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 Ron & Don

It's Hard To Admit When You Suck

There, I said it. Now, a little background to explain. This weekend I went to the biggest poker tournament that I've ever entered. Not quite World Series in Vegas, but you have to start somewhere. I've only been playing for a few years, but I really enjoy the game, and I've been working hard at it. I even got a coach for a while. Strange, I know. But when I do something, I either do it all the way or not at all.

So I really thought that I'd been making some progress. I've won a few local tournaments and had some pretty good results lately. I thought it was time to try an move up a notch and see where I'm at.

That brings me to a recent interview I did with one of Libby's friends, a guy called Charlie Coultas.

He bested over 6,500 players to take 34th in this year's World Series Main Event in Vegas, winning over $230,000. Well, Charlie came with me to this tournament in Oregon and after talking in the car for a few hours, it became abundantly clear that I'm not even close to the level I thought I was.

That theory Malcom Gladwell has that it takes 10,000 hours to become an expert at something is really true. Charlie has over 10,000 more hours of play than I do, and thinks on an entirely different level. It's quite humbling to see him sitting behind a mountain of chips at the table.

When you work in radio, you don't get immediate results. You say what you think, then it goes out into the universe. Three weeks later, someone tells you how many people were listening. So even though I'm not as far along as a poker player as I thought I was, I enjoy an activity that is immediate. You sit across from someone, put your mind and skills up against theirs, and you either win or lose. That has a different kind of satisfaction.

So it's back to the grindstone for me. Only 9,000 hours to go.

Ron Upshaw, KIRO Radio Talk Show Host
Ron Upshaw is one-half of The Ron & Don Show on KIRO Radio (weekdays 3-7). When he's not behind the mic, he is most likely putting his smarts and even-keeled nature to the test by sitting on pocket aces at a local Texas Hold 'Em table.
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