Poker Columnist Gary Wise on the Intersection of Survivor and Poker

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Like Survivor, professional poker is a game of playing the odds combined with a lot of bluffing. Our guest, Gary Wise is a columnist who covers Professional Poker for – and a prolific Survivor fan. Gary joins Rob Cesternino to discuss the intersection of Survivor and poker.

Gary has interviewed several Survivor players who have partaken in professional poker. Most noteworthy is Jean-Robert Bellande from Survivor: China. Gary discusses Jean-Robert’s career as a poker player and calls Jean-Robert’s twitter account the greatest twitter account in all of professional poker.

On the other side of the twitter spectrum, is Boston Rob Mariano whom Gary has interviewed as well. Gary describes Boston Rob flirtation with the poker scene and gives us some insight into Boston Rob as a poker player. Gary also caught up with Jim Rice and Albert Destrade from Survivor: South Pacific for an article he wrote profiling both of their experiences with poker. While Albert is more of a poker hobbiest, Jim Rice has won several tournaments.

See Gary’s article at

Rob and Gary then turn the conversation towards Survivor: One World and discuss how the men vs. women angle is affecting the One World twist. Gary says that he is very confident in Jonas Otsuji and his chances to do well based on the edit he is getting early in the season. Rob disagrees with the prediction for Jonas and Gary (in true poker style) offers a bet. Rob says that he predicts that Troyzan will outlast Jonas in the game and an interesting wager is made.

Finally, Rob and Gary turn the discussion to comparing the optimal strategies for a poker game to the optimal strategies for a Survivor game. While it turns out there is no perfect strategy, the best move is often to just play the game as it comes to you.

You can follow Gary Wise on twitter, @GaryWise1

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