Monday, August 25, 2014

Introducing ... Life After Poker, a series of interviews

[Edit: On the September 3, 2014 edition of the 2+2 PokerCast, an edited version of the Matt Hawrilenko interview was played. If you got here through the PokerCast, you'll want to click through to the Life After Poker page to see what parts of the interview were excerpted.]

Like most people, I enjoy conversation with my favourite people. I've been fortunate enough in my life to find truly fascinating people, and I often wish that I could capture these conversations with people and present them to the world.

I've also been a big fan of audio content and podcasts for many years. I'm a huge fan of those who do it well. I've had some experience with podcasting including being an occasional co-host on the Two Plus Two PokerCast and had my own brief foray into hosting my own show with Under The Gun +1 at Ultimate Gaming when I interviewed some of my coworkers. But until now, I have never had a full creative outlet to have a candid conversation with personal friends and acquaintances, made for public consumption. I've also never had to manage all the other, non-talking aspects of content creation and putting it online. That changes today.

Today, I'm introducing "Life After Poker", a series (I hope) of interviews with former professional poker players who have moved on either partially or completely from playing pro poker. Many of the people I hope to talk to were big winners during the poker boom of the mid-2000s, but for some reason or another, decided to move on from full-time play. Given my own personal situation where I did the same (giving up pro poker to work for Ultimate Gaming) and then subsequently retired from that position, I feel that this is a great time for me to have some conversations with these individuals and explore the themes associated with a life after poker.

My reasons for doing this are to improve my own skills at speaking and interviewing, to learn about what people are doing in their lives after poker, and because I'm a self-obsessed egotist who likes hearing the sound of his own voice.

This first interview is with one of the people I know best in the entire poker world, Matt Hawrilenko. Matt is one of my best friends, which made my first outing into the solo interview world very easy. The interview went well and was a lot of fun mostly because Matt is an eloquent, thoughtful speaker. We cover a really wide range of topics including his academic career in clinical psychology, being on the mats in Brazilian Jiujitsu, optimizing utility in life, how to assess your own life decisions, and what Bill Chen thinks of him as a poker player.

I would really love to hear your comments on anything that pertains to the interview whether it's content, length, audio quality -- whatever! Specific is always better than general, but even if your only comment is "I loved it!" or "I hated it!" I'd still love to hear it. Also, if you have ideas for future guests (I have about 6-8 people in mind already), that'd be great too.

Links: is where all episodes will be.
And this is the link to the first (and presently, only) interview.
Finally, here's the iTunes link.

Thank you for listening!


  1. Am i the only one who thinks the missing piece is daily sport discussion? Love listening to daily reports and arguments based on entertaining topics such as the

  2. Loved the discussion about the value of direct emotional experience versus rational analysis (especially coming from someone like Matt whom I imagined extremely rational).

    I was a bit disappointed when you mentionned you were only interested in how lifestyle choices affect YOUR health and your relatives'. I'm sure you both, as athletes, have interesting discoveries to share even if they're just from your "sample size of one".

    On a more general note, a thing I like in podcasts is when there are links to interesting material about discussed topics and/or topic on which guests are expert at, eg. what could be a great introductory book to psychology.

    Another thing I like is following the evolution of guests' vision of life so I'm quite happy to find a new interview of someone I heard a few years ago.

    Here are my suggestions for future guests :
    Martin Bradstreet, CTS, Bryce Paradis.

    Keep it going, it was awesome.

  3. I really enjoyed the interviews and am looking forward to more.

    Getting people to open up, is not an easy skill to acquire .. even more, if they are asked what they might deem personal financial questions .. the problem is, a lot of the reasoning behind the podcast, is that they have given up, 'financial' rewards, for less tangible ones.

    So,u really need to know, whats being forgiven .. at least in the short-term .. for longer term, quality of life/All-roundness (if that a word).

    U mentioned some other podcasts u were listening to etc. A list of all referenced items, would be handy.

    I have sent u an email.

    Best of luck