Belly Busters and Pocket Rockets

24 MB MP3

Only a person with a passion for poker could understand. The Texas Holdem trend and online possibilities have spawned a new generation of card sharks; there are also those who’ve been bluffing, holding and folding for years. For the newcomers and old-timers, the love of the game goes far beyond the chips and ka-ching- -for them poker’s about being in the zone, having the world fall away, feeling those cards in your hand and gaining some priceless insights into your fellow man. The “Passion for Poker” is our first installment in the Passion Thursday series. If you have a great poker story– or know someone who does– post a comment, please. We’d love to hear from you.

Bernard Lee

Bernard Lee just placed 13th in the “No-Limit Texas Holdem” tournament at the World Series of Poker, WSOP. He’s a Marketing Manager at Boston Scientific who lives in Wayland, MA. He’s been playing since he was 10. When Bernard reached 18 he thought that beating his dad and and uncle was an enormous triumph…. little did he know.

from Chelsea’s pre-interview notes:

When I was a kid my father, uncle, their friends would be playing poker. You’d hear this screaming, you’d hear this rivalry/camaraderie, you could hear the chips, and cards being shuffled—you wanted to be one of the men.

I learned the game when I was 10. My father taught me how to play. I wanted to know the language of poker—I wanted to understand what the excitement was all about., ‘Why are they cheering? What’s going on?’ I didn’t want to be an outsider. I loved the game from the very first minute—it’s like golf—you can never master it.

Online poker has changed everything. This year, at the World Series of Poker, there are so many amateurs playing, raking in hundreds of thousands of dollars. Without online poker these tournaments would still be exclusive–it’ s the stories of these so called “no-names” that make poker a great game.

Barbara Friedell

Barbara, who just turned 60, has been playing poker for 14 years. What makes this year particularly intersting is that it marks her first time playing in the World Series of Poker. To up the ante, her winnings were going to finance monasteries in Tibet. Every day the Tibetan Monks were chanting for her but early into the tournament she played a bad hand. Nonetheless she’ll still make her annual charitable contribution.

from Chelsea’s pre-interview notes:

I’ve hiked the Himalayas many times—whenever I do hike I think ‘this is where I was meant to be.’ You start out early in the morning—you get to the top of the pass and there is this incredible view, there is no one around and it is so quiet. You have this great sense of peace. The moment is absolutely THERE. All your senses are on overload. When you are playing poker it’s a similar sensation– you have to be aware of your surroundings, in both the casino, an in the Himalayas, you have to be in the moment.

Annie Duke

Annie Duke is going to make a brief appearance. She’s considered one of the best — if not the best — female poker players in the world. She fell into poker when she fell out of a PhD program. For five years Annie had been studying cognative psychology. To learn more about Annie Duke’s life in the world of poker check out her forthcoming book, Annie Duke: How I Raised, Folded, Bluffed, Flirted, Cursed, and Won Millions at the World Series of Poker

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