Stan’s Lists – Steve Dannenmann’s Advice

[SS] “Although he wasn’t a professional poker player, Steve Dannenmann put together an excellent crib sheet for playing in the 2005 WSOP Main Event, where he finished second to Joe Hachem”, Stan the Stat remarked. “He scrawled some notes1 on a sheet of paper, which he kept in his pocket, reread every couple hours, and consulted as necessary. The front began with:

  1. Have fun
  2. Nothing to lose
  3. Play tight
  4. Don’t flat call a re-raise

And the back ended with, “Not calling a raise is only a small mistake”.2

[RR] “I remember him reading those notes to the table as he was working through a tough decision, and that last nugget helped him correctly fold his Ace-Ten to Hachem’s Ace-Jack.”

[SS] “It worked out pretty well for him, so he later expanded the list and laminated it:”3

  1. Have fun; you have nothing to lose.
  2. Observe other players.
  3. Patience: play tight.
  4. Play hands that make money.
  5. Slow your betting; think about it.
  6. You don’t win the tournament at the first level.
  7. If they commit 1/2 their stack, they are all in.
  8. Avoid coin flips with the big stack.
  9. Don’t raise the reraiser unless a big hand.
  10. Don’t move all in after the flop unless you have the nuts with opponent’s draws.4
  11. Not calling a raise is only a small mistake.

[RR] “Great stuff! I don’t think I ever read his entire original list (they only showed it briefly on camera), but this updated list is definitely a keeper.”


  1. Dannenmann had been reading Dan Harrington’s Harrington on Hold ’em, Volume II: The Endgame just before the Main Event.
  2. You can watch him read most of those items in the ESPN broadcast.
  3. The updated version appeared in All In magazine.
  4. The list actually says, “unless you have nuts w/opp draws”, so I hope this is the correct interpretation.

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