Mike Caro interviews The Mad Genius

This article first appeared in Card Player Magazine, 1994

Sometimes I enjoy being interviewed. That’s because, whenever a magazine runs an article about anything I’m involved with, there’s a good chance they’ll get the facts wrong. I complained about this in my last column, pointing out that a recent feature in the leading lottery magazine had painted me as a friend of the lottery, even though I’m a foe. It also wrongly quoted the current-event odds from my America’s Mad Genius Brain Trust.

But when you’re interviewed, you get to say what you think, and you’re quoted verbatim. Trouble is, you don’t get to pose the questions. I’ve been asked to do a Card Player interview in an upcoming issue, and I’m eager to oblige. Still, although that interview will give you insight into poker questions you’ll probably be interested in asking, it won’t necessarily provide insight into the questions I’m most interested in answering.

So, since many people accuse me of having a split personality, and insist that the Mad Genius and Mike Caro seem like two different people, let me use one to interview the other. I’ll make up the questions I want to ask, asking them as Mike Caro, and I’ll compose the answers I think are appropriate, responding as the Mad Genius.

I know, this is strange, but humor me. I’ll try to be fair.

MC: Thanks for agreeing to be interviewed.

TMG: I agreed out of respect for you.

MC: Good. What’s happening with the four-color deck? You’ve been pushing for a deck with each suit having its own color for years. You’ve promised to perfect this deck and introduce it, but nothing ever happens. Is this just a publicity stunt?

TMG: No, it’s not a publicity stunt. You caught me a little off-guard with that question. I’ve been working very hard behind the scenes to bring the four-color deck to reality, and you absolutely will hear a very important announcement before the end of this year. Gee, I wish I hadn’t said that, because it’s almost the end of this year now. Well, too late to take it back, so look for news very soon.

MC: You’ve announced a series of books and videos for years called Pro Poker Play-by-Play. You even had a conspicuous ad running for a year shouting that the series is coming soon. Some people started to laugh after a while, saying you’ll never put out any more books or videos. Your ad got everyone excited by saying, “You’ve never seen anything like it before.” Well, we’ve never seen it period. What happened?

TMG: Nothing happened.

MC: Obviously nothing happened! That’s the whole point. Is anything ever going to happen, or is this series just a publicity stunt?

TMG: No, it’s not a publicity stunt. But I wasn’t expecting that question. This project, which will completely and permanently redefine the standards by which poker literature and instructional material is judged, will begin to appear in the near future.

MC: Well, you keep saying that, and you convinced everyone by your “Coming Soon” ads, but where are the products to prove it?

TMG: If I really convinced everyone by my ads, then I don’t need any products to prove it. But I do need products to make money, and so you’ll see the first of the Play-by-Play series real soon.

MC: What about your latest Power Poker Seminar Video?

TMG: What about it?

MC: You’ve been advertising it, but nobody’s seen it yet. Is that just a publicity stunt?

TMG: Ah, get a life! No, it’s not just a publicity stunt. I’m actually taking orders. The ad is for advanced orders, and it says so. The target completion date is November 30, 1995 or shortly thereafter, and we’re in final edit and right on schedule. Didn’t you see the goddam cameras at the goddam seminar?

MC: Yes, I saw the cameras. No need to get so defensive, Mad Genius. I was just asking.

TMG: Well, what kind of an interview is this, anyway? I didn’t think you were going to ambush me. I’m about ready to walk out of here. Can’t you ask about topics that are less aggravating?

MC: Sure. How come your newsletter is consistently behind schedule. You announced it as a monthly publication, but it seems to come out a lot less often. Is that a more acceptable question?

TMG: Sure, that’s a great question, you sonavabitch! I’ll tell you straight out: We’re not taking any orders beyond issue number 14. We’re just now shipping issue number six, and each issue is going to be a little better than the last one.

MC: A little better and a little later.

TMG: All subscribers will get everything they ordered, but after the 14th issue, Pro Poker will become a quarterly publication with special rates to all subscribers. It will then be more powerful than ever.

MC: How come you can’t get anything done ahead of schedule? You’re not the only one with a lot of projects to juggle. Other people seem to manage.

TMG: Sit on it!

MC: Oh, well, that’s really an appropriate answer. It’s a miracle you even get your Card Player columns in on time. How do you manage that?

TMG: Some things take priority.

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Mike Caro

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Known as the “Mad Genius of Poker,” Mike Caro is generally regarded as today's foremost authority on poker strategy, psychology, and statistics. He is the founder of Mike Caro University of Poker, Gaming, and Life Strategy (MCU). See full bio → HERE.

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