe he played that damn hand." And I just said it out loud. At that point it was so emotional. And with every person knocked out -- it's just one person closer. And every pot you lose just makes you that much further away from being world champion. They (ESPN) did a good job at getting my most childish or most emotional moments on camera. It's hard to remember who came in third but because they made me out to be this big jerk -- now people remember me. So, I'm cool with it.

PPH: Would you say that your style has evolved? Do you still adopt a bit of a contentious attitude in some situations?

ARIEH: It's tough for me now because when I play live poker everybody knows me and everybody expects me to bluff, expects me to have nothing, and expects me to be this hyper-aggressive person. And it's really gotten into my results. Because I was playing aggressive back when playing aggressive wasn't popular. Three or four years ago, if you would've re-raised somebody or called a big raise with an 8 10 -- people would've been like "Oh, my God! What are you doing? You're an idiot." But now it's the norm. Now, there's so many more factors other than your cards. And so, I've had to adjust my style because everybody's expecting that now.

PPH: Talk about that hand with John Murphy (in 2004). Talk about a guy that plays any two cards and very aggressively. You made a laydown (with a flush)...and I know the board was paired.

ARIEH: At the time at that table, John Murphy was the only person I feared. I'm not talking down to anyone at that table. I knew that if I were gonna go broke, I knew the only person that is truly capable of that is John Murphy. John was moving his chips so well, playing small pot poker, picking up blinds, picking up bets here or there, laying hands down to people who re-raise him. I just knew that John Murphy wasn't gonna put his whole stack at risk in a spot where -- I mean, it was obvious that I had a flush draw. He bet -- I called. He bet -- I called. It was obvious that I had something. So, there's no hand that he's gonna move all in on -- I mean, what hand would he move all in on? He's not gonna move in with two Aces. He's not gonna move in with a set when the flush came. If he can't beat a flush -- he's not gonna move in with three of a kind. I don't know what it was. I was trying to survive and was lucky enough to make the right decision. We were both big chips (stacks) at the time and I didn't feel like any of the other seven players would be able to trick me in a pot. The hand actually went faster than they showed on tv. I mean, the minute he bet -- I said (to myself) "I can't believe I'm gonna fold this hand." It was an immediate thought.

PPH: How does poker fit into Josh Arieh's life in 2007?

ARIEH: I love gambling. I love being in action. The thing that I love the most -- I just love competing. I go out and play golf three or four days a week -- and I just love competing. And I love seeing how I react in a pressure situation. I love seeing how I excel under pressure. I don't do well in low entry fee tournaments because there's not that pressure. I love the fact that you're involved with a tournament where you have $10,000 of your own money put up and if you're wrong you're gone. I mean, I love that stuff.

PPH: They ask these guys why they climb mountains and their first answer is always "because it's there" but the second thing always is "because it makes you feel more alive."

ARIEH: Oh ya. It's just the rush that you get from the psychological aspect of the game. I'm addicted to it.

PPH: You seem to be one of those guys who's able to pull a lot of information out of your opponents in tournaments by having a little conversation with them. How did that style evolve for you and how do you make that work for you?

ARIEH: It started back when I was just playing poker with a bunch of friends. And there's all this banter going back and forth, people talking. A guy's begging you to call and a guy's begging you to fold. And you pick up on that stuff. And then you pick up on their body language. And after a while you learn what means what from that certain person. I'm trying to get to know the players I'm playing with as good as I can. If a friend of mine that I know tells me a lie -- I'm gonna have a better chance of knowing it's a lie rather than if a complete stranger tells me a lie. I want to get to know my opponents as good as I possibly can with what they'll give me. And then I believe I'm going to be able to make a better decision whenever a decision is put in front of me. It doesn't even have to be a crucial decision -- it can be any decision. I feel that if I can talk to a person a little bit, get to know them a little bit, try to figure out what their goals are, why they're playing, did they win a satellite, did they buy in with cash, are they trying to inch into the money, are they trying to get on tv, are they trying to win a tournament. There's a million pieces of information that if you sit there with your mouth shut -- you're never gonna find out. But the more information I can pull from somebody -- it's more pieces of the puzzle that I put together. And come out with a better outcome of what I should do in that certain situation. I look at poker as a puzzle. And when you can put the puzzle together then you can make your best action.

