Top Pair Podcast 312: Interview with Aria Poker Room's Mike Williams
In episode 312 of the Top Pair Home Game Poker Podcast, Bruce Briggs and Robbie Strazynski interview Mike Williams, Director of Poker Operations at Aria Las Vegas. A lifelong poker lover, Mike tells us about his roots in the game, his affinity for home games, and how the Aria Las Vegas is a great venue not just for the high rollers, but also for low rollers and home game enthusiasts. He’s also got some great poker stories from his time working in Biloxi, Mississippi, that we know you’ll love.
Our co-hosts also share some updates and announcements pertaining to the upcoming next few weeks during the WSOP. And of course, there’s a fun One Outer that’ll be sure to make you chuckle.
Show Time Stamps
|2:46–16:15||How Ya Runnin?|
|Bruce: Everyone seems to be away and on vacation; common in the summer… no home games running in Salt Lake City. Teasing a potential appearance at the WSOP?|
|Robbie: A rare occurrence, no home games running in Israel either over the last couple weeks. Nonetheless, plenty of poker updates. About to head to the WSOP for the third straight year, and will be attending Women in Poker Hall of Fame luncheon.|
|8:50||Reminder, Podcast Hangout Night at Treasure Island at 7pm on June 26th.|
|10:20||Beyond great coverage via WSOP live streams, PokerGO also offers plenty of original programming.|
|17:32–59:55||Look Who We’ve Found (Interview with Mike Williams)|
|18:30||Mike first got into poker by dealing home games, also playing in them with his grandparents on Thanksgiving.|
|21:48||Mike’s poker background is mostly as a home game dealer, in Biloxi, Mississippi. Talking about the characters he used to see playing at the tables. He actually LOVES hearing bad beat stories!|
|23:26||Mike officially started working in the poker world after going to dealer school the day he turned 21. Talks about his career as a dealer around Biloxi, traveling the circuit for a few years and working at the WSOP’s feature TV tables.|
|26:25||Discussing the cultural differences between poker in the South vs. poker in Las Vegas, differences between a “locals room” versus a premier room full of tourists as well as professionals.|
|30:50||The story of how Mike, a protégé of Johnny Grooms, got “called up to the big leagues” three years ago, moving to Las Vegas, and beginning to work at the Aria poker room.|
|34:56||Aria’s poker room can be intimidating to recreational poker players and home game enthusiasts, as it’s sometimes thought of as a hub for high rollers and pros. Nonetheless, the room’s staff works hard to ensure there are plenty of games spread for low rollers and home game enthusiasts as well, including a daily $4/$8 mixed game!|
|42:20||What’s Mike’s favorite poker variant to play and why?|
|43:39||An explanation of “High-dugi”|
|45:20||A great story about a chip-stacking competition in Biloxi, featuring a dragon!|
|50:55||Mike still runs a Las Vegas home game, often using it as a vehicle to train new dealers. Explanation of how Aria auditions and trains their dealers.|
|56:23||Upcoming events at the Aria poker room, how to get in touch with Mike on Twitter.|
|1:00:06||One Outer – Drawing dead… FLOOR, table 6!|
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In this Series
- 1 Top Pair Podcast 297: Welcome to PokerNews; Sarah Herring Interview
- 2 Top Pair Podcast 298: Mixed Games - The Rules of... "Scrotum"
- 3 Top Pair Podcast 299: Interview with Bernard Lee
- 4 Top Pair Podcast 300: Sean Chaffin Talks 'True Gambling Stories'
- 5 Top Pair Podcast 301: When a Poker Noob Wins a Bad Beat Jackpot
- 6 Top Pair Podcast 302: Interview with Chris Moneymaker
- 7 Top Pair Podcast 303: Interview w/ New Home Game Player Shannon Mack
- 8 Top Pair Podcast 304: For a Successful Home Game, Just Stay Calm!
- 9 Top Pair Podcast 305: Interview with John Hesp
- 10 Top Pair Podcast 306: Who's At Your Ultimate Fantasy Home Poker Game?
- 11 Top Pair Podcast 307: Interview with Scott Blumstein
- 12 Top Pair Podcast 308: The Ultimate Ladies Home Poker Game
- 13 Top Pair Podcast 309: Home Game Dealing, Shuffling, and Tipping
- 14 Top Pair Podcast 310: Interview With Lupe Soto
- 15 Top Pair Podcast 311: WPT TOC, SHRB, Short Deck, and Bad Beats Aplenty
- 16 Top Pair Podcast 312: Interview with Aria Poker Room's Mike Williams
- 17 Top Pair Podcast 313: Behind the Scenes at the 2018 WSOP Main Event