So for those of you who don't know me; let me tell you a bit about myself. As mentioned in my profile, I'm British and originally started out life as a cadet in the Merchant Navy. After 10 years of that I achieved an Unlimited Masters certificate and worked my way to a First Officer on cruise ships. The job is great (albeit hard work sometimes... no most of the time), but the nice thing about it, was that with my regular schedule of working 3 months on and then 2/3 months off I basically had 5-6 months a year to concentrate full time on my passion - POKER!
Ever since I was a kid I was fascinated with cards, coins, magic, and casinos. I remember the first book I ever read about poker was Amarillo Slim's 'Play Poker to Win.' This guy talked about guys like Puggy Pearson and Doyle 'Texas Dolly' Brunson! It wasn't until quite a few years later in the Bellagio that I would see these guys with my own eyes! And to think... when I first read that old book, I figured all these guys must be dead already. Well, how wrong could I have been!
I had my first taste of gambling when I was about 10 years old. My dad give me 20p to bet on a horse (well, he did the betting - I just picked it). All I could think of was how to win the most $$$ so I picked the outsider at like 20 to 1. Sure enough... it won! I was hooked. Every Saturday I'd have the Racing Post at 7am and study until noon. I would triple my pocket money or go home with none! It was like that for years. To be honest, I probably lost, but it was only pennies, so who cares. By the time I was 16 I was going to the bookies myself, but that was about the same time I went away to sea for the first time. As soon as I was 18 I went to my first casino. I'd already learnt blackjack at home (including card counting) and was ready to 'bring down the house!' Well, as you can imagine that never happened! The rules suck in the UK and they play with 6-8 frigg'n decks (now they all use card shufflers).
It was during my occasional visits however, that I noticed poker being played in the corner. I would stand and watch for hours, wondering where the hell these guys get all that money from! The game was self dealt and a mixture of chips and cash. Dealer’s choice - Hold'em, Omaha, Irish, you name it... they played it. I could smell the money, but I knew it would take a lot of time and effort before I'd be sitting in that game.
I put it off for a few years, but finally online poker kicked off and I bought a few good books. I turned my first $100 deposit into a few thousand and then back down again. I guess it's just progressed from there. I play brick and mortar a lot now too. Incidentally, with the same guys I used to watch when I was 18. Only it's me sitting their now with the pile of cash and these old timers wondering how these 'young guns' get so good, so quickly. I've probably played more hands online then some of these guys have played in their whole lives! I owe my progression to online poker, forums and training sites like Cardrunners.com. They know it too, but they're just too damn stubborn to change. Well, their loss, my gain!
So that brings me to the present and the year ahead. I've talking about taking year off for a while now, but I guess it's just a matter of biting the bullet. See, problem is I've always felt that with my job I takes two steps forward (when I am home and playing all the time), and then one step back (when I'm away and playing a very limited amount). Well, I figure if I'm going to become the best poker player I can possible be then I have to do it full time... for at least a year. So here we go, it all starts now. Wish me luck!