Andy Bloch is a professional poker player, former member of the MIT blackjack card-counting team, and expert in game theory who concentrates on the psychological aspects of games.
Born in 1969 in New Haven, Connecticut, Bloch started playing cards as a young child. He played poker during high school with friends and family. He didn't get serious about the game until after he graduated from MIT with two electrical engineering degrees in 1992.
That's when he started playing poker at the new Foxwoods casino while working as an engineer. He got interested in tournaments and started making the 2-hour drive on a monthly basis to play some small weekly tournaments. By the end of that year, he had won the $100 World Poker Finals No-Limit Texas Hold 'em tournament. It was the first time he ever played no-limit Texas hold 'em.
A few months after getting fired from his job in the spring of 1993, he start a new engineering job near Boston and continued to play poker a couple of weekends per month in casinos and a local game in Boston. During this time he learned a lot about poker by reading a poker Usenet newsgroup.
During 1993, he came across a new game at Foxwoods called "Hickok 6-card Poker", which was played against the house and was similar to Caribbean Stud or Let it Ride. While starting his new job designing computer networking chips for Digital, he wrote computer programs and created a strategy for playing Hickok that gave the player a large edge of about 6%. Through his weekly Boston-area poker game, he met some fellow MIT alumni who were part of the MIT blackjack team, and they put together a team of MIT students and others to play the Hickok game. They won consistently for few months at the rate of about $30 per hour, but the casino caught on and changed the rules, but not before they won almost $100,000.
After meeting the MIT blackjack team and gaining some first-hand experience with professional gambling, he started going to MIT team practices in 1994. He went on his first blackjack trip to Las Vegas with the team in 1995 and quit his engineering job a few months later to begin playing blackjack and poker full time. His blackjack team experience was the subject of a DVD documentary on blackjack called The Hot Shoe, and in an episode of Fox's reality series "The Casino" which originally aired in 2004. He has said that he has made up to $100,000 in one session while playing blackjack.
He got admitted into Harvard Law School and started classes in 1996. He paid for his tuition and expenses by playing blackjack with the MIT Blackjack Team. He also played in the World Series of Poker in 1997 and 1998, even missing some classes to attend.
In 1997 he volunteered to be the first player at the WSOP to have his hole cards videotaped.
After graduating from Harvard Law School and passing the bar exam in 1999, he hadn't found a job that he liked, so he just played poker and traded stocks.
At the 2001 WSOP, Bloch made two final tables and in 2002, he made over $42,000 in a win at Foxwoods.
In 2002/2003, during the 1st season of the WPT season, he finished in 3rd place in two different tournaments, winning $102,350 and $125,460.
In 2005, he won the $10,000 Ultimate Poker Challenge II championship event for $167,000 and won a WSOP circuit tournament at the Rio.
In 2006, he cashed five times at the WSOP, including a 2nd place finish to Chip Reese in the $50,000 H.O.R.S.E. event, winning $1,029,600. The heads-up battle lasted 286 hands and was the longest recorded in WSOP history.
Later that year, he defeated Phil Laak heads up to win the Pro-Am Poker Equalizer taking in the first prize of $500,000.
In 2007, he finished in the top 8 players in NBC's National Heads Up Poker Championship, and in 2008, he finished runner-up to Chris Ferguson.
At the 2008 WSOP, he finished 2nd to Nenad Medic in the $10,000 Pot-Limit Hold'em World Championship earning $488,048 and had 5 cashes total that year.
In 2009 he won Week 3 of a “Poker After Dark” tournament.
In 2005 he joined other professional players including Howard Lederer, Chris Ferguson, Phil Gordon, and Phil Ivey, to represent a new online poker site called Full Tilt Poker. He donates 100% of his winnings on Full Tilt to various charities around the world.
As of 2009, he has nine WSOP final tables, 23 WSOP cashes, 2 WPT final tables, 8 WPT cashes. As of 2008, his total live tournament winnings exceed $4.1 million. He is a member of Team Full Tilt.
In 2005 Bloch chose to boycott the WPT to protest their player release process. Bloch returned to the WPT after a lawsuit initiated by seven high-profile poker players, including Chris Ferguson and Phil Gordon, was settled in 2008.
He used his law license to defend himself after getting arrested in 2003 at an anti-war protest in front of the White House.
Bloch released a couple of DVDs and books:
exgriffinman on April 26, 2011
exgriffinman on April 25, 2011
bad_dog76 on November 30, 2007
????? on November 10, 2006
DonkeySlayer on July 29, 2006
DonkeySlayer on July 28, 2006
incognito on January 5, 2006
grdred944 on January 2, 2006
counting cards blackjack on August 17, 2005
Robert Varkonyi on August 2, 2005
Unregistered on July 16, 2005
JT One on July 15, 2005
Wizardio on July 13, 2005
Observer on June 29, 2005
G. Bush on June 16, 2005
Concerned Citizen on June 16, 2005
Observer on May 28, 2005
Unregistered on May 1, 2005
Unregistered on May 1, 2005
ScoobyDoo on May 1, 2005
uhavenobrain on April 27, 2005
uhavenobrain on April 27, 2005
Unregistered on March 29, 2005
bender2004 on January 5, 2005
brill on December 2, 2004
djnpa_30 on November 30, 2004
slvsc2 on November 15, 2004
Unregistered on November 6, 2004
Shkerdhati on October 27, 2004
jonnyC on September 28, 2004
newmania on September 28, 2004
Shappy Matt on September 28, 2004
Rick on September 14, 2004
PunterGoop on August 18, 2004
mikwit on August 11, 2004
gotubeat on August 2, 2004
Max on August 1, 2004
splat on July 28, 2004
Unregistered on July 27, 2004
Unregistered on July 6, 2004
splat on July 2, 2004
Unregistered on June 30, 2004
Unregistered on June 18, 2004