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Andrew Robl: Profile of a “Holla Balla”

Andrew Robl: Profile of a “Holla Balla”

Andrew Robl poker
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Andrew Robl is a 31-year-old poker pro who has experienced considerable success both online under his moniker, “good2cu” and on the live felt. The young internet phenom has made a successful migration from online to live play and continues to make a name for himself in the poker world.

We’ll take a look at Robl’s early life, his entry into poker, transition into live poker, tournament and cash game success, a handful of entertaining hands (including a crazy PLO one with Patrick Antonius), and his current altruistic endeavors. 

Andrew Robl: The beginning

Robl hails from Okemos, Michigan. As a teenager, he enjoyed gaming, particularly computer strategy games such as WarCraft and Halo. Robl began playing poker at the tender age of 17 after watching the World Series of Poker with his father. He started playing in low-stakes cash games with his friends, and when Robl turned 18, he moved to online poker.

A voracious reader, Robl got his hands on every poker book he could find. After seeing his game improve quickly, he used a fake ID to play low- to mid-stakes limit Hold’em at local casinos. During this time, Robl found TwoPlusTwo forums where he conversed and strategized with other Internet players. Most importantly he would start talking strategy with Tom Dwan and Phil Galfond.

By the time he reached age 19, Robl was regularly playing in online tournaments. Finally he moved into cash games where he also found tremendous success. By the time Robl was 21, he had evolved into playing high-stakes games and had become a self-made millionaire. Consequently he moved to Las Vegas, Nevada, to pursue his poker career.

Since Black Friday, Robl has spent more time in cash games, many of them of the high roller and super high roller type in Las Vegas and Macau. In fact, he is such a fixture in Macau that when Wei Sen “Paul” Phua and his 22-year-old son were arrested for the Caesars Palace illegal betting debacle, both Robl and Phil Ivey helped post Phua’s $2.5 million bond.

Andrew Robl in the media

Andrew Robl’s carefree spending, wins and losses of massive amounts of money, sexual exploits, and wild behavior were quite well-known, and he was the subject of the book Ship It Holla Ballas (2014). Written by former poker pros Jonathan Grotenstein and Storms Reback, this book details the “degenerate lifestyles” of several young rising online poker stars of the mid-2000s including Robl. In fact, Robl was so central to this book that some claim it could actually be his authorized biography.

Robl is also the subject of an online poker documentary, From Busto to Robusto.

Robl has appeared on several television programs including Poker After Dark and High Stakes Poker, in addition to his televised WSOP and NBC’s Heads-Up Championship appearances. Here, Robl battles—and defeats—David Benyamine in the 2011 Heads-Up quarterfinals.

Live tournaments

Despite focusing primarily on cash games, Robl has experienced success in live tournaments. In 2010, Robl was runner up to Antonio Esfandiari in the $10,000 World Poker Tour (WPT) Doyle Brunson Five Diamond World Poker Classic at the Bellagio in Las Vegas. His prize was just shy of $550,000.

In 2012, Robl finished second in the WPT World Championship in Las Vegas to Tom Marchese and won a respectable $822,375. Take a look at this unlucky—or lucky for Marchese—hand.

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Andrew Robl finally emerged victorious in the 2013 Aussie Millions $100,000 Challenge and pocketed a hefty $1,055,699—his best live cash.

Robl has also done quite well as of late at ARIA Super High Roller and High Roller events, having won or placed second in several events in 2015 and 2017. Most recently, he finished 8th in the 2017 WSOP $111,111 High Roller for One Drop, the event won by Doug Polk. Robl earned nearly $388,000 for his efforts.

Currently, Robl’s current live tournament winnings are $5.25 million.

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Andrew Robl in action

Here are five diverse hands showcasing Robl’s skill, or lack thereof, as well as his, shall we say, sometimes cocky attitude.

1. Two young poker prodigies

Here, Robl and Tom Dwan go head-to-head, and Robl gets lucky, despite his cockiness.

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2. Tony G. gives the slow-playing Robl a piece of his highly opinionated mind

Robl is taken down a notch by Tony G. in these two PokerStars Big Game hands: one versus Tony G. and the other against Daniel Negreanu.

3. A bad read

In this episode of High Stakes Poker, Robl makes a poor decision versus Patrick Antonius.

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4. Redemption

In this crazy Pot-Limit Omaha hand, Robl is vindicated from his previous misread of Antonius. Talk about luck.

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5. A truly sick bad beat

Every poker player—even those who are wildly successful—has encountered a bad beat. Check out this brutal hand versus Toby Lewis at the PartyPoker World Open VI.

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Personal life

There is little doubt that Robl has made a name for himself in the poker world. Whereas some people see him as a highly motivated, self-taught, successful poker wiz, others see a somewhat brash former online player turned high-stakes pro who lacks the people skills to play effectively in the live arena. Regardless of his potential shortcomings Andrew Robl has achieved considerable success and will likely continue to do so.

Perhaps aging has brought with it some maturity. Inspired by poker pro Dan “Danny 98765” Smith’s 2016 charity drive that raised more than $1.7 million, Robl—in early 2017—pledged to donate up to $300,000 annually—matching any donations to his chosen charities—up to $25,000 per month.

Today, Robl currently splits his time between Las Vegas and Macau with his girlfriend, Christal Fuentas. For more information,you can follow him on Twitter, Facebook, and his website/blog.

Until next time.

Note: “Our preflop charts are the most efficient and absolute quickest way to improve your poker game. Download them and use them… they work!” – Doug Polk
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About the Author

Natalie Faulk

Natalie Faulk is a Las Vegas-based freelance writer/blogger and the author of several books. She is an avid low-stakes (for now) poker player and huge Vegas Golden Knights fan.

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