Andy Bloch

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.

MIT Blackjack Team

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.

Legal Issues

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:

  • DVD: "Beating Blackjack with Andy Bloch"
  • DVD: "Champion Fundamentals: Up Close with the Pros" (along with Antonio Esfandiari, Phil Laak, and Gus Hansen)
  • Book: "The Full Tilt Poker Strategy Guide: Tournament Edition" (along with Richard Brodie, Chris Ferguson, and Ted Forrest)
  • Book: "The Pocket Idiot's Guide to Poker Tells" (with Bobbi Dempsey).


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Originally Posted by JT One View Post
I think the guy needs to be respected. He is banned from virtually all blackjack tables in the world. Everyone associates card counting with what they saw on "Rainman". But what Andy did was incredible, he was able to statistically anylise every card that passed... As soon as the deck swung in his favour, he would make a bet and beat the house. He is the reason that Casino's have Face recogniction software. A company called Griffin (a now well established casino database) was founded with the specific intention of stopping Andy and his crew from using their system.I can't speak for what he is like as a person, but i do have to respect the guys brains and balls
Actually your facts are a little off, Griffin has been around since the late 60's and there have been many great count teams before Andy and his M.I.T. friends. Griffin was actually founded to inform casinos (subscribing casinos) of card and slot cheats. The importance of card counting didn't come till later. Also you need to grasp the concept of Team play, Andy was usually in the roll of Big Player while another team member was doing the counting. I will admit he was very good and I have had the opportunity of backing hhim off myself.

exgriffinman on April 26, 2011

I was a thorn in Andy's (and his friends) side for a long time, But I will give hime his due...When he first started as a counter/Team player with his friends they did alot of damage.

exgriffinman on April 25, 2011

Andy Bloch is a fish! Blows his chips on draws. Has no idea what solid poker is. Fuck him!

bad_dog76 on November 30, 2007

Takoma Park Md. is where the lower class Jews lived in Montgomery Co. Md.

????? on November 10, 2006

to the idiot below who said u cant count 5 decks in black jack, its easy dummy, had u ever read a BJ book on counting ud know, you just divide the running count by 5. pretty simple, if the decks positive 50, that is, 50 cards 10 or above in the shoe, the real count is 10. now go back to cartoons jr, i hear momma calling, she just left my bedroom with a mouth full of cum lol

DonkeySlayer on July 29, 2006

First Of All This Guy Bashes The Dealers, Yells At Floormen, He Is A Disgrace And Insult To The Game.
Then He Does This, Raises My Blind On The Button, I Call With 9 -10 Suited, He Looks Weak To Me, And Im Always Right. The Flop Is 10c 8c 2d, I Lead Out And Bet, The Donkey Bloch, The Only Guy In The Pot Besides Me, Reraises All In. I Think About, And I Decide He Has A 8 Of Clubs, The Pair With The Draw, So I Call, Well To My Amazement, The Great Pro That He Is Has No Pair, Just A C 5 C For A Flush Draw. Well The Moron Hits His Ace On The River To Knock Me Down To 2 Chips Left, Then Chastises Me For Calling, Saying He Could Have Had 10 J. I Said, I Knew What You Had, And You Were Even Worse Than That. How Ridiculous, Going In On A Draw For All His Chips. Fucking Donkey. I Hate This Guy And Hope To See Him At The Tables Again So He Can Do Some More Donkey Moves And Double Me Up. It Was So Great To See Chip Reese Totally Spank This Donkey Like The Ametuer He Is At The Final Table Of The 50000 Horse Event, He Got Owned By Reese, Totally Owned

DonkeySlayer on July 28, 2006

Counting cards is not what its seems, Yes many people can count cards into a six deck shoe. You can't predict what card will come out, but you can use a simple +1 -1 system and keep track of the ratio of small cards to face cards. When the count gets high (high card rich) you increase your bet to account for the percentage in your favor of getting two high cards. Many people count cards and make a living as professional black jack players. There are plenty of books out there that can show you the simple system. The hard part is keeping track of the count and not being obvious when varying bet size. Ever heard of the MIT Black Jack team that took casinos for millions? Read Bringing Down the House (won't teach you the system, but lets you know how a team works- and is an excellent read)

Ever heard of Ken Uston? read up on him or Kevin Blackwood's book "black jack like the pros" and he will teach you how to count a single, double or six deck game. Only catch is that it takes TONS of practice to get it right

incognito on January 5, 2006

Andy is a decent player but another example of a brainiac who falls short on potential. He may be an "expert on game theory" but he seldom practices it.

grdred944 on January 2, 2006

I assume you mean a single deck? Nobody in the world can count into a 5 deck ....not andy... not anybody

counting cards blackjack on August 17, 2005

Just another nerd with a yammakah.

Robert Varkonyi on August 2, 2005

I turned down MIT to go to Rensselaer, a much better school in my opinion. Society places alot of value on educational pedigree, not what the education can do for a person. All in all he had to be smart but to wear the college on his sleeve is just gamesmanship.

