The Runchuks Podcast
  • Runchuks
19 episodes
In each episode, I talk to people in and around the poker industry and try to uncover what it takes to reach the top in poker, business, and life.I am a professional poker player for 13 years. You can find me in high-stakes PLO cash games around the world and on the major poker sites online.


Online poker legend Bencb on building a successful career
2020 Sep 182h 11m 46s
Bencb won several major online poker tournament series, including the WCOOP and SCOOP. He's also the champion of the largest poker tournament that has ever taken place, where he scored a win of $1,172,360.60 for a buy-in of $102,000.00.We cover a wide variety of topics, and Ben shares a lot of useful tips and talks about what it takes to become successful.Follow Bencb on Twitter: YouTube playlist: CONNECT: Subscribe to newsletter: https://www.runchukspodcast.comTwitter: OUTLINE00:02:19 Bencb's passion00:03:43 Working with a team00:05:36 When and why Bencb789 decided to take the next step?00:10:04 Building a Skill Set00:12:31 Why we got into poker00:19:29 What were Bencb789's first experiences on business and limited time?00:27:06 Poker is not different from sports00:28:17 Coaching people, and a different point of view00:36:22 What it takes to get an edge00:39:09 Bencb789 Twitter and Marketing00:46:09 Runchuks Poker Podcast00:47:52 Giving away too much for free00:50:24 Not being sponsored and piracy00:52:43 Making the games harder?01:02:44 Bencb789 studying ethics and brief journey summary01:07:32 Ego01:09:17 Bencb789 about career01:12:35 Barry Greenstein's quote01:14:24 Success is not static01:18:06 Bencb's success in poker tournaments01:22:13 Sacrifices01:28:46 Runchuks' thought process on deciding to play the Galfond Challenge01:30:27 Runchuks and Bencb798 face reveal01:35:56 What is Runchuks grind and study schedule with having a family?01:39:05 What do you use to study?01:45:39 Grab your hands on as much studying material as you can!01:47:22 Bencb789 presence in eSports01:51:49 Working in a group and how to find a group01:56:43 Bencb789 message to the viewers and leadership02:00:15 Keeping a score of favors and honesty02:08:18 Asking for an advice
Steffen Sontheimer: From the Bottom to High Stakes Poker [Rebroadcast]
2020 Sep 112h 26m 14s
At the beginning of 2017, Steffen Sontheimer close to $500,000 in live cashes and flew under the radar of many in the Poker world. But some seemed to notice the rising talent already: "Predicting the breakout year of Go0se.core! Best player in the game right now.", Fedor Holz wrote on Twitter.Well, Fedor was right. The same year, Steffen cashed for $7.052.324 and destroyed the Poker Masters series in the Aria Casino Las Vegas, when he claimed the Purple Jacket and cashed 4 out of 5 high roller tournaments against the best in the world.We cover a lot of topics in this conversation. It's always a pleasure to talk to Steffen, he's one of the smartest people in the poker world. I hope you'll enjoy this rerun (the episode was originially published on YouTube in March 2020) Also, make sure to check out Steffen's Instagram profile "coachgo0se"You can find it here: YouTube playlist: CONNECT: Subscribe to newsletter: https://www.runchukspodcast.comTwitter: OUTLINE:00:01:18 Steffen “go0se.core!” Sontheimer Introduction by Toby00:05:59 What are Steffen current goals00:08:00 Why Steffen stopped traveling for Super High Rollers00:16:30 “My biggest freedom that I have is never setting an alarm clock”00:18:45 Steffen enjoy online poker more than live poker?00:21:40 Travelling for High Rollers Tournaments00:23:23 The pressure from investors?00:24:53 Super High Roller Bowl00:28:02 Where is the pressure coming from?00:31:27 Proofing to himself00:31:58 Insane amount of work for playing Super High Rollers00:35:05 Natural confidence00:39:05 Fedor Holz influence00:40:35 Steffen first High Roller Tournament00:43:48 First live tournament and Fedor Holz story00:44:57 Steffen Hand against Nick Petrangelo on first High Roller Final Table00:46:59 The German High Roller Team lead by Fedor Holz00:56:43 The Content Hiding Mafia01:00:02 Crushing without a group and LLinusLLove story01:02:38 Will Steffen stream again?01:04:39 Does Steffen plan to move up the stakes?01:06:33 