78 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

    • Leisure
    • 4.9 • 29 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

    Poker Zoo 78: Scandal Therapy with Dr. Samuels

    Poker Zoo 78: Scandal Therapy with Dr. Samuels

    This week Dr. Robert Samuels returns to the Zoo to talk about the latest round of poker cheating accusations and scandals. Robert recently polished up an old solution – can the online game operators work together to fight cheats? Can there be a governing body to adjudicate poker?

    While I cynically don’t find this sort of organization feasible, Robert makes some compelling points. He also reminds us of the symbiotic nature of online and live play – it’s important for each to be healthy for the sake of each other. This seems important, whatever we do – or if we do nothing.

    Mason Malmuth’s thread on preventing cheating in live games.

    RTA software example.

    Dr. Samuels is the author of Bad Beat Therapy: How to Be a Better Poker Player and Person, and appeared on the Zoo last year in episode 67. Connect with him here.

    Most know what multi-accounting is and why it is obviously against the rules, but RTA or ghosting may be new terms to some.

    RTA, or real-time assistance is any chart or program that helps a poker player with their decisions while a game or hand is in progress.

    These RTA programs use a game theory optimal (GTO) approach to the game, allowing players to stay perfectly balanced and make mathematically-correct and unexploitable plays. This results in an edge that can add up to millions of dollars each year in these high-stakes games.

    While RTA programs that scrape the online poker site for data have been easier to detect, players can make it tougher for sites to spot by using a separate computer and manually inputting the cards themselves to find the answer they are looking for.

    Ghosting is a form of collusion when one player takes over for another in either a cash game or a tournament online. Sometimes a better player will “buy” the account from a weaker player, or a coach will just instruct their player on what to do. Other times a player will simply use a different account to hide their identity.

    Dan ‘Jungleman’ Cates was accused of ghosting in 2020 by fellow high-stakes cash game player Bill Perkins. Cates would eventually admit the wrongdoing, but stated that the practice was rampant on the sites the games were running on.

    -from CardPlayer, “High-Stakes Poker Community Rocked By Onslaught Of Cheating Accusations”

    • 49 min
    Poker Zoo 77: Tight Ralph Raises His Game

    Poker Zoo 77: Tight Ralph Raises His Game

    We stay in the live streets this week and talk hands with Ralph B., a low-stakes cash game reg I know through Red Chip Poker. As for many players, Covid shook up Ralph’s poker life, and in his case, decided it was time to turn a break-even passetemps into a winning habit. Today, we find out how the new approach is doing and get into some strategy.

    We also get a little deeper into the Detroit and Michigan poker scene, feeding off the Jambasket episode.

    Now, Ralph claims to always be the tightest and most aggressive at the table – maybe it’s true, maybe not, but it’s a style that can work, especially in a full ring game. However, is he doing it right? Ralph sent in two hands to go over:


    My stats are 18/12, meaning I am almost always the tightest player at the table as well as the most aggressive. I rarely limp in unraised pots. My higher aggression numbers result in players playing back at me when I raise from EP, either donking or raising me on RD boards. My counter is making sure I play hands on a randomized basis which provide board coverage from EP. I play 50% SC’s down to 45s, and 33% PP 22-66. Also play A5s 100% of the time. My overall EP range is slightly under 10%. Hero is UTG with 4c5c. Eff stacks 650. V is a LAG in the SB and has me covered. V likes to semi bluff and squeeze. Live $2/5 8 handed. Hero raises UTG with 4c5c to 15. Folds to MP who calls 15. Folds to LP who calls 15. SB raises to 50. Folds to Hero who calls 50. MP and LP fold. Two players see the flop. Pot 135. Calling this 3 bet seems to a sticking point for many. I am calling 35 to win 95, and we are deep. But the SPR will be 4.6, lower than ideal.

    SB 3 bets are supposed to be really tight, but I back off on that a little based on observed play. Even still, using a 10% 3 bet by SB, Hero is a 68%/32% dog. Continuation will be obviously board dependent. Flop 3h 4s 6c. This is not supposed to hit either of us but has actually hit me pretty good. My flopzilla EQ is up to 67% If I was on the BU, I might get jiggy with a c bet from the SB, but since I’m under the gun that story doesn’t sell as much. SB bets 75. SB is betting about 55% of the pot, a standard c bet at $2/5 heads up on a connected board. Hero calls 75. I plan on shoving on any turn club or card completing any of my other draws. Pot 285, 1.8 SPR. Turn Ac. I said I was shoving any club turn, but I lied. Picked up club outs as long as SB is not on clubs. Ac now on the boards drops possibility of SB being on clubs significantly. But the A has me concerned. SB could easily have a broadway A that he c bet on a whiffed flop. Now has he hit? Flopzilla EQ drops to mid-50’s, mid 40’s if you keep more A’s in SB’s range. SB bets 220. Pot 505. I’m getting 2.3- 1 to call. If all 20 of my outs are good, I’m a 60/40 dog, and there are more chips to be played for. Hero gets alligator arms and just calls. River Th. SB checks. Hero???


