Poker face: How Hutter wins millions

"You have to be a good liar," says Temp Hutter, without a shred of apology. He can surely claim to be a pretty good one, but this time it's clear he's telling the truth. He's talking about his modus operandi at the poker table.

"You have to be able to sit there and keep the same expression and the same mannerisms no matter if you have a monster hand or you're bluffing," he continues. "That's not necessarily easy, especially when you're playing for a million dollars. I think that's one of my assets."

Formidable poker face notwithstanding, there's one thought in particular that must be dominating his head these days– something roughly akin to "Yippee!"

That's because– thanks to his poker skills– Hutter can now also count a cool million bucks among his assets. On November 17, he walked away from the World Poker Finals tournament at the Foxwoods Casino in Connecticut with second place standing and a check for $973,256.

Somehow, though, he still doesn't consider himself a pro, despite the fact that his recent wins qualify him for the Professional Poker Tour, where sponsors provide the prize money so players don't have to ante up $10,000 to play.

"I don't think my wife is going to let me do it," he says. "It'd be hard to quit my day job."

Hutter, whose day job is chief financial officer of the Charlottesville-based Pro-Tax chain of tax-prep and refund centers, doesn't always seem to know quite how to handle his newfound success. That might be because it sort of took him by surprise.

Prior to this year, he had no tournament experience whatsoever. Now ranks Hutter #16 in the world with two tournament victories and year-to-date winnings of $1,242,255.

While he declined the Hook's entreaties for a photograph, his shyness won't stop him from hitting the poker circuit with everything he's got.

"I've already got a plane ticket and a hotel room for the World Series [of Poker] this year," he says.

At the World Series– slated for June and July at the Rio Hotel and Casino in Las Vegas– the usual game is No-Limit Texas Hold 'Em. That's fine with Hutter: It's his favorite variant.

"I'm more practiced at it," he says. "With no limit, you can bet all your chips at any one time. That element of the game really changes everything up."

Of his recent haul, he says, "That whole day at Foxwoods, I never really got very good cards. I was having to play with my chips rather than my cards."

Yikes. If you had assumed that a terrible hand could keep this guy down, go fish.