51 episodes

Podcast on poker, with a focus on the members and friends of The Back Room, the participant-driven poker study forum. Hosted by Chris M., aka Persuadeo and Dean Martin. Visit us at persuadeo.nl

The Poker Zoo Podcast Chris M. aka Persuadeo & Dean Martin

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    • 4.9, 24 Ratings

Podcast on poker, with a focus on the members and friends of The Back Room, the participant-driven poker study forum. Hosted by Chris M., aka Persuadeo and Dean Martin. Visit us at persuadeo.nl

    The Poker Zoo, Ep. 51: Jason Su is Present

    The Poker Zoo, Ep. 51: Jason Su is Present

    Today I speak with mental game proselytizer, new author, Poker Detox advisor, and suspiciously even-keeled guest Jason Su on the pod. While Daniel and Doug swordfight for your clicks, Jason has made a more useful splash in poker 2020 with his book, blog, and appearances all over poker training media. I grill him on the necessity of emotional control, tilt avoidance and the intersection of strategy and mental health, but he remains calm - we even get a funny Mason Malmuth story from him.

    John Penturn's comments on Magritte's Décalcomanie MM, adapted here, echo some of Jason's thoughts on mental game: "This approach in key ways was the meaning. The subject matter is almost incidental." While Jason's love of poker may be central to his life, Jason believes living with full bodily presence is equally central to all successes. This is a lesson the poker community has tacitly accepted, and is evidenced by the fitness and life improvement ethos most of the game's ambassadors espouse (between squabbling and berating each other).

    Jason's book is Poker with Presence: Unlocking the Final 15%.  You can learn more at his website, where you'll find the blog I mention.

    My article on Malmuth/Cardner.

    At one point in the interview, I mention Luka, a TBR member and former student who presently plays on stake at Detox, but I didn't provide much context. Here is his 2020 appearance on the Poker Zoo.

    These were the pieces of wisdom shouted from the poker mountain tops, and soon a divide would form. Analytically oriented players who played primarily online discovered that the old timers had obvious technical deficiencies which could be exploited for large amounts of profit. They’d see a clear strategic mistake and think to themselves: Wow, how can they not understand this? They valued the study of tactics above all else, while the “old school” players would make fun of the internet players who showed no interest in developing a feel for the game and would bluff off their stacks in live games versus players incapable of folding. They’d see this obvious contextual mistake and think to themselves: Wow, how can they not understand this? Despite their differences, both sides wanted the same thing: to win, and win big.

    They’re both right. You can’t win at poker without a firm grasp of range analysis and game theory. You also can’t be the best version of yourself if you disconnect from what is happening inside and around you. You need both – a strong understanding of how the game works, and an equally strong ability to stay a step ahead, sense intentions and recognize when someone will change gears before they know it themselves. That’s the pinnacle of poker.

    -from Poker with Presence

    • 52 min
    The Poker Zoo, Ep. 50: “BFSkinner” Kent

    The Poker Zoo, Ep. 50: “BFSkinner” Kent

    The Zoo returns with TBR member "BFSkinner" Kent, a grinder on WSOP.com and in the Las Vegas live games. While I was focused on hearing about the state of poker in gambling central, we also ended up covering Kent's poker path from Moneymaker to the Covid-19 boom online he's enjoyed. We also get back to talking through some poker hands - the strat segment has been missing from the pod of late.

    Hand 1

    Hand 2

    A few notes for listeners and TBR members:

    We still run our training deepstack game on PPPoker, as well as some SNGs to sharpen tournament instincts. Get in touch through oop.pppclub@gmail.com.

    I'm looking to run the Easy Game Study Group in August. This will be the sixth time I run this three month, exhaustive review of Andrew Seidman's exploitative poker masterpiece. Buy this great poker book and contact me for the prospectus.

    Skinner caught a lot of flack for his initial focus on punishment as reinforcement. To test his theories on birds and other small animals he developed the now-famous Skinner Box: a chamber in which an animal could be isolated and discrete stimuli be applied without external interference. The box included a light, speaker, a food dispenser, and a lever that could be pressed by the occupant. It also had an electrified floor grid through which shocks could be administered.

