Hey Leggo, Iím Cero Zuccarello and this is my poker blog. Iím really excited to be a part of the team here, and I hope that my videos entertain you and help you improve your game. Iím not sure what this blog will look like once it rounds into shape, but since Iím such a maverick, Iím going to use this entry to introduce myself. Iím 32, married to a poet named Erin, and we have a 4-year-old son, Dario. We live in Madison, WI, having moved back from Virginia recently to be near our families. Poker has been my sole source of income for about 8 years, though Erin has also had a full-time job for the last year. Before that, I played professionally for 2 years, during my college-ish years. In between, I managed a video store in Virginia for a year, and aspired to be a filmmaker, before realizing that poker was my greatest passion.
I started with a couple thousand bucks that Iíd won playing poker for recreation, and built it up to around $100K in the first couple of years playing live 10/20 Stud 8 and some 5/10 NL around Charlottesville and Richmond, two cities with A LOT of poker action. Then, over the next year (my 3rd as a pro), I lost almost every penny of it playing much higher stakes games, in backrooms in Virginia and on the internet. I recovered it at micro limits online, and since then, Iíve managed to earn a decent middle-class income while working an average of 20 hours per week, but have not managed to sock away a lot of money or progress back through the top of mid-stakes NL (I havenít played above 1000NL regularly for a couple of years). I am a happy person, with a family I am grateful for that provides endless fulfillment and amusement. I play guitar and am very mediocre (jealous?). I sing decently and write songs. I play video games, shoot hoops, and play a little soccer during the 6-week window that grass can grow in Wisconsin. Other than that, I fill whatís left of my free time reading, talking, and thinking about poker. So thatís me.
I plan to share some live poker stories and hands quite a bit here. I mainly think of myself as an LOLivepro (I read that term on 2p2 recently and I think itĎs awesome, and kind of fits me), as they say, though Iím currently putting in more time online than live. I am digging hanging out with Dario a lot these days, and I can tell that it means a lot to him. I much prefer live games to online, but playing live means traveling an hour to Milwaukee or 3 hours to Chicago and staying overnight at least one night, so the internet is an obvious choice for me. There may be games bigger than 1/2 NL around my town, but I donít know about any. Too bad, because Iíve always loved private games.
I try very hard to be a well-rounded person, and that extends to poker. I try to play all games well, and love learning new games: I currently feel that Iím in excellent shape against a typical online lineup at 20/40 and below in the following limit games (ranked in order of how well I play them) Omaha 8, Stud 8, Holdem, 2-7 Triple Draw, Razz, and 7-Stud. Itís difficult say what those limits equate to live, and there arenít a ton of mixed games where I live, but Iíd guess that 20/40 online probably plays about like 100/200 live (the live/online gap in less popular games is not as wide as it is in Holdem or PLO). I know that if I was in a casino anywhere but Vegas or LA and they were spreading a mixed game, I would play anything I could afford to play, I guess up to 300/600 (not that I can afford that). I also play NL, obviously, and PLO. Iím not really sure if Iím good at that game, but Iíve done pretty well overall, probably due to other people being bad at it. Online, I play between 2/4 and 5/10 in those two games, and live, I play 5/10 or 10/25 if I can get it.
So, I play mid-stakes, but a by-product of having consistently won at higher stakes than what I currently play is that I believe Iím a favorite in many high-stakes games which I'm not rolled for. Iím OK with this and not OK with it; Iíll explain. I definitely did not get into poker to get rich; at the time that I turned pro, internet poker was just a baby, and getting rich wasnít even a realistic goal. Moneyís not very important to me in general; my main goal was to live comfortably without working anywhere near 40 hours per week doing something I enjoy. Iíve accomplished that. However, the landscape has obviously changed a ton, and now it is very possible to make enough money to retire on in just a few years . That appeals to me, if I can do it without playing full-time.
I donít need to make a lot of money.Iím positive I would be satisfied to make 75k/year (inflation-adjusted, for the blog nits) for my entire life, from a living conditions perspective. But, I do feel the need to move up from a professional perspective. I guess I feel a need to prove to others what I believe to be true about my own talents, which is admittedly not a good reason to doÖanything. Knowing that doesnít make it not so, though, so I aspire to climb the ladder again. I would be especially proud to become a dominant winner in the biggest 8-game mix available on Stars, and I believe thatís a realistic long-term goal for myself. I LOVE 8-GAME, and believe me, the all-caps is merited. If people are interested in seeing a mixed-game video from me, Iíd definitely be down, so if that is you, post comments and Iíll show them to the big cheese. Thanks for reading all of this, for those of you whoíve slogged through it all.