Online Gambler Does Good
May 24, 2003 8:04 PM   Subscribe

Online Poker Player turns $40 into $3.2 million with his entry into the World Series of Poker. He decided to give poker a try after seeing the Matt Damon film Rounders. Turned out to be a good career choice.
posted by IndigoSkye (6 comments total)
Writer James McManus went to the World Series of Poker, wrote about it for Harper's (betting his advance!), and talked about it on This American Life. (He didn't win.)

For five months before the World Series, I religiously studied three or four strategy manuals. Part of the recent boom in poker has to do with the fact that some of the masters of the game have written pretty good books about how to play. The new generation of players learned its chops much more quickly by reading these books... and by practicing on computers. One of the hottest players on the tournament circuit is Chris "Jesus" Ferguson, who just so happens to have a Ph.D. in game theory and computer science. And last year a Swiss woman named Sonja Camenzind beat a field of 220 players to win a big tournament in Amsterdam, the first one she’d played in her life. Her only experience was on the Wilson Turbo Hold 'Em computer software, the same program I had been practicing on.
posted by dhartung at 10:17 PM on May 24, 2003

A Alvarez (writer, literary critic) did much the same as James MacManus back in the '80s, the result was The Biggest Game in Town, which is an excellent account of The World Series and the players' lives.
posted by johnny novak at 2:49 AM on May 25, 2003

It's nice to see unknowns who can win at the "world series" of something and win big this has happened before .. poker is a democratic sport you don't need to be born with a "skill" like being 6 foot 6 it is entirely learned, but there is also a great amount of luck involved which leads one to a lottery mindset that takes away from nobleness and purity you'd find in other competitive sports such as chess.
posted by stbalbach at 5:59 AM on May 25, 2003

nobleness and purity

Like chess players aren't all on steiroids. Suckers.
posted by Ignatius J. Reilly at 10:10 AM on May 25, 2003

dhartung - He just came out with his book about it...It's on the NYT best sellers list actually.
posted by pitchblende at 10:02 PM on May 25, 2003

I read Positively Fifth Street --- save $25 and stick to the Harper's story.
posted by MikeB at 10:58 AM on May 27, 2003

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