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PZ 85: Gerard Moves On

Picture late 2019. Britain was finally Brexiting, Trump was somehow still presidenting, and general protests for a more liberal, freer society were happening all over the world- remember Hong Kong? Remember life before mask and vaccine discourse?  That’s when I last talked with Gerard S., aspiring pro and studied player who had worked with a number of noted pros and organizations, including Fausto Valdez and Solve For Why. Gerard had a poker blog, a girlfriend, a residence in sunny Florida, and was finishing up a year cleaning up at live ring games and MTTs.

Then it happened: Covid went from zero public awareness to a full-blown hysterical crisis that would shape the next decade. Covid would also trigger a sequence of events that changed everything for Gerard and his poker life. Soon he’d be signed up with Poker Detox and battling not only to beat the games, but to understand them at a new level, all while making rent.

Today, we find out where he’s at and what he’s learned.

As any poker player will tell you, a significant element of skill is involved in winning at the tables long-term. However, it’s also important to acknowledge the role luck plays in poker too.

We have zero control or say over the poker hands the dealer gives us. Nor do we have any control over the community cards dealt on the flop, turn and river. These variable outcomes can cause short-term volatility in your poker results, known as variance.

Game selection has a major bearing on the cause of variance in poker. If your preference is to enter vast, multi-table tournaments with fields of hundreds or thousands of players, it’s fair to say your poker bankroll will encounter immense variance. That’s because these big-field tournaments carry so much volatility. If you’re playing for hours or even days, it’s possible to experience run-good and then run into the brick wall of a downswing and be knocked out before you’ve even made the money.

-from “What is Variance in Poker?” by

The Poker Zoo often visits with Coaching for Profits players, check out episodes such as

Episode 43: Luka turns to CFP and Nick Howard

Episode 40: Coaching for Profits with KYT

Episode 36: Odb_Blackbaron/DLF on CFP

and others, including from a coaching perspective.

Food in this episode:

Hot Pepper Jelly

2 C Green Bell Peppers cut into pieces for the food processor
1/2 C Jalapenos, chopped – Seeds & webbing removed

For a red version, substitute red bell peppers and just 1/4 C thai chilies

Combine these in a food processor and mince accordingly


Pepper mash from the food processor
5 3/4 C Sugar
1 C White Vinegar
1 Bottle Certo (or 2 pkgs) This is just Sure Jell or any fruit pectin

Combine Pepper mash, sugar and vinegar in a sauce pan and boil for 5 min, then turn heat off and leave for 20 minutes.

Add fruit pectin and boil hard for 2 minutes.

Ladle into small canning jars (we use pint size) and can using typical water bath canning procedure.

Pepper Jelly

For a quick appetizer for parties, you can simply serve over a block of Philadelphia cream cheese.

If you have access to a smoker you can take it to the next level by sprinkling some BBQ rub on the cream cheese and smoking it at low heat (190F) and then serve in the same way as above.

Pepper Jelly also works well for Holiday parties (thus the red and green colors) on a charcuterie tray with other cheeses and ‘Nancy’s famous cheese ball recipe.’

8 oz Cream cheese
1 C Colby cheese (grated)
3 oz Chipped dried beef (or country ham chipped)
1 t Garlic powder
1 t Onion powder
1 t Accent

Outer covering:

½ C Walnuts, chopped
2 T Chives, chopped

Mix all the cheese and seasonings together and form into one large ball or 2 smaller balls.

Chill until ready to serve

Thanks for listening. Be sure to rate the Poker Zoo on Apple podcasts or elsewhere.

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