It will be possible to make 3-4 bb/100 on NL200 Zoom for the next 5 years?01:08:57 Motivation to keep playing and browser game01:15:36 The difference from NL2 to NL500 is the same from NL500 to NL10k?01:18:06 Steffen plan for 2020 and taxes01:21:14 Decision to settle down01:23:23 Achieving Super Nova Elite01:30:37 Multi-tabling now and then01:37:51 WSOP or UEFA Euro for 2020?01:40:36 COVID-19 canceling WSOP?01:44:17 Steffen toughest online opponents01:50:02 Meeting a poker celebrity for the first time01:52:54 Meeting Phil Ivey01:54:05 Meeting Gerard Piqué01:56:01 Meeting Kevin Hart and Usain Bolt01:59:15 Runchuks meeting Russell Westbrook02:00:59 Runchuks meeting Phil Kessel02:02:20 Becoming a celebrity02:06:03 And becoming a role model too?02:07:56 Blackjack Degen stories02:11:05 Test-drive in Las Vegas desert02:16:43 Where Steffen is going towards to?02:19:39 From the bottom to the very top and remaining a down to earth guy02:23:46 Steffen on social media
Fedor Holz - Striving for excellence [Rebroadcast]
2020 Sep 041h 26m 6s
Fedor Holz is one of the most successful poker tournament players in the world. He played a key role in assembling "the German team", we discuss how Fedor keeps aiming at bigger goals, his approach to improvement, his mental game tips & tricks, and much more. YouTube playlist: CONNECT: Subscribe to newsletter: https://www.runchukspodcast.comTwitter: Outline:00:00:00 Introduction00:01:43 How Fedor Holz built his team00:07:35 The desire for constant improving00:11:40 Never settling down00:13:15 Finding a way to play higher and higher00:16:31 Bringing his friends to the (High Roller) party00:19:28 The Rat Race00:20:21 Playing Zoom $500 with Steffen Sontheimer00:21:49 Sinergy and applying knowledge00:25:14 Importance of a healthy mental game00:27:44 When you follow what you want to do, then you're happy00:30:40 Have a group of people to help you reflect00:32:34 Taking a 5 months break… And then $2k to 1 million dollars00:38:01 How the value of money changed over time00:45:38 What do you actually want to do?00:51:37 How do you spend your day and why?00:55:17 Boredom is one of the most important drivers of creativity00:58:50 Absolute love for getting better01:04:37 Advice for those starting right now01:05:44 Not enjoying poker anymore01:07:22 Want to change something? Try the extremes!01:09:26 But don't always try the extremes01:10:07 Aligning YOURSELF to what you want TO DO01:13:01 Only aiming to be the best01:16:37 Fedor's poker course: The Pokercode01:21:42 What Fedor wants to change in the world?
Lee Davy on interviewing poker greats and on alcohol addiction
2020 Aug 281h 45m 29s
Helping overcome alcohol addiction and interviewing poker greats like Tom Dwan, Andrew Robl, Jason Koon, and  Timofey (Trueteller) Kuznetsov. That's what we talk about with Lee Davy, whom many of you know as the guy behind the mic on "I am High Stakes Poker" interview series. He is a great poker journalist and he's helped a lot of people recognize and overcome all sorts of addictions. Make sure to check out 1000 days sober on YT: on Twitter: CONNECT: Subscribe on YouTube: to newsletter: https://www.runchukspodcast.comTwitter: OUTLINE: 00:00:00 Intro00:02:37 Quitting alcohol00:07:11 Getting into the poker industry00:10:26 Helping people to deal with addiction00:16:40 Timofey 'Trueteller' Kuznetsov00:19:35 Realizing you have an addiction00:27:04 Pressure to take sides00:34:15 A Species in Denial00:39:41 The 1000 Days Sober00:47:09 Meaning and purpose00:52:49 In The Zone00:55:01 Stimulus and response00:58:47 Interviewing Tom Dwan01:01:45 Dealing with negative feedback01:05:02 I Am High Stakes Poker01:11:14 Shame and purpose01:18:24 Alcohol connections01:26:53 The Inflammation Spectrum01:30:57 It's only complicated if you believe so01:34:26 Value of alcohol01:40:16 How to work with Lee Davy
MMAsherdog on the best poker players and how to improve at poker
2020 Aug 211h 53m 7s
