Top Pair Home Game Poker Podcast Ep. #365: Our Final Show

By Robbie Strazynski
October 13, 2020

Hey everyone. Bruce and I would like to welcome you to episode #365 of the Top Pair Home Game Poker Podcast. The number 365 is a special one for us, as it means that now you’ll have an episode of our show to listen to every single day of the year. It’s also kind of bittersweet for us, as we’ve decided to wrap up the show and call it a day. You heard right… after 11 years, this will be the final episode of the Top Pair Home Game Poker Podcast. We’re sad, too, but as the late, great Kenny Rogers used to sing “You gotta know when to Hold’em, know when to fold em, know when to walk away…”

Even so, we’re not running anywhere and are determined to go out with a bang, so this show will be a special one. We’re emerging from behind the curtain and Bruce and I are seeing each other on video for the first time. Over the course of this final episode, we’ll be taking a delightful stroll through memory lane. While that cloud of inevitability hangs over this show, we’re choosing to see the sun shine its last few rays before setting for good.

So, Bruce… usually at this point of the show, I’d ask “How Ya Runnin?” and then you’d ask me the same question… but for the first time I can recall, NEITHER of us has actually played any poker since our last episode… perhaps that’s a nice little segue into beginning our stroll down memory lane one last time, and sharing with you all some of our fondest memories & acknowledging all those who have helped make this journey possible.

Time Stamps

 2:25 Bruce’s tribute to Eric Nelson, who was co-host for the first five years and 211 episodes (weekly). Recounting how the show started + what our early recording set up was  October 10, 2009.
 9:56 Robbie joined in June 2014. What was originally a commitment to do six episodes turned onto a partnership for over six years. It was my first experience doing audio media, but I quickly fell in love with it. Doing this show immediately became a labor of love… also sort of became “the proving grounds” for my other/future audio/video media work (with Red Chip Poker, CardsChat, the Orbit…)
 14:00 We introduced sponsors occasionally and wanted to thank them for their support to help keep the show going. Doing the show was never about the money, but it was nice to be able to get that extra specific shout out to J Design Cards and Red Chip Poker. Of course the Poker Notes Live app).
 15:42 Thanks for our sound engineer Jeff Eberhard. Thanks to Chelsi for always being upbeat & willing to laugh with us – even though she isn’t really a poker player, or even a live participant.
 20:07 We moved around a bit; became a part of the PokerNews podcast family for a little over two years: episodes 297-346. Thanks to Sarah Herring.

We set out on our own from ep. 347 back in January (seems like ages ago, but “only” less than a year) as part of the newly formed Cardplayer Lifestyle Podcast family.

 22:23 Thanks to our sister shows, Rec Poker and Bernard Lee Poker show. Those will continue.
 24:14 Thanks to George Chao and Ben Ludlow for their Table Talk and One Outer segments. Shout out to BBO Poker Tables.
 26:09 Pandemic kind of threw us into unchartered territory – no live poker for Bruce, only occasionally for Robbie. Lots of online poker home game talk – fresh content that quickly got stale.
 29:06 Big thanks to Jan Fisher and Linda Johnson for opening their rolodex and providing introductions to Top Pair for our early guests.
 31:25 Favorite guest interviews: Eli Elezra, Daniel Negreanu, Allen Kessler, Andrew Neeme, Brad Owen, Jason Somerville, Norman Chad, Lon McEachern, Chris Moneymaker, John Hesp, Scott Blumstien, Lupe Soto, Phil Galfond, Barry Greenstein, Norm Macdonald.
 34:25 Memorable interviews: TJ Cloutier, Mike Sexton, and Daniel Negreanu’s multiple “hot takes”.
 41:04 The heart and soul of the show: home game poker talk, having home game hosts on… all the members of Robbie’s Dad’s home game (Episode #235, in May 2015)… hearing “ah, that line is going to make the podcast, right?”
 44:40 Favorite non-interview Show – April Fools Episode (Episode #130, on April 1, 2012).
 45:59 Thanks to our listeners for all the engagement over the years via social media and email – you can still reach out to us and say hi as those accounts will remain active.
 47:26 Favorite feedback: the folks and loyal listeners who’ve gone back and listened to every single show starting from Episode #1.
 49:05 Favorite three One Outer segments.
 52:58 Favorite Gutterball-ism.
 54:18 Bruce getting to play in home games with our listeners and interviewees.
 55:56 One regret: Bruce and Robbie never got to actually see each other in person and play some home game poker together, but this will hopefully happen some day in Las Vegas.

It’s been a very enjoyable journey, talking about a passion of ours, interviewing top flight poker luminaries, and interacting with home game players & hosts. When Top Pair first started out Eric was sure we’d run out of things to talk about after about 6 months or 25 shows. Maybe we did & we’ve just regurgitated things over & over since then but I think not. Very sad to say goodbye to this project, it’s like losing an old friend but as Robbie stated, it’s good to go out while you’re still relevant rather than stale. If we missed acknowledging & expressing our gratitude to anyone, our apologies, we really do love you! Thanks from the bottom of our hearts for accompanying us on this journey. Stay safe and well.

Poker advice: Enjoy your home game & the people you play with. Win or lose it’ll be pleasurable and well worth your while.

Personal advice: Don’t drink your bath water…



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Written By.

Robbie Strazynski

Robbie founded Cardplayerlifestyle.com in 2009. A veteran member of the poker media corps, in addition to writing and video presenting, Robbie has hosted multiple poker podcasts over the years, including Top Pair, the Red Chip Poker Podcast, The Orbit, and the CardsChat Podcast. In 2019, Robbie translated the autobiography of Poker Hall of Famer Eli […]

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