Under The Gun: Inside the mind of Andy Stacks

Craig Tapscott
Published by:
Posted on: January 20, 2024 2:30 pm EST

Andy Stacks started playing poker during the Moneymaker poker boom. Over the next 10 years he made a slow and steady rise to eventually play in the highest stakes cash games, live and online.

For the last decade, Stacks has been a regular fixture on the popular Los Angeles cash game livestreams Live at the Bike and Hustler Casino Live. Over the last few years his sense of humor has emerged making Stacks a fan favorite in the streams. His recent stint on the hit show Game of Gold only solidified his reputation as a gentleman and ferocious competitor.

Stacks has been an ambassador for GGPuke, the Chinese skin for GGPOKER, for the last three years. Stacks recently talked us through an interesting hand vs. Martin Kabrhel for our First-Hand Hands.

What’s one bit of essential prep you do before a big tournament or cash game session?

“Poker is a mental game. I think the mental is always connected to the physical. So, I usually start my day by doing something physical to get the blood pumping with weights and cardio for an hour in the gym. That’s very beneficial for me to prepare for my time at the tables later in the day.”

What piece of strategy advice did you get when you first started playing that you wish you had ignored?

“Here’s one that I didn’t like: many people always said, ‘Well you should have left the table when you were ahead and profitable.’ To me that’s shortsighted thinking and was the worst advice I could have gotten.

It should be the opposite. You should maximize your sessions when you’re winning. They should’ve told me to quit when I was losing, not quit when I’m winning!”

What’s the dumbest thing you’ve seen or done at the poker table?

“The dumbest thing is probably just getting blackout drunk too many times. I got so drunk to the point where I’m not even playing poker, I’m just literally laughing with my opponent, waving my cards in the air and throwing chips in the pot. And yeah, never a good outcome.”

What’s your most memorable hand?

“One recent hand comes to mind, mainly because everybody keeps reminding me about it. It was when I got it all-in with the ace-high flush vs. Mariano’s straight flush [see below].

And now everywhere I go, that’s the hand people always point out: “Hey, you’re the guy that had the nut flush and lost a huge pot.” Especially the people who don’t play poker and they see the huge dollar amount that I lost. That wasn’t very much fun!”

Andy Stacks plays Mariano on the Hustler Casino Live stream
Talk about a cooler…

What’s your single best piece of advice for poker players?

“Life balance, for sure. I think too many players get caught up in poker 24/7. If you don’t have a life balance, you’re going to burn out. And that’s what I’m feeling a little right now; it’s just a little bit of burnout mentally. I recommend that you spend time with your friends, your family, and your girlfriend or boyfriend. Find other hobbies. Because if you burn out, you won’t enjoy the game as much.”

If you owned a poker room, who’s the first player you’d want to sign as an ambassador and why?

“Daniel Negreanu is at the top of my list. I had the opportunity to get to know him a little bit during the Game of Gold filming. But just from what I’ve seen from Daniel, he would be the best ambassador for my poker room.”

Images courtesy of the WPT/Hustler Casino Live