High Stakes online poker crusher MMAsherdog talks about how to improve at poker and discusses some of the best poker players in the world including Limitless, LLinusLLove on the Runchuks Podcast.  CONNECT: Subscribe to YouTube channel: to newsletter: https://www.runchukspodcast.comTwitter: OUTLINE00:00:00 Intro00:01:27 limitless00:06:10 Chinese poker market00:08:30 limitless vs LLinusLLove battle00:11:42 Reg Battles00:17:30 RunItOnce Heads-Up Legends Showdown00:21:15 I'm a max EV player00:23:53 VeniVidi1993, Joey Ingram and poker publicity00:26:46 Poker is not dead00:30:23 Making the best of what you got00:34:13 Being lazy at school and successful at poker00:37:23 You have to really like what you do00:39:04 Does MMAsherdog enjoy studying poker?00:42:49 Different winning strategies00:45:46 Play a good strategy perfectly than a perfect strategy poorly00:48:54 Using an RNG00:53:47 Telephone game00:55:48 Wasting time00:58:18 More on using an RNG01:02:06 Dealing with swings on High Stakes Poker01:06:51 Switching off after the session01:09:49 A fresh perspective from a coach01:12:16 Discussing strategy01:17:20 Playing high stakes and Bill Perkins games01:19:59 Bill Perkins: Die With Zero01:24:18 Money and happiness01:28:47 Value of time01:30:30 Get things done01:33:34 Negreanu vs Doug Polk01:45:18 Twitch streaming01:46:21 BluffTheSpot channel01:47:21 Playing against celebrities PODCAST INFO: Apple Podcasts: Podcast: playlist:
David Reichelt - mobile game creator who generated over $75 million in revenue
2020 Aug 142h 7m 4s
David Reichelt is a mobile game creator who made Color Switch, which has over 250 million downloads and generated over seventy five million dollars in revenue. We talk about his journey, how he created 40 unsuccessful games before finally hitting the home-run, where does he find inspiration, persistence, passion, and about his creative process. This is not one of those making a mobile game in a day type of story. David shares a lot of useful tips. It is quite a wide-ranging conversation and whether you're exploring a new hobby, are looking for creative ideas, or just want to broaden your horizon or find a new passion in life, there's definitely something here for you in this interview. And of course, we also take a look at the poker industry and the trend of making poker more fun. Online poker sites recently borrow a lot of ideas from the gaming world and in many ways, they are competing with EA Sports more than with the online casinos. Subscribe to my YouTube channel to stay informed about new videos to my newsletter for exclusive content https://www.runchukspodcast.comTwitter: to David: Color Switch Academy: Books which were mentioned: Thinker Toys: Art of Game Design: Intro00:01:33 Don't show the same trick twice00:05:23 Beauty of magic00:07:08 Richard Turner00:09:05 Nicholas James Vujicic00:09:49 Kitten vs Monkey mindset00:12:51 The most wealthy place on Earth00:13:23 Passion00:21:12 The number one indicator of a long life00:25:35 Runchuks Newsletter00:26:51 Steven Spielberg - Ready Player One00:29:30 Getting into the games industry by accident00:31:24 This is the game that's going to make it00:35:03 Shift in the approach00:37:26 Tearing ideas apart00:40:26 Staying motivated after 40 failures00:45:31 What people thought about a game design career00:51:52 When the sample is big enough00:56:49 Look at things in different ways01:01:57 Designing a game to last 40 years01:04:26 The need to switch off01:06:29 What makes a great game01:13:11 What makes people get back and play more01:21:01 Changing games01:25:27 Resistance to change01:29:35 Waking up at 4 am01:33:48 How does David's day look like01:35:33 Working with a team01:39:01 Went to buy a $10 gadget and bought a piano01:42:45 Where is the app and game trend taking us01:46:19 Virtual reality in video games01:51:03 Heart attack01:53:46 Virtual reality in movies01:54:53 Finding direction in life01:57:30 Color Switch 202:00:14 Game Design course02:01:19 Social media02:02:10 Color Switch brand
State of poker - Mason Malmuth
2020 Aug 072h 40m 2s
