Jason Mo Brings the Heat on Poker Life Podcast

On Wednesday, October 12th, professional poker player and investor Jason Mo made his seventh headline guest appearance on the Poker Life Podcast hosted by Joey Ingram.

The 150-minute program featured in-depth discussion on roughly a dozen high profile topics that are related to current events in the poker industry, along with a generous mix of J-Mo’s unique, raw insight that has made him a fan favorite of the show for nearly two years.

All the anticipated topics — Alex Dreyfus, the Global Poker League, Jaime Staples, PokerStars, the Doug Polk vs. Ben Tollerene dispute, live streaming, this weekend’s One Drop Extravaganza, the current state of poker, Virtual Private Networks (VPNs), tournament markup, collusion and Phil Galfond’s upcoming RoW site — received a good deal of airtime.

And of course the podcast also had its fair share of surprises… including Jason’s thoughts on “morbidly obese” individuals, “xenophobic, racist” Japanese nightclub patrons, diluted heroin and the Thailand Sniffles.

Mo’s undeniable qualifications as an informed member of the high stakes poker community, combined with his continued willingness to share his knowledge (however critical it may be) with the public reflects a spirit of open communication that is rapidly attracting thousands of engaged fans worldwide to the game of poker. His views — because they can be taken for granted as heartfelt — create a rare dynamic in the poker world by connecting with viewers in ways that result in both praise and consternation.

For example, if you’re in love with the GPL, Alex Dreyfus, the sportification of poker concept, undeclared 20% APR vig-deals for The Cube, or the League’s new official sponsor, then Jason Mo’s comments are probably going to suck for you. “That’s no big deal,” you might think to yourself — but then how about “Fat Boy Staples” fans who will again be unhappy with personal attacks that come off as an unfair shake towards the live streaming star when stacked up against his contributions to the game and established base of followers?

Or the late night pop-in that Upswing Poker featured pro Doug Polk typed into the YouTube comments section that directly contradicts Mo’s statements?


Mo’s casual misrepresentation of who said what is ironically similar to situations that have landed Amaya-Stars Director of Poker Communications Lee Jones in hot water; personally-driven innuendos that are more akin to a Saturday Night Live dick-in-a-box skit than accurately relaying facts.

But for anyone involved in the poker community who buys into Doug Polk’s mantra of growing poker, Jason’s unbridled gut-checks also force us to take a deeper, more conscious look into our own efforts and the challenges we face in achieving this goal. Mo strikes paydirt on a number of occasions in his most recent conversation with Ingram — whether that’s pointing out how much the Global Poker League has missed the mark or begrudgingly repeating an obvious solution to Staking Marketplace woes… enabling investors to openly “short” deals that are posted on a growing number of websites.

The following is a TIMESTAMP breakdown of Wednesday’s Poker Life Podcast and includes direct quotes from the 2015 APPT Seoul Main Event champion.

Jason Mo TIMESTAMPS — October 12, 2016

YouTube Ratings: 6,543 Views — 82 Likes, 21 Dislikes

(0:00) Intro & Jason’s current activities
(6:00) Global Poker League
Alex Dreyfus’ delayed payments to Fedor Holz & Hendrik Latz

“I feel like the German guys were way too nice about what had happened. I think it’s just like within their personality to do dealings that way? If something like that happened to me I would have flipped out immediately.”

(15:10) GPL entering Chinese market?

“That all seems like a lie, or doesn’t make any sense to me because first of all, the broadcast is completely in English. They even hired two or three people to do every single broadcast, right? Even if they translate it all in Chinese, I doubt that it would be a popular stream for like a bunch of people relatively unknown within the Chinese poker community. Playing each other or playing with each other… and then like two white people commenting and someone dubbing it in Chinese. That does not sound like an appealing stream if you’re living in China and wanted to follow poker.”

(20:10) #EntrepreneurLife burn rates
GPL players betting on themselves to combat boredom

“I won’t name any names, but I’ve had let’s say of handful of people in the GPL that are playing like matches, or playing 6-max matches, that have hit me up saying like, ‘Man, like I really don’t want to play this.’ Like, ‘It’s going to be so boring. I can’t take this seriously. Can I bet on myself?’ So they want to with me and I know they’re not supposed to which is why I’m not naming any names. Apparently within their contract or something, they’re not allowed to gamble on the actual GPL matches.”