    In time, his work with birds became successful enough that he proposed to the Navy that they create pigeon-guided missiles during World War II – a one-way trip for the pigeon, obviously. The training program was successful (among other things, the birds became fairly decent ping-pong players), but, as was often the case in his career, Skinner had trouble getting anyone to take him seriously.

    But it was when he took his ideas about behavior and conditioning and applied them to humans that Skinner found most of his success.

    Skinner separated behaviors into two different types:

    * Respondent behavior – Often called Pavlovian behavior, these behaviors are the direct result of a stimulation and are subconscious, like a dog salivating when food is presented.

    * Operant behavior – Behaviors that are not initially induced by any particular stimulus, but which may be reinforced by environmental conditioning over time.

    His idea of operant behaviors allowed for an explanation of more complex human behaviors that had never been explainable under classical models. Skinner came up with the idea of chaining, a condition in which a number of behaviors were combined and reinforced as a set.

    --from Who Was B.F. Skinner?

    • 1 hr 13 min
    The Poker Zoo, Ep. 49: Jerry aka Imperator

    The Poker Zoo, Ep. 49: Jerry aka Imperator

    This week on the Zoo Jerry Monaco, once the popular Imperator on the Red Chip Poker forum, emerges from radio silence. Back in the day on RCP when not only their founders posted but we were joined by Matt Berkey, Christian Soto, and other names in poker, Jerry gave us some of our most thoughtful threads. On today's pod, we go all over the map from Covid to king-five, pharmaceutical culture to poker culture, and plenty of odds and ends in between.

    If we have some knowledge of our own uncertainty about our measurements of our opponents and her ranges; if we have some measurement of our own stupidity (faults, mistakes, leaks, egoism, etc); and if we can use all of this and more in our games to know ourselves and know others; then we should be able to win more and play better.

    Easier said than done.

    One aspect of our uncertainty is variance. The cards come at us randomly and we will never know which cards are coming next. We use math to estimate the probabilities of and tolerance of each hand. (But part of that tolerance is what we call "fold equity;" an uncertain estimate of our opponents tolerance of our bets.) Let us call these measurements "mathematical."

    Another aspect of uncertainty is whether we should quit the poker table or not or whether we can select a good seat or see our opponents faces or measure and trust our opponents "tells". Let us call these measurements "psychological."

    What ever you call all this, entropy by any other name is still entropy, positive or negative, more or less, and can be measured with some (un)certainty.

    So yes, the game is not about being smart. It is usually the ones who think they are "smart" who also have false confidence, egoism, and pride. These are all psychological leaks. Such people mismeasure their own stupidity. The game is in part about not being as stupid as we usually are as biological beings who only have a limited capacity to make accurate measurements of anything, mathematically or psychologically.

    • 1 hr 32 min
    The Poker Zoo, Ep. 48: Doug Hull and the Easy Life

    The Poker Zoo, Ep. 48: Doug Hull and the Easy Life

    The Zoo continues to talk to poker coaches, with this week's guest being Doug Hull of the popular Red Chip Poker low-stakes training site. Doug was one of four original founders, which also include James "Splitsuit" Sweeney, Solve 4 Why's Christian Soto, and of course the "noted poker authority" himself, Ed Miller. Doug tells us about his unusually well-ordered life in poker, including his involvement in the "F.I.R.E" approach to life planning. We learn from Doug how RCP got started and hear about some of its challenges. Doug closes with his thoughts on how all of us need to get along at the poker table.

    If you are going to play, you might as well win. Winning poker is not intuitive, the self-taught poker genius is a myth.

    Everything you need to become a winning player is written. Read Ed Miller, Doug Hull and Matt Janda.  The information is right there. However, the leap from reading to fully understanding and implementing is huge. That is where a coach comes in.

    When Ed Miller was my coach, he showed me some conceptual roadblocks that were stopping me from playing better. I never would have seen them myself. I will do the same for you.

    I teach what I know: low-limit, live, no-limit Texas Hold’em. 95% of all poker players lose in the long term. I can teach you to be on the better side of that line.  I do not have some huge multi-million dollar success story, but I am able to consistently book wins.  You can too.

