In order to re-vitalize my blog I am going to re-tell my poker story with some new additions and finally end up where I am now. Going to be a long ride but here was the old Part I, which was my first blog post ever:
I spent my pre-school and elementary school summers on Cape Cod, as my grand parents had a summer residence there, and my mother worked in the school system. My grand parents and parents were big card players. My grand parents would regularly go to Bridge and Pinochle tournaments. When my mom would go places, my grand parents would baby sit my brother, my cousins, and I. At night, the game playing began to keep us entertained. I was always up a little later where my grandmother and grandfather would play card games together. I would beg to play with them, and it wasn’t long after five years of age, that I played my first hand of five card draw for bingo chips.
My fascination with games continued, and I would routinely try to stay up late the nights my father would host his home game. He has been rotating in the same home game from Sept-May on the first Friday of every month for over 30 years. One night, when I was seven, I couldn’t sleep as the camaraderie in the kitchen was too loud. This is where, upon my father’s lap, I played my first hand of seven card stud.
My first job, at ten years old, was in the local paper office. I stuffed ads in the papers before my 60 house route. I would get to the office about 20 minutes before the paper truck showed up. There was always a deck of cards around, and six of us everyday playing all sorts of poker games: seven card stud, five card draw, scat 31, follow the queen, shared board games like criss-cross, etc. We played for nickels, dimes, and occasionally quarters.
This carried right on through high school, college, where the quarters eventually became dollars. We played nearly weekly when everyone was on college breaks and daily over winter breaks. We didn’t learn Holdem until the mid-90s and for the first few years we played with just a heavy ante. I wasn’t until the late 90s where we discovered the blind-structure. We always had a rotating deal so no button was needed. All games were no-limit pretty much but it was a gentlemen’s game until the night was late, we were drunk and the game would end with $5 ante NL 5-card draw, “Old West” as we called it.
If I get back east, I play with this guys when I can, over 30 years after the first time we played.
In September of 2001, I started a new job. I was invited to a home game of some of my co-workers and was introduced to limit hold’em. I was fascinated by the structure, and I headed to the book store to look for more information. I bought “Theory of Poker” by David Sklansky and “Hold’em Poker for Advanced Players” by Sklansky and Malmouth. I kept reading and rereading the material and continued to play limit hold’em. I started do web searches for more information about Texas Hold’em where I found a site by ‘Dick in Phoenix’. Dick was an avid player of the game; I’m sure he has no idea how his site changed my entire life. Dick’s site was very helpful, and I found the nickname, ‘Dick in Phoenix’ was Dick’s username on the twoplustwo forums.
I started reading the twoplustwo forums in the fall of 2002. I was amazed that such depth poker discussion took place. Every single bet, call, raise, or fold was routinely debated for days. I was intimidated by such poker prowess and lurked the boards for months. I discovered online poker from the forum, and started to play low limit hold’em on Paradise Poker. It wasn’t until spring of 2003 that I mustered up the confidence to post my first hand on twoplustwo. That was the beginning of where I am today.
Part II tomorrow.