Andreas “Rayo” Kniep provided the Red Chip Poker community with a sweat in this year’s WSOP Main Event, running deep into Day 5 and a 173rd place finish. Rayo, a student of RCP coach Luke Haward, has been playing poker for less than two years. His introduction to poker came when his marathon-running hobby was interrupted by a hip injury. Rayo reveals how that starting point eventually saw him at the TV table in the Rio.

Guest: Andreas Rayo Kniep



“I’m a very goal-driven guy and I set the goal to play the Main Event.”


“I just went out there to my local casino and played $50 tournaments, then $80 tournaments… I realized that the more money you spend on tournaments correlates with how good the players are. So then I set myself these goals. I have to be able to play $600 tournaments, I have to be able to play $1000 tournaments, $3000 tournaments to see how it is to play a $10,000 tournament. And that’s what I did.”


“I definitely have a feeling on the table pretty quickly, wherever I sit down, if I’m able to compete on this table. If I feel I’m able to compete I play somewhat loose, and if I feel I am outmatched I play very tight.”


“I recommend this to everybody. I take notes of all the hands where I was not sure if I made good decisions, and then look at them later.”


“My coach is Luke Haward, he’s one of your guys… I realized after some time my strategy of learning from books, playing tournaments, and discussing hands with friends was great, but I wanted someone closer to ‘the truth’ who I could bombard with questions. And I realized I was ready for coaching.”



“Without a doubt this [the WSOP ME] was the greatest poker experience of my life by far… Particularly on the later days, all the spectators, the journalists, the television, the famous people, this is like… unreal.”



“It’s such a marathon that in the end patience and discipline will win. It’s not easy to keep patience and discipline in a five-plus day event.”


“I think it’s really important to take time off from the poker table so you can play your A-game when you’re at the poker table. I realized on Day 5 of the Main Event I was not playing my best poker… The reason is I didn’t get time to rest my brain.”



“Don’t bluff bigger stacks… You could be out of the tournament, but they don’t risk their tournament life. And don’t bluff out of position.”