    Am I maxing EV by shoving a flop with an SPR of roughly 2, or betting something closer to my theoretical EQ on the flop and looking to shove the turn? $2/5 8 handed. $535 eff stacks. Hero has been quiet recently, after having back-to-back hands where he doubled up with AA vs. AQ and losing $500 set over set where V hit a two outer on the river. Neither player in this hand was involved in the earlier hands. UTG here was lose, but had not pulled anything like this. UTG+2 has been relatively quiet. UTG limps 5 UTG+1 raises to 25 Folds to Hero who 3 bets to 75 with Qs Qc. Folds to UTG who CALLS 75 UTG+1 calls 75 Pot 225 ish We’ll pause our regularly scheduled program to ask the question WTF does UTG have that limp calls 75??? Flop 7d 8s Ts Checks to hero. Hero has 460 behind. Hero bets??? I have thought about this hand a lot. I lost my discipline on the flop, got rattled by the limp call.

    • 1 hr 10 min
    PZ 76: Yaser Al-Keliddar Beats Captive Audience

    PZ 76: Yaser Al-Keliddar Beats Captive Audience

    Dean is unleashed this week and talks with a familiar face, east coast tournament grinder, limit player, and general smart-ass Yaser Al-Keliddar. If you’re on the tournament joyride, you know Yaser or should get to know him – he’s a great table presence. In today’s pod, Al-Keliddar recounts his rough introduction to the game involving the Trump Taj, a reluctant vehicle, and his parents. It’s all downhill from that, of course, and his Hendon has grown impressive – including a coveted WSOP bracelet.

    Yaser plays in Dean’s Charlestown games and gives us the downlow, in case you, too, are lost and end up there. (Dean will occasionally interview players in his area – here’s Chase Bianchi.

    I myself met Al-Keliddar in my tournament reporting days, where I ingratiated myself by telling him his name was funny, and soon we collaborated on this gem. For some reason, they don’t want me back at Borgata.

    Stuff Dean mentions in the pod:

    Standup routine on YouTube

    Day 1a WPTDS Maryland Chip Leader – Yaser Al Keliddar interview

    Here’s a selection from an interesting old article, “In Defense of Limit Poker”

    Limit Poker Opens Door to More Poker Games

    Fourth, if you get interested in Limit play you will suddenly discover a lot of other poker games that are only played with fixed stakes. In recent months I’ve become a big fan of Stud, Stud/8 and Razz. It all began when I started playing in H.O.R.S.E. tournaments and discovered that most of my opponents do not know how to play the Stud games.

    In fact, the discrepancy in skill here is so great that I’ve hit on a workable strategy, which I offer to you free of charge. During the Hold ‘em and Omaha/8 rounds, only play premium starting hands and never draw to anything but the nuts (always good advice in Omaha/8 where even the nuts can get you quartered).

    Try to break even here and build your stacks on the Stud rounds. To get you started on your education, try:

    Stud: Konstantin Othmer’s Seven Card Stud – that’s right, “Othmer.” You almost certainly never heard of him, which is good because your opponents won’t have either. It’s the best book on Stud I’ve seen.

    Stud/8: Todd Brunson’s chapter in his Daddy’s Super System 2.

    Razz: The chapter in David Sklansky’s Sklansky on Poker and Linda Johnson’s chapter in Championship Stud co-authored with Max Stern and Tom McEvoy.

    I’ve had so much fun in these tournaments that I’m now putting in more hours playing cash Stud games. Not only has it been good for the bankroll, it has been good psychologically.

    • 53 min
    Poker Zoo 75: That New Pro Life, with Nate Serisky

    Poker Zoo 75: That New Pro Life, with Nate Serisky

    Vagabond vet DGAF called him “Tom Brady Jr.” but in reality, the story is more interesting than just always getting there at the right time. Las Vegas live pro Nate Serisky takes us through his year – well, not of living dangerously exactly, as he’s on stake and decent with money management – but of truly being a poker player and making it happen in a pool that has drowned many dreams. We go through Nate’s hot start in the city of sin, his far cooler runnings for much of 2021, and then at last finding his rhythm again among the curious Resorts World crew during the WSOP.

    The real life of a cash game player involves downswings and breaking even for long stretches. For this reason, Nate goes in depth about mental game, sharing some beneficial guidance from Chris Konvalinka, an earlier Zoo guest who has handled notable bankroll trials with grace. The always-underrated importance of having a community comes up during our talk. (Are there really any lone wolves left out there? Let me know.)

    Nate mentioned two types of tilt; Tendler in fact defines seven in The Mental Game of Poker:

    Seven Types of Tilt

    The following list briefly describes the most common types of tilt:

    Running Bad Tilt: The tilt that’s caused by a run of bad cards is not actually a

    unique type of tilt. Instead, one (or more) of the other types of tilt happens so

    frequently in such a short amount of time that your mind can’t reset itself before

    the next time you play. As a result, tilt builds up and hangs over your head like a

    dark cloud.