(25:40) Jason shoots on Jaime Staples

“I have very little respect for Jimmy Staples, or Jaime Staples, or whatever his name is ’cause like. Just in general. He was actually… Doug [Polk] told me he was talking a little bit of shit about me.”

Joey Ingram: “Whoa. Whoa. Wait. Go ahead.”
Jason Mo: “I probably shouldn’t.”
Joey Ingram: “He told me the same thing by the way, so go ahead. About myself, so…”

Jason Mo: “Oh he was talking shit about you… this kid’s talking shit about us? Are you kidding? Have you seen this kid? So yeah… so like apparently… well Doug’s been all up in the streaming-Twitch streets? And apparently like all the Twitch people just like hang out together, and like video chat each other, are just all buddies now. So I think like Doug’s got a new crew. He’s not even part of the Evil Empire anymore, he’s part of the Staples Empire, or the Somerville Empire or whatever. But they all hang out now.

Doug Polk with Jaime Staples -- TwitchCon 2016

Doug Polk with Jaime Staples — TwitchCon 2016

But he said something about like Jaime Staples is talking about like how he’s going to be ‘richer than me’ in this year, or something like that? Like he brings it up all the time and like, ‘Eh, I’m going to be richer than J-Mo!’ or something like that? Like who does that? First of all, let’s clarify… Jaime if you’re watching, you’re not. So like let’s just settle it like here right now. You’re not. You probably won’t be for like the next ten years given your pace.”

(30:10) Jason shoots on TwoPlusTwo


(33:55) Jason returns to Jaime Staples

“I got off on like a tangent here. We were talking about Fat Boy Staples talking shit about me.”

(33:55) “Every time I’ve encountered someone that’s been like not just fat, but morbidly obese to a point where it inhibits their ability to like actually do stuff, especially physically? They’ve usually just been like not a successful person, you know? Like they don’t have much going on for them in their life and that’s why like they sort of get that way.” “It sounds bad, but I used to have a rule when I staked a bunch of people that I just wouldn’t stake people that are morbidly obese. I just like, I didn’t believe in them.”

(43:50) 2016 One Drop Extravaganza — Jason likes his horses
(48:15) John Beauprez
(49:20) Jerry Yang
(51:00) Successful tournament players overvalue themselves
(53:10) Huge variance & small sample sizes of short-handed MTT play
(54:35) Jeff Gross / StakeKings

“One thing [Jeff Gross] said was he doesn’t like the situation where people mark themselves up in order to like make a profit from the investors because the investors are sort of delusional or uninformed as to who’s actually winning, obviously. So instead of having like a Bidding System, they’re going to replace it with like where people just set the price and you have to buy the at that price. Which I think is just like a horrible, horrible idea. Like it defeats the purpose of… it makes way more sense to have a Bidding System even though it favors the Seller because then like more often than not, it simulates a real market economy.

Where if people value your services for that, they bid you up. If they don’t value you, they’ll buy you at a low amount and then you just have to take whatever price that the market dictates. Which is sort of how I think the Poker Marketplace should work is that like the community sort of sets the price based on who’s willing to buy at certain rates and then who’s willing to possibly sell at those rates. So it works like any other financial market. I didn’t really listen that long, but I feel like that change is extremely detrimental to the site itself or the idea of a free market economy of Buying and Selling. Because obviously you can just charge whatever you want and they have to buy at that amount, but I just think like the auction style is way better.”

(1:01:20) “The one issue that I have is that it doesn’t work exactly like a market because there’s only one Seller and then there’s multiple Buyer’s, right? So the Seller that sells his own action is always going to have the advantage whereas if someone’s playing a tournament and you think that they’re doing way worse in a tournament than they’re selling for, there should be some way to undercut their margins and for an outsider person — let’s say me or someone else — to make money on that.”


