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Poker Stories Podcast With Dylan Linde

by Card Player News Team |  Published: Jan 29, 2020


Poker Stories is a long-form audio podcast series that features casual interviews with some of the game’s best players and personalities. Each episode highlights a well-known member of the poker world and dives deep into their favorite tales both on and off the felt.

To listen, visit or download it directly to your device from any number of mobile apps, such as Apple Podcasts, Stitcher, Google Play, or Spotify. Catch up on past episodes featuring notables such as Doyle Brunson, Daniel Negreanu, Justin Bonomo, Nick Schulman, Barry Greenstein, Michael Mizrachi, Bryn Kenney, Mike Sexton, Brian Rast, Chris Moneymaker, Maria Ho, Joe Cada, Freddy Deeb, and many more.

Born: Coeur d’Alene, Idaho
Live Tournament Earnings: $4.1 Million

Top Five Live Tournament Scores

Dec. 2018 WPT Five Diamond World Poker Classic 1st Place $1,631,468
Oct. 2016 WSOP Circuit Main Event 1st Place $348,269
June 2019 CPPT Venetian DeepStack Main Event 4th Place $141,278
Jan. 2015 EPT PokerStars Caribbean Adventure 8th Place $140,900
June 2018WSOP $1,500 NLHE 5th Place $117,894

Dylan Linde didn’t find poker until he was 23, instead focusing on competitive video games and Magic: The Gathering during his youth. The Coeur D’Alene, Idaho-native began taking poker more seriously after seeing the wins put up by his friend and fellow poker pro Kevin MacPhee.

Linde has become a consistent force on the tournament circuit in the years since, having won more than $4.1 million live to go along with another $6 million won online. Last December, Linde earned the biggest score of his career, banking $1.63 million for taking down the WPT Five Diamond World Poker Classic at Bellagio. He also owns a WSOP Circuit ring, having won the Chicago main event in 2016 for another $350,000.

When he’s not playing, Linde provides content for training site Run It Once. He also recently wrote a poker book, available now from D&B Publishing, called Mastering Mixed Games: Winning Strategies For Draw, Stud, And Flop Games.

Highlights from this interview include an amazing seat draw in his first WPT event, a rude gift from Mike Matusow, all sorts of nerdery, cruising the lake on The Dylan, going to college at 16 and staying there for seven years, being a Street Fighter, high-stakes video games, unique short-stack strategies, coming up in the game with Kevin MacPhee, teaching Stephen Chidwick how to be an adult, using solvers to find exploitative spots, the barrier to entry in mixed games, getting Phil Hellmuth to endorse his book, escaping arson charges in Canada, 30 minutes of tears at the PCA, and the $1.6 million score that allowed him to play on his own.

The Transcript Highlights

On His First Time Playing A World Poker Tour Event

Dylan Linde: I have a great copy of [Mike Matusow’s] book, from my first WPT. It was the very first WPT I ever played, and I was sat between Phil [Hellmuth] and Mike. It was the L.A. Poker Classic, and obviously I had watched a lot of [those guys] on TV, but I didn’t know what I was in for.

And I ended up busting Mike by the end of the day. He gives me a signed copy of his book, and it says, “Go fuck yourself!” [signed] Mike Matusow. So then I had to read it, of course.

Julio Rodriguez: And what did you think of it?

DL: It was very honest. I was shocked, really. I mean, to lay yourself out like that… it’s impressive, I think.

JR: They don’t build poker players like that anymore… You don’t see many poker origins stories like that from the younger crowd of players.

DL: No. And if you do have that kind of story, you aren’t going to talk about it.

On Firing Five Bullets In The $10,000 WPT Event He Won For $1.63 Million

JR: What is your mindset after firing four bullets in a $10,000, and how do you convince yourself to keep firing. Because, for those that don’t know, you were into that tournament at Bellagio for $50,000. I would think that after a couple bullets, I wouldn’t be in the right mental state to keep playing.

DL: After bullet no. 3, where I just savagely bluffed it off, instantly. I mean, I think I played for just 30 minutes and then barreled it off. I texted Elio Fox, and asked him if I should re-enter again. He asked me if I was out of my mind.

So, then I went and got some money from him, and entered.

JR: What a good friend to say that you are out of your mind and still [give you the money].

DL: No, he was asking me if I was out of my mind for considering not re-entering!

JR: (laughing) Here I am thinking Elio was the voice of reason.

DL: No! (laughing) Well, I guess he was the voice of reason, saying, ‘What do you hate money? Of course, you are going to re-enter this tournament, it’s incredible.’ So, I got the money from him, entered again.

When I busted the fourth time, I only had like $9,800, and it was $10,400. But I didn’t want to go and borrow money from somebody, so I actually went to the ATM and paid the ridiculous $15 fee to withdraw the rest. And then I just kind of slunk over to the [cage] to register for a fifth time.

On The Most Pain He’s Ever Felt In Poker

DL: The PCA final table.

JR: That’s right, what did you finish?

DL: Eighth. It was a huge flip against Kevin Schulz, for probably 40 percent of the chips eight-handed. So, that was… a rough one.

JR: It didn’t go your way. How do you get over that one?

DL: I did it with 30 minutes of crying in the hallway by myself.

Yeah. It was rough. Before that point in time, I had accumulated about $5 million in cashes online without ever final tabling a tournament that had a [six-figure] first-place prize.

JR: That’s called grinding.

DL: Super grinding. I was friends with a lot of wildly successful poker players, and I kind of felt cursed. My head space was not healthy then, either. Things were always really good, or really bad.

JR: Let’s see. That was for $141,000.

DL: Yeah, that was my biggest and worst score. ♠

You can check out the entirety of the interview in the audio player at the top of the page or download it directly to your device to play on the go from Apple Podcasts, Stitcher, Google Play, Spotify, or your favorite podcast app.

Catch up on past episodes featuring notables such as Doyle Brunson, Daniel Negreanu, Bryn Kenney, Justin Bonomo, Nick Schulman, Barry Greenstein, Michael Mizrachi, Mike Sexton, Brian Rast, Freddy Deeb, Joe Cada, Layne Flack, Chris Moneymaker, Maria Ho and many more. If you like what you hear, be sure to subscribe to get the latest episodes automatically when they are released.