I love poker. Unfortunately, I haven't played online in a while. The site that I use did a complete overhaul of their software. Not only is the layout completely different, albeit better, but part of the overhaul meant changing their server provider. So, you had to take a "scenic route" to get the update by going to the website, re-downloading the software, and logging in using your email address instead of your screen name. Getting used to the layout was difficult, but doable, but because downloading the update was somewhat convoluted, I lost all of the lovely fishies that I could take advantage of in the sit-n-gos. I also lost my sit-n-go action, as with the launch of the new software, the only place for action at my stakes were the six-max cash game tables. Quite the opposite of my bread and butter. I'm waiting the whole thing out so that more fishies join the site again. Anyway, I digress. To celebrate my love of poker, and perhaps inspire me to get back in the game, I am watching/listening to my favorite episode of High Stakes Poker. It's Season 4, Episode 1. How can you not love the deuce-seven game?
How My Love of Poker Started
My fiance (my boyfriend at the time) first taught me how to play poker back in 2010. When I first learned, I didn't take the game too seriously. My intention was to know how to play so I could play with our friends. I had no interest in studying the game or in doing anything to improve my skill. That changed when I started watching poker on television.
Since my boyfriend/fiance and I liked poker, poker was something that both us could agree on watching. It was when I started watching tournaments, like the World Poker Tour, and saw that there were hardly any women playing. I didn't like that so few women were playing, so I decided that the only way to fix that was to take poker seriously and to do what it takes to get to the level of playing in the WPT. After all, you need to be the change that you want to see in the world, and I've loved the game ever since.
It Took Me a Little While to Get to Real Money
When I decided to get serious back in 2010, I was also scared to start playing with real money against real people. I needed to learn more and to practice more first. So, I started with a computer game playing AI called Governor of Poker 2. This actually turned out be a really great game because the plot is amazing!. The final boss is the governor of Texas, who wants to ban poker from the state. To beat the game, you need to play the governor in a heads-up Texas Hold 'Em match, best of three. If you win, then you get to become the governor of Texas and poker remains legal. I think all higher offices should be determined through heads-up poker matches.
Anyway, once I beat the game and felt more comfortable, I moved over to play money tables on Pokerstars and Full Tilt Poker. I focused only on sit-n-gos and spent my time building my "bankroll". I started with hold 'em, but I did spend some time playing eight-game sit-n-gos, which I really enjoyed and wish I could play again. But, I live in the United States and I can't use Pokerstars to play the eight-game sit-n-gos, and Pokerstars is the only site that has them. Sure, I could do the play money tables, but at this point in my poker adventures, play money is rather boring. Anyway, I built my "bankroll" and got to a point after a year or so where play money wasn't fun anymore.
Real Money is a Completely Different Beast
It really is. I joined a poker forum to post hands and to discuss strategy, although since I haven't been playing in a while, I haven't been posting much lately. The forum has helped a great deal, and offers tons of strategy articles that I still need to read. My initial goal when I started with real money was to double my deposit. The closest I got was a 50% increase, and right now I am at 20 or 25% decrease from the initial deposit. I'm down, but I still love poker. The swings are part of the game.