WATCH: Gay Poker Pro Jason Somerville Is Aces With Us

Poker pro Jason Somerville, who won $500,000 at the 2011 World Series of Poker, speaks frankly about what life’s been like since coming out as gay, with Not only does Jason have a winning personality and killer smile, he’s forthright in discussing his own journey, including bringing his boyfriend to a major poker tourney. You can just see how he looks like someone who’s finally breathing after suffocating for 20-some years.

Somerville first shared the news in a blog post in February:

“I always knew I wasn’t straight, but I never spoke a word of it for twenty two years, and nobody really ever knew otherwise. I dated women exclusively through my teens and early 20s, doing my best to convince myself that it wasn’t something I had to pursue, that maybe I’d grow out of it, that I’d be happier with women anyway, that I just should focus on other things.

After a lot of struggling and a lot of anxiety, I eventually came out to one of my close friends when I was 22. That same year, the second and third people I came out to were my parents (probably the hardest thing I’ve ever done), from which I basically received the not-exactly-what-I-needed reaction of ‘keep it to yourself, don’t tell anyone.’ I told very few people from then until I was 24 (by the way, my parents are way better now).”

But now he’s putting honesty and happiness first—and it’s a gamble that’s paying off: According to Blunt magazine he’s kicking ass at WSOP 2012. Good luck at the tables, Jason!