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When I Was A Donk – Barry Woods

by Julio Rodriguez |  Published: Mar 28, 2018


Barry WoodsIn this series, Card Player asks top pros to rewind back to their humble beginnings and provide insights regarding the mistakes, leaks, and deficiencies that they had to overcome in order to improve their games.

Barry Woods is a Los Angeles businessman who frequents the high-stakes cash games against some of the best in the world. Woods is often seen playing on the web-streamed Live at the Bike! and most recently appeared on Poker After Dark.

Woods has also been successful in the tournament arena. In October of last year, he won the $25,000 high roller event at Aria for $256,500. In March of 2016, he took third in the $1,500 World Series of Poker Circuit main event at the Bicycle Casino for $103,080, finishing behind Jamie Gold and eventual winner Antonio Esfandiari.

Here, Woods talks about his problem of playing too many hands.

“At the beginning of my poker career, I played a lot of hands. I mean, I didn’t go the card room to fold, that’s for sure. My Voluntarily Put Money In Pot (VPIP) was 200 percent, I was also calling in the game next to me.”

“I was an action seeker. At the beginning, I was playing maybe once a week, at best. Usually the large game they had at Live at the Bike!. And, in order to get some action… if you are only going to be there for five hours, you don’t just want to play two hands.”

“You know, I say that, but I bet that if I had played three or four times a week, I still would have played all of those hands. You can’t win if you’re not in the hand, basically. I think it’s in my nature to be aggressive and get involved. I’ve been able to rein it in over the years, but I still see more than my fair share of flops.”

“The difference between then and now is that I’m taking more into account than just my own two little cards. Back then I would play a lot of hands and get myself into trouble, but now I’m capable of folding every once in a while (laughing).”

“Based on a recommendation from Jamie Glazier when I was in Australia, I was using a rubber band on my wrist to kind of remind me not to get too crazy at the table. You know, I could look down at it, and realize that I didn’t need to play eight hands in a row. But after six months of that, I didn’t need it any more. Now I can just kind of tell when I’m starting to get out of line and make the correction.” ♠