BEST POKER PLAYERS REVEAL THAT THEIR SUCCESS IS NOT IN THE CARDS
-- ON "60 MINUTES WEDNESDAY"
The world's best poker players say their success has less to do with the cards and more to do with faces, words and body language -- theirs and their competitors'. Correspondent Dan Rather's report on the poker phenomenon will be broadcast on 60 MINUTES WEDNESDAY April 20 (8:00-9:00 PM, ET/PT) on the CBS Television Network.
Chris Moneymaker won the 2003 World Series of Poker. He was a 27-year-old, $40,000-a-year accountant from Tennessee who learned the game on the Internet. "When I first got out to Vegas, it was my first live tournament with the World Series and I went out there and I was completely nervous, so I wore shades and a hat to cover everything up," remembers Moneymaker. He would not have had a chance at winning the tournament if it were not for the kindness of a stranger. "A person told me the third day of the World Series that whenever I was bluffing, I would flair my nostrils," says Moneymaker. "I didn't know I was doing it�."
Daniel Negreanu -- a high school dropout -- became the 2004 poker player of the year after winning nearly four-and-a-half million dollars. "If I come to a table where I'm sitting with eight people that I've never seen before, I think within 15 to 20 minutes I can have a rough idea how they play poker based on what�they're wearing, based on things they say," says Negreanu. He is also always observing himself. "I see some of the things I do, so I'm constantly changing up what I'm doing.�I study the tapes�like an NFL coach would study the NFL."
Chris Ferguson, better known as "Jesus," is one of the brainiest players -- he has a PhD in computer science. His also won the World Series of Poker in 2000. "An education doesn't make you intelligent," says Ferguson. "You're going to be intelligent whether you have that education or not. An education just makes you educated, but one thing all the top poker players have in common is�they're incredibly intelligent. They're incredibly good at making these very, very difficult, very close decisions and making them accurately."
Jeff Fager is the executive producer of 60 MINUTES WEDNESDAY and Steve Glauber is the producer of this report.