Jason Grad thepokernomad
PokerStars Caribbean Adventure at Atlantis Resort, Bahamas

My Poker Story

Whenever people ask me what I do for a living, the standard response I get is “Poker? How did you get into that?”  It is a terrible question that irritates me.  The short answer: The game fascinated me to the point where I obsessively taught myself how to play over five years until I was good enough to make a living at it.  The following represents the full story.

My poker career began back in 1998 when I saw in theatre for the first time, the now cult classic poker movie, Rounders.  The movie stars Matt Damon, Ed Norton, and John Malkovich, and is basically a hero’s journey told through the game of poker.  It ignited a fire in me.  

The very next day, I ventured into the local book store and bought the only poker book on the shelf.  The book itself was shit, but I devoured it in a week and immediately wanted more.  My curiosity steered me to some better books written by the likes of Doyle Brunson, David Sklansky, Dan Harrington, and Daniel Negreanu.  These players and authors shaped my poker career.  All in all, I likely read about 100 poker books.  Honestly, I lost track.  After one move, I literally purged about 50 poker books into a dumpster at the polite “suggestion” by my then-new girlfriend.  Many were enjoyable, others were chiefly a waste of time. I still have around 20 that I deemed worthy to keep around for sentimental reasons and reference material. 

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Featured Interview in Poker News

“Earning Super Nova Elite status on PokerStars is no easy feat. In 2007, the first year of the program, only 39 players captured the coveted title. Becoming a SNE just once is impressive, but earning it for four consecutive years is truly a remarkable feat.”

…see the full article

Featured Interview in Canada Poker

“Calgary’s Jason “Prairie Hawk” Grad reached Super Nova Elite status on PokerStars this year once again; a feat only a small percentage of online players in the world have managed to accomplish.”


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