In my 'graduate' school days... (This translates to the second time I was in college when I was hanging out at CMU far too much) I played Bridge and a little bit of penny Poker. I didn't like it much because some of the guys competing were very much of the attitude of "win at all costs" and weren't exactly fun to be around when they lost... or won for that matter.
A couple of weeks ago, after church (of all places) we played some poker. I didn't do too great... I didn't do horribly. But it was fun. Then I watched an episode of Celebrity Poker...
Well, from there it was more TV and then buying a really cheap set of those crappy Bicycle branded plastic poker chips. The box was damaged and missing half the chips. We found it at a Savon drug store. The manager gave it to us for .99 (marked down from $3.99) We bought a deck of cards...
I'm happy that jnanacandra humoured me in my interest to play poker. She liked 7 card stud, I was liking a 5 card draw variation that involved drawing up to 5, betting, then drawing again up to 3. I found a nifty neato game for the Mac called iPoker. This actually began to hook Heather.
Now, I'm sensitive to addictive personality traits. I can get very hooked. So, when it comes to gambling, I am more than willing to play and practice, and indulge.. But always with a Cancer-like eye on the money. I am frugal to a fault.
From iPoker came buying my first set of real chips. The local game-store was going out of business. (Actually, it sucks...Gamekeeper a national chain of board, casino, and rpgs is being closed by Hasbro) So I bought 2 boxes of really nice clay chips for about $20. Heather and I bought another deck or two and started playing with the nice chips. This was the beginning of the flood gates opening.
More TV, another book (this one by Phil Helmuth), and now Heather and I are playing tournament-style, no-limit, Texas hold'em once or twice a week.
An announce on one of the shows talks about online gaming. And like every other moron watching Poker TV shows, I see Chris Moneymaker take $2.5(M) in the 2003 WSOP after spending $40 online to climb from tournament to tournament. So, now I hunt up online poker.
Again... the cash flow has been very frugal. I finally opt to put a small amount of money into the online poker thing. I play a tournament and there are 137 players. I end up 83. I'm told that's fairly good. Haven't really won any money playing poker.
Tonight, I sat at a $0.50/$1.00 table. Antes (or blinds as they are called in Hold'em) are those table prices. I entered with $20. I actually hit one or two good pots. I was at $25. This was nice. I went down to $22. I told myself if I dropped below $20 I was out. I hit a beautiful King high-straight and the other person was playing to the low straight. I grabbed a $9.00 pot and looked at $31 in my pocket. Let me restate I do not have a gambling problem. I had no problem with that win and promptly left the table to talk about my play.
I've been playing a lot on the free tables. It's interesting, free is different from pay which is different from tournament. I want to keep practicing. Now when I come home, Heather asks if I want to play poker. And we sit for an hour or two watching her beat the hell out of me..
Well, to be honest. After turning 875 in chips each into a 1620-230 lead over the first three sessions we played. Over the last 3 sessions she's only been able to chip away at me slowly. You also have to remember that Heather is a Mensan, chess player that at an exhibition actually got an international chess champion to pause to think at her table unlike everyone else that he simply pointed quick moves to make.
She is a demon at the game "Set". So the fact that she is my learning partner is alot of fun. I love her dearly :)
This is my current addiction. You may now scoff and warn.