State of poker, online poker tournament structures and guarantees, private games, regulations, ethics, and Mason's new book "The History of the World from a Gambler's Perspective" are some of the many topics we discuss in this conversation.Mason is the founder of TwoPlusTwo publishing company and an author of several books. His latest book looks at the history of the world from a gambler's perspective. It's a great read, a novel take on some of the events that defined the course of history. Get the book here: Subscribe to my newsletter for exclusive content https://www.runchukspodcast.comSubscribe to my YouTube channel: Podcast: Follow Mason on Twitter: Timestamps: 00:00:00 Intro00:01:40 The History of The World From a Gambler's Perspective00:04:34 Defining gambling00:07:16 Self-weighting and non-self-weighting strategies00:10:17 Expert gambles00:11:44 The battle is lost, if you pursue the normal strategy00:15:54 Francisco Pizarro story00:18:34 General Robert E. Lee semi-bluff00:23:44 Gambling in the real world00:29:33 Probability of getting aces twice in a row00:32:41 Cat joins the podcast00:33:28 Selection bias00:35:31 He is a great craps player00:36:34 How do we define who are the best poker players00:42:06 GTO player vs Exploitative player00:46:05 Multi-tabling00:53:13 A good poker game00:58:38 Rake and bonuses00:59:52 Antes to balance out luck and skill01:03:35 Online poker room regulations01:04:41 Competition in the online poker market01:06:29 Rake is a big threat to poker01:08:48 Problem with rebuy tournaments01:12:28 Tournament prize guarantees01:14:42 Big private games and selling action01:17:09 How is selling action and rebuys perceived by a new player?01:20:48 More problems with rebuys and guarantees01:24:25 What's best for poker in the long run… Or for me01:26:39 Must move game01:39:00 Private games held in casinos01:42:00 TwoPlusTwo - the beginnings01:53:32 TwoPlusTwo contributing to the poker boom01:55:15 TwoPlusTwo podcast01:56:18 TwoPlusTwo competition02:00:14 Creating a better environment02:08:06 Communication between management and players02:10:03 Competition is good02:13:07 Poker police and cheating scandals02:15:32 Richard Turner02:16:30 The new book will bring new people into poker02:18:22 Leon Trotsky02:21:51 History from all over the world from many periods02:23:16 The role of Luck02:29:07 Jack Johnson World Heavyweight Boxing Champion02:32:58 Wyatt Earp gambling story
GM Robert Fontaine talks about Chess and Poker
2020 Jul 311h 11m 58s
Chess and poker - what do these games have in common. In this interview Grandmaster Robert Fontaine talks about how he got into chess and shares useful advice for those who want to learn how to play chess. We explore why the popularity of chess is booming, what it takes to reach the top, look behind the scenes of the major chess tournaments and of course explore the parallels between chess and poker and which lessons from the chess industry could apply to poker. Make sure to subscribe to my YouTube channel to stay informed about new videos And if you'd like to receive my key takeaways from each latest podcast episode, subscribe to my newsletter Follow me on Twitter: Time stamps:00:00:00 Intro00:01:17 How Robert Fontaine got into chess00:04:39 FIDE rating system00:06:07 Chess tournaments00:08:43 8 to 6 job00:09:32 Playing the first chess tournament00:14:30 Finding out the opponent's level of skill00:17:39 What to focus on when first starting to play chess00:22:22 What it takes to maintain the GM level00:25:39 Chess is booming00:29:24 Streaming and giving away information00:35:41 Time pressure00:36:28 Public available database00:38:44 Poker and chess parallels00:40:12 What separates a GM from a top-level GM00:43:31 Chess time variants / poker variants00:46:53 The huge gap between GM levels00:51:12 Learning from better opponents00:53:32 Analyzing the game together with the opponent00:59:13 The difference between chess and poker01:03:25 Chess lessons that apply in life01:06:03 What keeps the top-level players motivated01:08:51 AI changing the way top-level GM approach the game
GM Vladimir Kramnik on AlphaZero and achieving excellence
2020 Jul 242h 27m 3s