    • 46 min
    The Poker Zoo, Ep. 47: Alvin Teaches Poker Coaching

    The Poker Zoo, Ep. 47: Alvin Teaches Poker Coaching

    Alvin Lau returns to the Zoo to talk poker industry and to continue our series covering the coaching for profits scene. We go over both coaching successes and failures, and investigate their causes. Yes, Alvin gets in some direct thoughts about other training sites, but his attitude has clearly changed as he settles into a now established poker coaching practice. With the quarantine boom in full swing, we also mull the reasons to play, how much to play, and when, maybe, to put it on the line against the big guns.

    You can find more about Alvin's coaching at his website, Overnightmonster.com, as well as on his Youtube channel.

    Links to previous coaching for profits podcasts:

    Episode 43: Luka turns to CFP and Nick Howard

    Episode 40: Coaching for Profits with KYT

    Episode 36: Odb_Blackbaron/DLF on CFP

    Dean opens the show with a short chat with Greg Porter and his Scientific Poker Strategy webinar.

    As a side note, the OOP games continue to expand, adding some SNGs and more cash sessions. It's not the easiest game and won't help you take direct advantage of the "boom," but its purpose as a deepstack trainer is working out well and has been a lot of fun. Contact oop.pppclub@gmail.com for more information.

    Stay safe.

    • 1 hr 1 min
    The Poker Zoo, Ep. 46: Andrew Seidman & Easy Game

    The Poker Zoo, Ep. 46: Andrew Seidman & Easy Game

    A remarkable guest on today's Zoo - Andrew Seidman (aka Baluga Whale for the true old schoolers), author of Easy Game. One of poker's finest texts, TBR members are especially familiar with the book, and really, most poker players should be. Part strategy document, part coaching journal, it can be read in a very light way as a review or for a few new ideas, or Easy Game can be taken very seriously, especially the later chapters, where Seidman is reaching to elucidate concepts that are still relevant in 2020. Andrew and I discuss not only the book, but the circumstances surrounding its creation, chat about the poker good life, recall his deflating heads-up match with Jungleman, and close with some serious advice for aspiring pros.

    Thanks to Andrew for finding time, and to Eugene for putting this together. Easy Game inadvertently became a big part of my coaching life in 2017 - a tidbit about that is at the end of this piece. Also, a little bonus - here's a selection from the book for those who may be confused about the origin and use of poker vocabulary, which is a pain point for some in the community.

    I’ve always been fascinated with language. It’s impossible to really understand something without choosing the proper words for it. You’ve probably heard the saying, “You don’t understand something until you can explain it to a two-year-old”. With that in mind, I am very strict about what words I use and what I teach others to use. Knowing and using the right words is helpful in any nuanced debate, but it’s even more helpful in the time-sensitive environment of a poker game. If you’re playing 8 tables, you don’t have time to wade through a swamp of incomplete ideas, reproductions of things you’ve seen in videos, unsophisticated philosophies, and irrelevant information en route to finding the right answer. No—you need the right answer now. To make that happen, you need the path of least resistance to that answer. This is where language comes in. When your words are carefully chosen, you avoid distractions and move smoothly from point A to point B to point C until you’ve found the answer you were looking for. Throughout this book, I use a lot of terminology. Much of the terminology I’ve developed myself. Some I’ve borrowed from others. All of it is carefully chosen to describe specific elements of a complex game. I hope you’ll find this type of linguistic structure helpful on your quest to understand poker more fully.

    • 47 min

Customer Reviews

4.9 out of 5
24 Ratings

24 Ratings

DGAFPokerPlayer ,

Very Underrated Show

Persuadeo is not only an excellent poker mind but a prolific podcaster. He is smoothly articulate and he withdraws words from a massive vocabulary bank. Many great guests and excellent production value as well. Time to start listening to this one!

EstaCosaNostra ,


Excellent, relatable content. Cadence is smooth. Not trying to sell anything. Great job.

grscha ,

Very Thoughtful

Great podcast. Persuadeo is a very thoughtful interviewer and commentator. The new introduction with the sound effects is garbage.

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