(1:07:10) Strict Macau temporary stay guidelines for Chinese
(1:11:20) Phil Galfond’s Run It Once Poker site coming Q1-2017
(1:16:30) PokerStars is crushing live events despite lower quality
(1:18:50) Dope fiends, heroin & drug dealers from HBO’s The Wire
(1:20:50) PokerStars high-volume player strike from January 2016
(1:22:40) Regulated online poker, Bovada/Ignition and the Kahnawake Gaming Commission
(1:25:00) Virtual Private Networks and playing online poker in U.S. using VPNs
(1:33:20) The risk of collusion in high roller tournaments
(1:39:30) Jason Mo’s love life
(1:41:00) Tour of Jason’s home in Nevada


(1:42:40) Mo’s secret personal projects
(1:43:20) Martin Shkreli PhD in Biochemistry?
(1:44:20) Streamhouse Charity & Michael Phelps Foundation
(1:46:15) Jaime Staples $100k/year from PokerStars?
(1:48:00) Jason Mo too cynical or just realistic?
(1:58:50) J-Mo getting into real estate?
(2:00:20) Upcoming Jason Mo blog on OnePokerLife.com?
(2:02:20) Kinky clubs in Japan that exclude the White Man
(2:05:20) Papi’s personal research into Japanese prawn
(2:10:30) Doug Polk vs. Ben Tollerene dispute

“I’m going to be a little biased because I’m better friends with Doug than Ben, even though like me and Ben talk on occasion. I have really nothing against him other than like the things that Doug has told me. I feel like it could have been handled a little bit better by both parties. I definitely think Ben is in the wrong with the whole coaching thing. Like he definitely accepted a lot of coaching from Doug for heads-up No Limit.”

“It’s not like it was a coaching deal where they were both beginners. Like Ben is a legit, straight-up one of the best No Limit players regardless of how good he is at PLO. So I imagine a lot of the information that was shared was more valuable than it seems in the thread to like the naked eye. Because the player pool at these stakes is very small. You’re only playing like a certain number of people and the stakes are very big. So to get coaching from maybe the best guy at the time, the guy who’s beating like everyone at his stake means he’s going to get a lot of information that would be like directly applicable to what the game was at the time.

So I don’t think it was just like, ‘Oh, he did a little bit of coaching. They talked about some stuff.’ Like, there some chance that — let’s say Doug gave him two hours of coaching or four hours of coaching — there’s some chance that the coaching was worth like $100,000 to Ben. Or $200,000 to Ben given that you only need to increase your winrate a little at these high stakes to make the coaching worth it. Obviously it was handled poorly by Ben on that aspect and he admits it, but I don’t think people really understand the magnitude of the value of information. Especially at that time or especially at that level.”

(2:14:20) “In Doug’s defense you’ve got to think about like at the time. Ben was The Man back then, right? I mean, he still is but I think that year he won like $3 million playing PLO on Full Tilt or something like that? He was The Guy. He was like crushing everyone. He was probably like the best poker player in the world if not one of the best. And Doug back then… I mean he was good but I don’t think a lot of people considered him… this was like when Doug was finally hitting his stride and being like close to the best. You know? Because there was a time when Doug was down. He was mostly playing $2/$4 heads-up and $3/$6 heads-up. He would sometimes sell action to play $25/$50 or $50/$100 HU.”

(2:16:05) “A lot of the responses that kind of annoyed me was like, ‘Aw, this story is just bullshit. You’re just doing this for exposure. You’re just doing this to like cause a stir and get your name out there.’ I mean like maybe at the time that’s what it looks like, but I’ve had private conversations with Doug about this and I don’t think I’ve ever seen him more upset about like anything that has ever happened to him within his poker career.”

(2:19:30) The Thailand Sniffles
(2:24:00) Shaun Deeb vs. David Viffer


(2:29:10) Joey Ingram mountain backdrop
(2:32:00) Outro & GTO Life Podcast

(Note: Serious about improving your tournament skills? Check out the Lab, a poker training course developed by Doug Polk & Ryan Fee! Our subscribers keep crushing tournaments and you can too!)

Home > Jason Mo Brings the Heat on Poker Life Podcast
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About the Author
David Huber

David Huber

David Huber (known as "dhubermex" online) has been involved in the poker industry for more than a decade. He currently assists several poker and gaming entities as a researcher, writer, and consultant. Former Editor-in-Chief & Head Moderator of online tournament rankings site PocketFives (2006-2011).

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