Recently came across this Duke magazine interview with Jason Strasser. For those unfamiliar with Jason, he goes by the name of "strassa2" and is a well known poker player, especially in the tournament scene. We even have some replays of Jason's games on this site in the visitor histories section of this site, which show him playing a number of single table tournaments at Party Poker.
Here's an excerpt from the article that I thought was neat:
Ross Katz, Strasser's roommate and also a junior, says he marvels at Strasser's lack of emotion or agitation despite fluctuations in winning. "Jason will win or lose thousands of dollars in a hand or over a night," says Katz. "When other people win and lose thousands of dollars in a hand or over a night, they flip out. They might break things or yell obscenities to the heavens. But Strass barely bats an eyelash.
The reason I found this particular section of the interview worth mentioning is because I can't ever emphasize enough on this site that emotional control is the fundamental base of a good poker player. For all the good and evils that a game like poker might cause, it's actually a very good tool (if mastered) to learn self-control and self-discipline. I've met quite a few solid and professional poker players in my life, and despire the emotional antics of television personalities you might see, the common factor amongst all those players were that they had amazing self control.
As such, what Jason's friends say about him doesn't surprise me, because I've played with him (under a variety of names) on Party Poker and have seen him robotically grind through with seemingly no care. The funny thing though, is that Jason Strasser was on the latest Party Poker Million cruise, where he placed 2nd in one of the $1,000 no-limit side game tournaments they had going on. A friend recanted that he saw Jason nearly rip his hair out after many orbits with a player who constantly requested chip counts of various players at the table. In that situation, I can't blame Jason for getting angry, because that's not as much a factor in your own game, but an issue with someone holding up the table by being a jerk.
Lastly, the interview also mentioned that Jason was still looking to pursue and finish his degree in bio and engineering despite his earnings in poker. One of the reasons given was that he thought the popularity of poker couldn't sustain itself. While I might not totally agree on whether or not poker can sustain itself, I do think that this is the limelight days of poker and that the luster is already going away. For anyone that is thinking of being a professional player, it's only going to get a lot harder in the future.