"Pet peeves: Fake people, small talk at parties, and judgmental people who are convinced they are better than me.
What's your personal claim to fame? My greatest personal accomplishment came when my first daughter was born in 2008. Before her birth I was very overweight, smoked cigarettes, dabbled quite a bit at the craps table and would most likely be sitting down at the poker table on any given day. I recall a specific moment when my daughter was about a year old and she wanted me to take her outside on the swings. It was chilly that day so I had to dress warm. While putting on my shoes, I recall panting from being out of breath from the simple act of tying my own shoes.
It was at that moment that I knew I had to make a change so that I would be around a long time for her and my other children that were soon to come. In the last seven years, I quit smoking, dropped 65 pounds and even though I can still occasionally be found in a poker room, I have dramatically prioritized where my income goes and where most of my money is spent, which is primarily bills and workout clothes for my wife.
If you could have three things on the island, what would they be and why? A photo of my wife, a picture of my rugrats because they're awesome, and an antihistamine, which I will spike in somebody's drinking water if they are relentlessly annoying me and/or the group on the island.
Which Survivor contestant are you most like? I know you are looking for one, but I am going to split this in three. Mostly Cirie, because I think she is masterfully empathetic with other players. She has an amazing ability to disable people. I hope I can do what she has done in the game. Second is Cochran. He wins in the emotional intelligence category that allows him to morph into whatever he needs to at the time. He also understands the importance of stroking other people's egos when he needs to. This is something I hope I am capable of doing. And finally Rob Mariano, for the simple fact that we both come from Italian families with a background in construction. But more importantly, he sees the game big picture which is critical and I hope I can maintain.
Why do you think you'll "survive" Survivor? I grew up in a house with eight siblings. Lack of food, clothes, and showers are something I'm accustomed to. This game should be a walk in the park."