The Exalted Amateurs

Poker is one of the few arenas where money can buy an amateur the chance to bust a pro

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A couple days after our conversation, Russo headed to Atlantic City to play in the Borgata's Spring Poker Open, which culminates with a tournament that guarantees at least $1-million in prize money. He acknowledges that it's been a somewhat rough road thus far, with plenty of ups and downs and obstacles. But Russo views poker as a business and he is optimistic about his future in it. "This is like any start-up," he says. "I've been playing seriously since 2006, and I recognize that you experience some break-even stretches while hoping for a monster year. I'm confident about having that monster year. I'm in it and always learning."
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