I have played various forms of poker as long as I can remember. My father taught me to play blackjack at a very young age and my mother taught me to play chess. My father, mother, sister, and I played some kind of competetive game almost every night.
I played all the sports they offered in my town and my parents were at every game. I joined the Army after school and went to Airborne School and even joined the boxing team. After the Army I continued to play sports for another 15 years.
I met up with some really great business mentors along the way who helped me in the business world and I began to have success moving up the corporate ladder. As I moved in to a management position and my income grew, so did my sense of responsibilty to my family. I made a decision in the late 90's that I could not risk a sports injury which could result in the loss of what for my family and I was a very large income......so I hung up the cleats and put the balls and raquets and bats in the closet.
I was making more money than I had ever made in my life, but I missed the competition of sports. Poker seemed like a good outlet to replace this without the risk of a serious injury. I'm not one to put money in to something without feeling fairly confident that I have a fighting chance of getting something out of it so I began to read books on the latest craze of poker, Texas Hold 'em.
I read and read and read. I downloaded Party and started playing a little at the play money tables. I gained confidence but lacked the experience to be very good, but I could tell I was getting better every time I played.
A co-worker told me about a live tournament he was going to play in and I thought that sounded like a lot of fun with a chance at winning some money. It was a 200 dollar buy in tournament, but he told me about it a few months in advance so I just put aside about 25 a week and began to save up to play it. I met a salesman at work who had just moved to town from Las Vegas. He talked about poker all the time, and from all the books I had read he seemed to know what he was talking about. I told him about the tournament and asked him if he would like to play in it. He said yes and asked me if I would like to split our winnings. I said sure.
The day of the tournament he just seemed so relaxed and ready. He smiled and smiled all day and I was excited as well. We went to the tournament and there were over a hundred people there. I had never played hold em live before. I made it to about the half way mark and ran in to pocket aces when I held Ak and I was out. My "partner" was doing well still and had a nice stack of chips and he was really having a great time. He just kept smiling and knocking out all these people that looked so serious. He knocked them out one by one until they were all gone. We walked out of there with over six thousand dollars.
I deposited a hundred on Party and gave my wife the rest. (this really helps cut down the static if you do this.)
I played sit n gos and built it up to 300 bucks. I played some 10 dollar qualifiers for the Super tournaments on Party and qualified for 5 of them. I made the money in 3 of them, each time for over 800 dollars. Then I qualified for the million and made the money in it too for another 800. That's when I started my blog....that very night!!!
I started going to Tunica and Biloxi and playing live. I have been a winner at the tables every trip but one.
The biggest win of all came late last year when I came in 2nd in a 10 dollar multi on Party and won about 3,500 bucks. I used this money to take some shots at the 5/10 and 10/20 tables on Party. It went fairly well but the swings were bigger than my bankroll could take. I was very fortunate to stop playing these on the tail end of a very good session. I need a little more time at the lower limit tables before making the move back up to these.
I decided to cash out the money and again give it to my wife. (i really can't overstate how much freedom that has given me to play) She began playing serious after this as well and has become a very good player. (she has made 2 final tables in live tournaments)
There have been a couple of what seemed like really long streaks of bad luck, but I just keep my cool, try to learn from them, and keep growing. I plan on taking some shots at higher tournaments over the next several months. I'll let you know how it goes.
Good luck at the tables this week everyone!!