Dutch Boyd Goes on Poker Tilt with His New Book

Posted by Ellis Shuman, June 12, 2014

poker tilt by dutch boydAs I write these words, Dutch Boyd is playing the 2014 World Series of Poker. He has cashed in two out of six tournaments so far, most recently in Event #19 $1,500 No Limit Hold'em, when he finished 56th for $7,152. Boyd has two WSOP bracelets. He won the $2,500 Short Handed No Limit Hold'em in 2006 for a $475,712 prize. In 2010, Boyd won the $2,500 Limit Hold'em/Six Handed event, for a paycheck of $234,065. He has total live earnings of over $2.1 million.

Yet many poker players remember Dutch Boyd for something other than his tournament achievements. Along with his brother, Dutch founded Pokerspot in May 2000, an early player in the online poker industry and the first to offer multi-table online poker tournaments. But the initiative went belly-up, and when Pokerspot couldn't refund its players their $400,000 worth of deposits, it went down in history as being the first online poker scandal.

"I [have] left Pokerspot behind me," Dutch says in his book Poker Tilt (co-written with Laurence Samuels, Pocket Jacks, May 2014). "I wasn’t holding out hope of ever making it right. Some things can’t ever be fixed."

Dutch claims that neither he nor his brother walked away from Pokerspot's collapse with any money. While there are many poker players angry and eager to see Dutch Boyd broke, this book was not written as a means of apology. The writing of Dutch's rollercoaster poker ride perhaps comes as fulfillment of what he told PokerListings back in 2006, after winning his first WSOP bracelet:

"To me, a bracelet means security… because now, if I ever go broke, I can always write a book." And Poker Tilt "is that book," Dutch tells us.

If there is one poker quote for which Russell Aaron "Dutch" Boyd, is best known, it is from a 2003 interview with ESPN. "Poker is a lot like sex. Everyone thinks they’re the best, but most people don’t know what they’re doing.”


poker is like sex

Dutch tells us that he "likes quotes". He has "littered this whole book with them" and they reflect his outlook on the game of poker.


Poker is a drug

"Poker is a drug," Dutch informs us. "Once you taste the ultimate highs our game has to offer, it will never quite satisfy the same way again. Yet I keep coming back every year, chasing the dream again and again."

Speaking of drugs, there is a lot of drug use mentioned, and Dutch doesn't hesitate to name names. At one point, Dutch tells us that he was "holed up in a Binion’s hotel room snorting cocaine for the first time with Layne Flack." And he reveals that friend Brett Jungblut "took down the Omaha Hi-Low championship, along with $187,000, against that world-class field… Completely stoned out of his mind."

Drugs are just one part of the high rolling lifestyle of the gallivanting tournament poker player with supporting roles in Dutch's career. At one point, Dutch gathered some of his talented buddies to collectively create The Crew. Sharing living quarters, most of the team went on to capture WSOP bracelets. The Crew was featured in 2005 by Rolling Stone Magazine as "Poker's Crazy Geniuses".


poker is like a drug

Dutch's story would not be complete without details of his mental illness. At many points he suffered manic episodes, symptoms of a bipolar disorder. Dutch literally went crazy and had to be hospitalized a number of times. On the other hand, when not suffering from the mania, he was able to identify the undiagnosed symptoms in a fellow poker player and helped that person get the medical care he needed. Although Dutch claims not to have had an episode in years, one of the most frequently searched terms online continues to be Dutch Boyd illness.

The book is an easy read, with vivid poker imagery and without any attempts to offer strategy or tips how to succeed in the game. I enjoyed the inherent humor in the story, including mention of the author's early job selling T-shirts in a department store: "I’d look busy folding the dress-shirts, then unfolding them, and re-folding. I got very good at folding… this would serve me well in my poker career."


poker is a drug

Professional poker player Dutch Boyd sums up his outlook on the game as: "Poker was just the launching pad, a way to get from point A to point B. Poker is not the end goal. It’s not the destination. Treating it as such leads to disappointment and ruin. We set goals for ourselves and when we reach them, we move the goalposts."

As for Poker Tilt, Dutch summarizes: "This book is the story of how I got to where I am. It’s the story of hard-fought battles in the green felt jungle."

As a reader, I thank Dutch for telling that story. Now, let's see if he emerges from the 2014 WSOP with his third bracelet.

Previous poker book reviews in this series include Fading Hearts on the River, How to Be a Poker Player, and Alligator Blood.


dutch boyd poker tilt


References: (Purchase the Poker Tilt book) (Dutch Boyd Kickstarter project that funded his book) (The PokerSpot Scandal)



know how to play poker

Further Reading:  

Titan Poker Benefits
Get Amazing Benefits by Signing Up

Poker and the Bible

texas hold'em

Texas Hold'em Poker Guide

poker better than sex

Why Poker Is Better than Sex


Previous articles by Ellis Shuman:

Poker Success of the Poet's Son

Poker and Philosophy: Thinking Your Way to Better Poker

The Wolf of Online Processing

The Greatest Poker Songs of All Time

Dear visitors,

Titan Poker does not accept players from your region.

Please contact our customer service team at support [at] titanpoker [dot] com for more information.

Best regards,

Titan Poker