yes and yes. It smoked like crazy at first. But then it calmed down. Does this mean trouble?
I suspect it could be flooding, too rich on gas, but I'm not there to see and hear.
When one is flooding, it might start only with a lot of throttle, will run ragged at first then smooth out if it's able to clear the excess gas. Meanwhile, you should see some black smoke. The exception of this engine is that it can flood bad enough to make white gas vapor, which is rare on gasoline engines.
Flooding would make it impossible to run with the choke on. If it continues flooding, it will die when you let off the throttle, because there's less air for the extra fuel.