Colson Whitehead and I have three things in common: 1) we have both played in the World Series Of Poker Main Event; 2) we didn’t pay our own $10,000 entry fee; and 3) neither of us won. Now that Colson’s book about his experience, “The Noble Hustle: Poker, Beef Jerky, and Death,” is in paperback, I invited him to join me to talk about it. We discussed:

  • How different it is from playing in a low-stakes, social game in someone’s basement or living room;
  • Why the country he chose to represent was The Republic Of Anhedonia;
  • What he learned from a coach who helped him develop strategies for everything from how to play to what to wear;
  • How he was profiled by other players, and how he profiled them;
  • How he practiced for the Main Event in Las Vegas by playing smaller tournaments in Atlantic City;
  • What it’s like to walk into the Rio for the first time and encounter the sights and sounds of the WSOP;
  • Whether it changed the way he has played poker since then.

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