Novelist Colson Whitehead was a decent amateur card player when Grantland Magazine made him an offer. They’d stake his $10,000 entrance fee if he’d spend a few weeks training and then enter the World Series of Poker, and write about it.
The result is Whitehead’s new book, "The Noble Hustle: Poker, Beef Jerky and Death." He spoke with Fresh Air contributor, Dave Davies, and told him why he thinks his looks are well-suited for poker —
”I discovered quite early that I have a good poker face because I’m half dead inside …Something about my lack of affect, going back to childhood maybe, some formative experiences, my genetic makeup, makes it appear as if I don’t have a lot going on behind the eyes. …I have a very low emotional bandwidth, always have. It hasn’t really helped me out in a lot of social interactions but it turns out at a poker table, if you present a certain stillness, your opponents will project all sorts of things onto you …when really I’m just cataloging my regrets and failures, and thinking about how I can improve my life.”
You can listen to the rest of the interview here.