Unregistered on July 16, 2005

I think the guy needs to be respected. He is banned from virtually all blackjack tables in the world. Everyone associates card counting with what they saw on "Rainman". But what Andy did was incredible, he was able to statistically anylise every card that passed... As soon as the deck swung in his favour, he would make a bet and beat the house. He is the reason that Casino's have Face recogniction software. A company called Griffin (a now well established casino database) was founded with the specific intention of stopping Andy and his crew from using their system.I can't speak for what he is like as a person, but i do have to respect the guys brains and balls

JT One on July 15, 2005

Guy's a punk - I busted his eye open in the Belagio when he insulted one of the waitresses for spilling his drink.

Wizardio on July 13, 2005

Something about this guy irritates me. The guy doesnt really have many tricks up his sleeve. The worst play i saw by him was when he had 2nd top pair with 10-A, with a board of something like 3 7 J T 3, and Gus Hansen held 10-3. Gus consistently bet around 30-40k until the river, where he made a FH with the 2nd three - and bets 200k uncharacteristically. Andy thinks for ages and decides to call - stupidity at its worse. Why the fuck would GUs all of a sudden bet huge when a pair forms on the board. Albeit a low pair, Gus likes to play all sorts of crap and so u cannot rule out he has a 3 or at least a jack (which would also beat him). I just think he shouldve mucked it with such a huge suspicious bet. Gus is not that stupid. Andy is.

Observer on June 29, 2005

Andy's a great player....but a tad bit too liberal in the politics!

G. Bush on June 16, 2005

Andy, why don't you take some of your poker winnings and help pay off the debt our country is going into because of the war?

Concerned Citizen on June 16, 2005

What the heck is a card counter anyway? And why are they frowned upon.

Observer on May 28, 2005

This guy was a card counter back in the day

Unregistered on May 1, 2005

MIT students straight up pwned Vagas *_*

Unregistered on May 1, 2005

Whoa, it really is the Milfhunter. That's freaking crazy.

ScoobyDoo on May 1, 2005

I aready play with the real PROS.

uhavenobrain on April 27, 2005

Who bring their girlfriend on poker table on first date?

uhavenobrain on April 27, 2005

I believe he is related to manny bloch who represented the rosenbergs.

Unregistered on March 29, 2005

I just played this guy heads up for 5 bucks, I luckily got the win, but a great guy. Experiance of a lifetime to play a pro and luckily win

bender2004 on January 5, 2005

have you ever seen his official site? this guy is as liberal as it gets.

brill on December 2, 2004

is it me or does andy resemble ralph mouth from happy days?

djnpa_30 on November 30, 2004

I used to think he had class until I saw him get 86'ed from the Nugget on that awful Fox show. 'Casino.' I don't have a problem with BJ card counters but c'mon Andy. That's what you do when you are a student at MIT. You're a pro poker player. Act like one.

slvsc2 on November 15, 2004

He is an absolute sweetheart, and may not be the best at poker, but definitely still has skill!

Unregistered on November 6, 2004

jonny c this guy is the milfhunter guy, who would have thought he played poker. by the way he looks like my comp sci prof, must be geek

Shkerdhati on October 27, 2004

lmao , the milfhunter guy, exactly what i was thnking hahahahah, man thats funny

jonnyC on September 28, 2004

I doubt any of you have ever played the man online or live, so you have no business posting your comments. I was in a multi on Full Tilt with him a week ago, where he finished 1st and I finished 3rd out of 162 people. He didn't do much in the beginning, but his skill really started to show through at the final table. Don't discount the man, he is much better than any of you.

newmania on September 28, 2004

I just played for 2 hours with "the block" at a home game. He is world class not only in skill but in character. We should all be so lucky to meet such a fine gentleman.

Shappy Matt on September 28, 2004

He looks like the milfhunter guy.

Rick on September 14, 2004

I agree, this guy has barely any skill, he shouldn't even be on this site

PunterGoop on August 18, 2004

good guy, smart, and went to MIT, the best collage ever

mikwit on August 11, 2004

i seen that the casino he was winning like a little bitch

gotubeat on August 2, 2004

Saw And Bloch on "the casino", the man should wear a costume if he wants to go around counting cards, everyone in the business knows who a world class poker player is.

Max on August 1, 2004

it just goes to show m.i.t. does not produce great players. ya they are smart but what college did phil Ivey go to? I think it was called AC tech if ya know what i mean. Block is just another rich guy who couldn't make it as a complete lawyer. Like Boyd.

splat on July 28, 2004

Anyone who takes the time to bash a guy for wearing his MIT ring has issues... Where'd YOU graduate from darlin'?

Unregistered on July 27, 2004

I played with this guy at Foxwoods...he sucks. He sports his M.I.T. ring like he's some sort of wiz. Give me a break, man!

Unregistered on July 6, 2004

Andy must be having a tough year this year.

splat on July 2, 2004

Andy is a Full Tilt guy. You can play with him online at fulltiltpoker.

Unregistered on June 30, 2004

yikes - this guy not too good

Unregistered on June 18, 2004

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