Andy Bloch

Andy Elliot Bloch is one of the most interesting of the older school of players, famous not only for his poker but his part in the infamous MIT blackjack team.

Andy Elliot Bloch is one of the most interesting of the older school of players, famous not only for his poker but his part in the infamous MIT blackjack team which operated throughout the latter part of the 20th Century, immortalised in books such as ‘Busting Vegas’ and ‘Bringing down the House’

Bloch’s role in the MIT hit – before poker took over his life – was as a ‘spotter’, the person who keeps a running count of the cards and then usually signals another player to take over, who will increase the stakes and take advantage of the soon-to-be-favourable cards.

For the first 10 years of his poker-playing, Bloch was a smallish-stakes tournament player and it wasn’t until 2002 that he landed his first 6-figure score, a 3rd spot worth $102,350 at the World Poker finals. This would be the kick his poker career needed and he would go on to cash for a total of $5,365,199 as of the end of 2017.

His biggest score came in 2006 at the WSOP in Vegas when he finished runner-up to David ‘Chip’ Reese in the $50k buy-in H.O.R.S.E. event, their heads-up battle lasting 286 hands, the longest recorded in WSOP history. His 2nd place was still worth a huge $1,029,600. 

Bloch’s solitary WSOP bracelet came in 2012 courtesy of a victory over Barry Greenstein to decide the $1500 Seven Card Stud event, a win worth $126,363.

Andy Bloch was also involved in the Full Tilt Poker scandal which rocked the community after Black Friday struck in 2011, Bloch being one of the original founders and shareholder in the site’s parent company Tiltware, Inc.

With many of the world’s leading players of the time coming under close scrutiny as to what they knew of the debacle which cost players over $400million, Bloch told Diamondflushpoker.com in 2012, when asked what he would have done differently:

“I would have been more involved, and made sure there is somebody that was making sure that Ray (Bitar) was doing his job and not making ridiculous risky decisions that put everything in jeopardy.”

 Since Full Tilt closed down, Bloch has only played the WSOP each summer and his own blog shows just how varied his life has been, describing himself over the years as ‘Poker Player, MIT Blackjack Team, Lawyer, Engineer, Consultant, Programmer, Extrepreneur, Genealogist’, making him unique among poker pros.

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