Mixed games crusher Randy Ohel fed up with poker industry

Randy Ohel poker
Jon Sofen
Posted on: October 02, 2020 13:23 PDT

Private poker games spreading in Las Vegas poker rooms have Randy Ohel disgusted with the poker industry. And he just might be looking for a new career path.

Ohel is widely considered one of the top mixed cash game players in the world, but he's also had some success in tournaments. In 2012, he won the WSOP $2,500 Limit 2-7 Lowball Triple Draw for $145,247, his first and only bracelet, and also has 11 other final table appearances in World Series of Poker events. Not bad for someone whose claim to fame is destroying the high-stakes cash games.

But despite his love for poker, which he admits he still has, Ohel is contemplating a career change. He's fed up with the private games that are becoming more prevalent in the casinos because he's often blocked from playing.

Private games are typically hosted by a skilled pro who, in essence, rigs the game so that nearly every other opponent at the table is a fish. Pros such as Ohel are blocked from entering these games. Instead, the seats are filled by wealthy businessmen, celebrities, or friends of the host. The purpose of these games is to create a profitable, soft game for the host.

Pros who are able to get in on the private games love them, and pros who aren't able to enter despise them and want casinos to ban them. Aria, one of the top poker rooms in Las Vegas, spreads regular private games, although they aren't technically labeled as "private."

Ohel can't play in private games

Ohel is clearly frustrated with the games because he can't get into them. The hosts of the games would rather a recreational donkey sit down at the table than a crusher like Ohel. So, he's considering a new occupation at age 35.

The poker pro fired off a series of tweets explaining his frustration. He began the tweetstorm with: "This is probably the most important thread, at least to me, that I’ve ever written, and I hope everyone will read it For the first time, I can truly say that I don’t see a future for myself in the industry that I once loved. I still love the game, but poker is no longer a game where you can play any game you want as long as you have the buyin."

Ohel refused to call out a specific casino when asked which card room was preventing him from playing. He simply stated that he is "not aware of any casino anymore where private games are not allowed. I'm going to leave it at that."

Ohel also defended his character and said he's unaware of any issues players have with his demeanor or behavior at the table. So, he argues, he shouldn't be prohibited from playing in any game, so long as he has the buy-in to enter.

The mixed games crusher continued, saying his purpose for playing poker is to feed his family and help grow the game. But he also states that he's frustrated with the industry allowing private games in casinos. As a result, he's now contemplating a move to a different occupation.

"Where do I go from here? I have no idea. If anyone has an idea for a 35 y/o man who’s smart and has a fairly wide breadth of knowledge with zero formal education, I’m all ears," Ohel wrote.

Featured image source: Flickr