‘Survivor: South Pacific’ Pre-Game Interview: Jim Rice

by | August 22, 2011 at 9:01 AM | Survivor, TV News

Name: Jim Rice

Age: 35

Current Residence: Denver, Colorado

Occupation: Medical Marijuana Dispensary Owner

Tribe: Savaii

Gordon Holmes: You must have the world’s best resume. Lay it all out for me.
Jim Rice:
I did the corporate thing for a while. Worked for Motorola, worked my way up the ladder. Then went back and got my MBA in mergers and acquisitions. And then I quit one day, much to the chagrin of my parents, and started playing poker. I won a World Poker Tour bracelet and about twenty other tournaments. But what I really like doing is starting businesses. I started a wine store; it ended up being the most successful wine store in Denver. I sold it and went on to a few other businesses. But the one that really took off is the medical marijuana business. I’ve been doing that for about two years, I currently own two dispensaries in Denver, Colorado and two grow locations.
Holmes: What are some of the misconceptions people have about someone in your business?
Rice: There are a lot of misconceptions about not only the people who run them, but the individuals that use marijuana. I’ll tell you this; I’ve never smoked pot. But I 100% believe in the medicinal value of it. When people get to me, they’re in such dire pain. And I’ve never once had someone say to me, “I wish I wouldn’t have tried it.” Everybody says, “I wish I would have tried it sooner as a viable alternative to pain killers.” But there are tons of misconceptions about me. I’m sure people expect me to have long hair and say “Dude” and “Man” a lot. But that’s just not me.
Holmes: So you’ve never smoked weed?
Rice: Never.
Holmes: I’ve never smoked and can probably count on one hand the number of people I know who haven’t.
Rice: Same here. Especially in my business.

Holmes: There’ve been poker players on “Survivor” before. Sometimes they overestimate their ability to read people. Are the games similar enough for your background to give you an edge?
Rice:
I think there are a lot of similarities between “Survivor” and poker. You have all of these different scenarios and you have to plan for each of them. There’s also being able to read individuals and question motivations. And to make a trap and fall into it.

Holmes: I ask this question to everyone, and I think I already know your answer; how deceptive are you prepared to be?
Rice:
I think that more than anything, on a macro level the game of “Survivor” asks the question, “Do the ends justify the means?” And I’ll answer that right now before I do anything, that the answer is yes. There’s not much I wouldn’t do.

Holmes: You claim to be the most unique person to ever play the game.
Rice:
I think I am. When you look at this cast you see a lot of people who fit into types. You line me up against them and I don’t have a type. How many MBAs that run dispensaries are playing this game? That also have a World Poker Tour bracelet?
Holmes: I think the answer is “not enough.”
Rice: (Laughs) I’d agree.

Survivor: South Pacific” premieres Wednesday, September 14, 2011 at 8 p.m. ET on CBS.

More “Survivor” Fun: XFINITY TV sent Gordon Holmes into the heart of the South Pacific to get a first-hand look at the filming of the latest edition of “Survivor.” Be sure to check back for exclusive interviews with the returning All-Stars and host Jeff Probst, behind-the-scenes photos, and Gordon’s personal (and injury-filled) account of what it’s like to compete in an actual immunity challenge.

Any Questions about “Survivor: South Pacific”? Drop me a line on Twitter: @gordonholmes