GM Vladimir Kramnik talks about AlphaZero, the evolution of chess theory, how to achieve excellence, and his journey in chess. A lot of ideas we discuss apply not only to chess but also to poker and life in general. Vladimir is one of the most talented World Chess champions of the modern era and some of his insights are invaluable.  We talk about chess engines such as StockFish, the new chess AI - AlphaZero, and how those changed the way we approach studying, and understanding chess as well as what might the future hold and we also talk about the draw-backs of blindly following the engines or poker solvers for that matter. The poker industry is experiencing the same types of changes with the rise of the poker solvers and there are many lessons we can take-away from the chess world.  Vladimir also talks about his journey in chess, the famous match against Gary Kasparov, what it takes to compete at the highest level, how does his preparation look like, his approach to the competition, how Vladimir handles the pressure, aesthetics of chess and his work on creating new exciting variants of chess.  Make sure to subscribe to my YouTube channel to stay informed about new videos And if you'd like to receive my key takeaways from each latest podcast episode, subscribe to my newsletter Twitter: 00:00:00 Intro00:01:42 Chess before and after chess engines00:08:09 Custom chess engines00:10:46 Using chess engines for preparation00:12:04 Evolution of chess engines00:22:15 Kasparov vs Deep Blue - The End of the Human Race00:24:23 Vladimir Kramnik vs Deep Fritz00:26:52 AlphaZero deep learning AI00:33:49 AlphaZero vs Stockfish differences00:37:25 Experiment with AlphaZero00:38:57 AI doesn't explain why it plays a certain way00:41:04 AlphaZero thinking pattern00:44:29 Drawbacks of engines for top-level games00:46:46 Keeping chess entertaining00:50:59 No Castling Chess (a new variant of chess)00:57:47 How long would it take to engines to solve No Castling Chess01:02:56 Understanding aesthetics, patterns instead of memorizing01:06:27 New arms race01:09:42 Using a better machine as a decisive advantage01:12:00 Vladimir's style01:16:45 What all great players have in common01:20:06 The human aspect of chess01:26:59 How Vladimir Kramnik studied Gary Kasparov to become World Champion01:29:58 Playing even better under high pressure01:31:50 Knowing yourself and knowing your opponent01:38:39 Slight advantage line vs chance of playing it well01:43:51 Creating your unique style01:46:16 Defeating Gary Kasparov without losing a single game01:58:22 Emotions taking over02:02:29 The impact of ego02:08:52 Decisive career moments02:16:17 Always be ready to learn02:17:57 Lack of information is not the problem02:19:25 New chess variations02:21:26 How humans are going to use AlphaZero as a studying tool02:23:43 Wrapping up02:25:28 One final word of wisdom
Maria Konnikova - poker beginner to champion
2020 Jul 1757m 41s
Maria Konnikova is the author of two New York Times bestsellers, The Confidence Game. Her new book, The Biggest Bluff, is out now. Maria started as a complete beginner in poker and while researching The Biggest Bluff, Maria became an international poker champion and the winner of over $300,000 in tournament earnings—and inadvertently turned into a professional poker player. She got mentored by Eric Seidel, Phil Galfond, and several other highly successful poker players and her rapid success is a testament to what can be achieved in poker with the right approach to studies, the right guidance, and a lot of dedication. Maria is also a regularly contributing writer for The New Yorker whose writing has won numerous awards.Get Maria's wonderful new book The Biggest Bluff here sure to subscribe to my YouTube channel to stay informed about new videos if you'd like to receive my key takeaways from each latest podcast episode, subscribe to my newsletter https://www.runchukspodcast.comTwitter: Maria on Twitter: Intro00:01:20 Outsiders perspective00:04:22 Mentored by Erik Seidel00:05:59 Good at studying00:07:04 Why get into poker?00:09:17 Most complex parts of decision making in poker00:11:53 Less certainty more inquiry00:14:00 Time constraint00:16:47 Always ask why players are doing what they're doing00:18:11 Speaking several languages helps00:21:27 Too much certainty00:22:58 No expectations00:24:07 Why the vast majority of poker players are male?00:35:03 Resistance to accepting women in poker00:36:38 Women - untapped poker market demographic00:38:52 Trying to get new players into the game00:40:25 Erik Seidel's method of teaching00:44:03 Phil Galfond quote00:44:44 Once the results started coming00:46:27 Phil Galfond Challenge00:47:22 Passion for poker00:48:20 Winning the PokerStars Caribbean Adventure - Bahamas00:53:14 Overcoming a big mistake at the beginning of the final table00:54:44 Maria Konnikova - The Biggest Bluff