Well, poker for me was not even an after thought. I've always been into athletics, and fierce competition. Growing up playing every sport imaginable, I was always looking for something to challenge myself with. I was pretty decent in every sport, and excelling in baseball in particular. I am now 32, and with my baseball career long in the past, I have found my new "challenge"; Texas Hold 'em.
I played Texas Hold 'em for the first time at my parents house, playing with pennies, nickels, and dimes, and a buy in of about $5. I actually did well, and won maybe $2 by the end of the night. I've always had a good bit of common sense, and knew when I should fold or play a hand to completion... or so I thought. We played again a few weeks later, and I lost the entire buy in rather quickly. I thought that if was dealt a J or a K that I had a really powerful hand, and should automatically play it, or even raise or re-raise! Boy was I wrong.
I didn't do too well, and if I ever had a winning session, or even only lost 10% of my starting stack by the end of the night, it was completely luck. It's funny how people associate the word "luck" while losing a hand, and think they are playing well, or have a "hot hand" if they win a couple hands.
I've since learned that poker is a game of skill, rather than a game of luck. Granted, sometimes we do need the cards to fall the right way, but most of the time playing the odds the correct way will help increase hitting the turn or river with the right card. It's amazing how the same people get "lucky" time and time again while playing cash games or tournaments. Knowing the percentages, and not being afraid to lay down a big pair all equates to getting "lucky" at the poker table.
I am now studying and playing the game everyday. I DVR and watch every episode of Poker After Dark, and read and even re-read chapters on strategy and numbers. Poker After Dark is a great show because they show almost every hand, not just the exciting hands where a miracle river came out to bust someone. You can learn pre and post flop strategy, and how to play the majority and minority play hands effectively. You can even pick up on players tells, and how they change when the momentum shifts.
All in all, I love numbers, I'm super competitive, and I am very even keel... watch out if I ever sit down at the table next to you.
"All I need is a chip and a chair."