How to Play Poker Basics
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Williams was not a name well known in poker circles, until the 2004 World Series of Poker. Until that time, David had been
better known for being one of the top ranked players in the collectible card game Magic: The Gathering.
David Anthony Williams has only been playing poker since 1997, but has already made a few million doing so. He finished second to
Greg Raymer in the 2004 World Series of Poker main event.
Like Greg and 2003 winner
Chris Moneymaker, David won his entry to the event by playing online at
PokerStars. Although he won his way via the
Internet, he said he prefers live poker. He first learned the game from some other Magic players and first played in the
underground card rooms in Dallas.
Immediately following the event, I asked David whether winning $3.5 million was going to have an impact on deciding his
career path and whether it was going to include poker. He told me, "I am majoring in economics at SMU, but even before the
money, I had no clue what career path I wanted to follow. I enjoy economics but have never wanted to have a typical 9-5 job.
Now that I have the money it makes life easier and if I play my cards right I probably won't have to work ever. I do plan on
working though, either by starting my own business or managing my investments. I definitely don't want to sit around and do
nothing the rest of my life. I don't plan on making poker a career, it is something I love and I worry that if it becomes a
career then I may not like it as much."
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David already achieved "celebrity status" as a player in Magic: the Gathering. I wasn't too familiar with the game but
David told me, "Magic is a strategy card game that is played one on one in tournaments. It is sort of like Pokèmon for adults,
although most of the tournament players are from 17-25. I began playing as a hobby in 8th grade and found out about the pro
tour, which is a circuit of invite only tournaments held around the globe for prize money (nothing like poker money, but
pretty good for a HS student). It has elements of chess and poker, but no game is like it. You have a deck of cards which
all have a specific function which is explained on the cards, and you use them in combination to defeat your opponent. Like
poker, there is luck in the game, which keeps it appealing for all. I have traveled to approximately 35 countries to play
Magic, and was once one of the top players in the world."
I mentioned his celebrity status as a Magic player and asked him if he was prepared for what ESPN's coverage of the World
Series was going to bring. He said, "I can only be as prepared as much as I have experienced which is not much. Magic isn't
that big, and I've only been recognized twice in my life in public for that. This is probably going to be much bigger. The
only thing is I am a homebody and don't leave much except for school and poker, so I doubt it will affect me that much. I
love the spotlight so I will try and take advantage of it as much as possible. I've always wanted to be famous. ;-)."
After his second place finish in the main event, David continued to have success at the poker table. He has been on several
final final tables on the World Poker Tour including finishing second at the 2004 Borgata Poker Open, fourth in the 2006 Bay
101 Shooting Stars, and fourth at the Mirage Poker Showdown. He also won a World Series of Poker bracelet in the Stud event in 2006.
Williams has appeared on numerous poker television programs including Poker Royale: Comedians vs Pros, High Stakes Poker, and King of Vegas.
I knew he would be a star after being on ESPN. His great smile guaranteed it! An interview with David appeared in the January 2005 issue
of Playboy Magazine.