Call me Josh Axelrad, buddy. Sister? I was so lonely... Anyhow, played cards for a living, if that's what you're interested in: counting cards at blackjack, getting my bum turfed - not totally without pleasure - from hundreds of casinos nationally while winning amounts I can't verify to the satisfaction of the skeptics in the crowd and so will not invoke. It was some kind of living. I never got rich. Many of us are too busy teeming with ideas (and feelings) to get really rich. With me it was like living in a mesh of thoughts joined by filaments I couldn't perceive. Is what drove me to write. It was only by US standards that I wasn't rich. It was only by the standards of the middle class...
My memoir is titled Repeat Until Rich. I've told a few stories at The Moth and had the harrowing pleasure of hosting a number of extraordinary Moth StorySLAMs (their extraordinariness was attributable to the slammers, who are always worth seeing or worth being). Most of the time here is filled with rushing about. I have a kid... Not sure that's interesting to browsers of my junk online, but it's what I'm about. There's a word of caution - actually two words of caution - I want to incorporate somewhere in this bit of content while you're with me. One has to do with gambling. I don't teach it except at a rate not worth paying. I do want casinos to lose money but am pained by awareness of how much more money they make overall owing to the phenomenon of which my career is a part. I'll refer would-be students of gaming to Stanford Wong and advocate one of his Green Chip memberships. The thing can (still) be done but just like writing, most aspirants fail, most fail slowly, and the slowness makes the ignominy of the proceedings more absolute but less interesting. You end up with no story soever.
Second word of caution... I was going to say something about the Internet but I can see it's ridiculous. Fuck the Internet.
In more general terms: there was also something noble about gambling that way, something I want to caution you all from allowing me to caution you away from. There is/was nobility in forging a strange and a distinct path. It can be done any of seven billion ways and requires only the basic nutrition for clear thought and enough time to persist in one's thoughts and a belief in the persistence. That's a formula for craziness or beauty. Good luck.
josh [at] axelrad [dot] net