    Injustice Tilt: Bad beats, coolers, and suck-outs are prime examples of triggers

    that make you feel cursed and make poker feel unfair.

    Hate-losing Tilt: Many players hate losing even though they realize how much

    variance impacts results in the short run. Wanting to win is not the problem—the

    problem is how you handle the inevitable losses.

    Mistake Tilt: Making mistakes is frustrating for many logical reasons; these

    reasons just happen to be flawed because of inaccurate views about learning.

    Entitlement Tilt: Classic Phil Hellmuth tilt is caused by believing that you

    deserve to win for X, Y, or Z reason. Winning is a possession and you tilt when

    someone undeserving takes it from you.

    Revenge Tilt: Disrespect, constant aggressive action, and opponents thinking

    they’re better than you are just a few of the reasons why you seek vengeance at

    the table.

    Desperation Tilt: The urge to win your money back and get unstuck is so strong,

    it makes you play monster sessions, force the action, and jump up in stakes.

    We close by going through an interesting hand where a goofy non-new-pro puts Nate in a spot.


    • 59 min
    Poker Zoo 74: Thomas Against the Simps

    Poker Zoo 74: Thomas Against the Simps

    Thomas Pinnock of Zenith Poker returns to the Zoo to review his most challenging year in poker. In addition to releasing a controversial new set of exploitative ranges and taking on a six-max challenge, Thomas kicked up a series of related kerfuffles with a video mocking many preflop ranges. Trouble followed on multiple fronts, and I get some of the details from him – including whether any of this has changed his perspective.

    Agree with him or not, Pinnock is an increasingly important poker influencer – more and more, the ranges your opponents are using come from this twenty-six-year-old medical student’s basement.

    Here is some of the controversy, comically covered by the clickbait site “pokerguru,” in a careless article which mistakes former Zenith Poker coach and acolyte Josh for Thomas. (In a small world moment, Josh did make an appearance at my Sahara deep-stack game early in 2021).

    Here’s Pinnock last year on the Zoo.

    We didn’t talk about this on the Podcast, but it was also in 2021 that Upswing removed some of Thomas’ excellent articles on their site. Here’s a remaining one.

    …but because out-of-position, we should weight our range towards hands that work well out-of-position in the smaller SPR pot – hands like suited connectors will go down in strength. Using larger RFI sizes allows us to take the pot down more often pre-flop when we raise and mitigate the button’s positional advantage going forward.

    In this blind structure, it is even more important for us to 3-bet or squeeze all of our continuing range, because if we call we let the button/straddle in for a cheap price and they will have position against us for the rest of the hand. Keeping our range uncapped is important here – If we were to have a calling range, then the button can squeeze aggressively into our capped range with position. When 3-betting our entire continuing range, we can use a smaller raise size closer to 2.5x instead of the usual 3-3.5x.

    Three-blind games have become a big part of contemporary live NL. I’m not certain Thomas would still agree with the specifics of this advice, but note the sensitivity to bet sizing.

    • 1 hr 1 min
    Poker Zoo 73: Hustler Shaun

    Poker Zoo 73: Hustler Shaun

    Today we go behind the scenes and talk to Shaun Yaple, General Manager of the Hustler Casino in Gardena, California. I find out what it takes to run a card room and where does poker fits in. We discuss the unusual ecosystem of L.A. Poker, including some advice for all struggling card rooms and poker rooms. Shaun also tells us about the origin of the freshly popular Hustler Casino Live, L.A. poker’s newest live stream.

    For more industry talk, here’s Poker Room Manager Steven Pique on the Zoo.

    I used to play here a couple of nights a week. I move since then so don’t get back anywhere near as often. They hosted a Meet Up Game (aka MUG) by Andrew Neeme and Brad Owen of YouTube fame. I don’t know how many people showed up but there were at least 15 full MUG tables that I could see with a number of people waiting for a seat.

    They have cleaned up the place since I was last there. Parking is the same (mostly free with some reserved for premier players), they used to have valet but I think with the pandemic has but that on pause.

    It’s a nice sized room but also one of the smaller poker rooms in the LA market. So, if you are relatively new to playing live poker, this would be a good place to start. They have all levels, from $1/$3 to pretty darn high limits. If you are looking for a specific type / dollar size game, I’m recommend calling in advance.

    -elite Yelper “Glen” offers his thoughts

    • 39 min

Customer Reviews

4.9 out of 5
29 Ratings

29 Ratings

4FsDr1 ,

Best poker podcast!

Interesting mix group of personalities. Give wonder poker life stories from farce of life. The host give a great in-depth analysis on hand history. Definitely the best podcasts for serious and casual poker player. A must listen!

Wetyeti ,

Just listen

One of the best poker podcasts available. Strategy, analysis, theory and interviews put together in a way that is neither overwrought nor underplayed.

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!

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