Originally, he was for eight years a professional backgammon player and tried his luck in the stock market before he successfully got in the poker business. He belonged to a group of players, the " Mayfair Club" called himself, with members such as Howard Lederer and Dan Harrington.
During his first poker tournament he landed in the Main Event of the World Series of Poker in 1988 to second place behind Johnny Chan. The final hand of heads up is part of the movie Rounders.
He is one of the most successful players in the World Series of Poker. He has so far won eight bracelets and is traded as a player who can win just like Johnny Chan, Doyle Brunson and Phil Hellmuth ten or more bracelets. In 2010 he was inducted into the Poker Hall of Fame.
His biggest success outside the WSOP succeeded by winning the $ 250,000 Super High Roller A No-Limit Hold'em event at the Aussie Millions in 2011. He defeated Sam Trickett heads- up and won $ 2,500,000 A.
He currently has an exclusive contract with the online poker room Full Tilt Poker.
By 2012, he won over $ 16.9 million at official poker events, making it fourth in the All -Time Money List.