PPH: Are you a big believer in answering other players' questions when they're trying to get a read on you?

ARIEH: No, because I don't know how they're gonna take it. It's weird because I kinda freeze -- because I don't know if not answering is the right thing to do or if answering is the right thing to do. I'm a true believer that if you open your mouth -- you're confident. And if you open your mouth -- then you're not afraid of giving away information. If I get in that situation where someone is asking me questions -- I ask myself "How is he gonna perceive my silence -- how is he gonna perceive my answers?"

PPH: Mark, what's your rule of thumb on talking to opponents? You play mostly cash games don't you?

POKER PRO MARK SWANSON: You never really know if somebody's gonna throw a curveball to you. I do like to talk to people because a lot of time it's confidence. Because you get to know other players and you give off that confidence aura. But during a hand, I just play my hand -- but between hands I talk. I found that works for me. I was at the World Series of Poker and I saw Amir Vahedi in a hand. He was ready to push all in and he says to the guy -- as the guy starts to talk -- and he says "Oh, you have a talking hand." And he immediately mucks his cards. And you could see the (other) guy's face -- he was like ooohh, he wanted to kill himself (for losing Amir) by starting to talk.

ARIEH: If an unknown player is in a spot with a known pro and the unknown player begins to talk -- the known pro is gonna read that as confidence and that you aren't afraid. But the key is to get to know each players' personality as well as possible. Because you're going to pull so much more information from someone knowing them a little bit than by not knowing them at all.

PPH: What are some of the mistakes you made early on when you'd get in conversations with people -- and then say "Why did I do that?"

ARIEH: No, because I only talk when I'm trying to get information. If I'm in a spot where you're trying to get information from me -- I'm not gonna say much or give away much.

PPH: We have a listener email question -- how do you know when someone's bluffing?

ARIEH: What the pros do -- I look at playing a hand as telling a story. What the pros do is tell the story well -- they make the bluff make sense. That's the one mistake that novice players make. When they do bluff -- it just doesn't make sense. They flop is 8 9 10, they check, I bet, they call. The turn is a 7. They check, I bet they call. The river is the deuce of diamonds. They move all in. How on earth does the deuce of diamonds help your hand? If you were trying to block out a possible draw -- you would've moved all in on the turn. It's just the telling the story part of it -- the pros, their bluffs -- they make sense. Novices will move all in with a busted flush draw on the end. And in the long run you'll pick up on those things -- and you'll move up greatly in chips when things like that happen.

PPH: What's your preference? Do you prefer to play the tournaments or the cash games?

ARIEH: I like both. I like the tournaments. I'm the first one to admit that I have a steaming problem. But I know that I steam. I know that I don't play as well when I'm losing as when I'm winning. It's tough to tilt in a tournament because if you lose your chips you're done. And playing live games I always put myself on a buy in limit. I don't let myself go off big in live games. I just don't have the time to play live that much. When I'm out of town at tournaments I'm focusing on tournaments. And when I'm not playing the tournament I'm resting. At home I play some cash games but there isn't much poker in the Atlanta area. There's a few guys -- we're putting together a little home game. But nothing is more exciting than getting down deep in a tournament. It is so much fun and I love seeing how the people react to the pressure. As sick as it is -- I love seeing people blow up. And I love seeing people just totally crumble under the pressure.

PPH: Josh, thanks so much for joining us.

ARIEH: Thank you guys.


VISIT: www.JoshArieh.com
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PostSubject: Josh aint no idiot   Thu Mar 06, 2008 3:47 pm

Joshie definitely knows somethin about the holdem game. He seems like a clown sometimes but he is a calculating fool at the tables. afro
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PostSubject: Josh seemed like a dirty player   Wed Mar 26, 2008 10:22 pm

The couple times I've seen Josh he seemed like a jerk. Now I'm reading different. I just don't know what to believe: my own eyes or what the guy says on a radio show behaving like a choir boy.
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PostSubject: Re: Transcript from Poker Power Hour Radio Show   

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