Monday, July 14, 2008

2nd Anniversary at Poker Academy

Posted: Thu Dec 20, 2007 10:51 am
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A little more than two years ago my mother-in-law took the first step in making a seemigly irrevocable change in my life. She gave me TJ Cloutier's poker software for my birthday. I had been watching poker on TV for several years, she knew I had an interest in the game, so there you have it.

Although I had been watching the WPT and a bit of the WSOP, I must say, I was generally clueless as to many aspects of Hold 'em, and knew nothing of Stud or Omaha, and the TJ software wth it's pop-up tips from the master himself helped quite a bit. It was not long, perhaps six weeks, until I had amassed a sizable bankroll against the software. However, this accomplishment did come with a price.

It might have happened right away: I began dreaming about poker; and if the dream wasn't specifically about poker, then poker was the metaphor that drove the dream along. I don't know, playing 6 hours or more each day may have had something to with it. The monkey was firmly attached to my back in no time flat.

Well, that Christmas season was quickly upon us, and my dear wife, always taking note of things her husband takes an interest in, ran across the Standard Version of Poker Academy at the Mac Store and picked it up, along with another piece of poker software, wrapped both, ad gave them to me for Christmas. She said, "I didn't know which one you'd like better so I got both. We can return the one you don't need." Once I saw that there was an online component to Poker Academy, my choice was easy. The prospect(er...get it? Still waiting Sam.) of playing against others online was exciting. I spent no time in loading the software and logging on.

I spent about four hours playing the bots before checking out the live rooms. Is it wrong of me to have never returned to the bots? The live play was too much of a draw. Here were other who, presumedly, were learning the gae just as I was, yet I was getting my ass handed to me over and over. It soon became clear to me that I had joined a community of poker students and enthusiasts alike.

Two years later and it seems like I have never logged off. A lot has happened both within Poker Academy and to my game, and I would like to think that both have improved, even with the growing pains. I can still donk off chips with the best of them, yet I know that with each new game, I get another little "plug-in" for my game as a watch and play against players whom are much more skilled than I, and against those whom approach the game and the value of the software from a much different perspective than I. As I have found out -- the hard way -- both types of players play for real money.

Thankfully, I no longer dream about poker, or at least not as often. (Last night I dreamt about shopping for chicken flavored wet cat food.) Of course, who has time to sleep when there is poker to be played? And now, I look forward to my third year and wonder what it has in store. How will Poker Academy change and what will 70,000 to 100,000 more hands do for my game? Each day new players show up and begin working their way up through the ranks and the "regulars" return with new tricks up their sleeves. Because of this Poker Academy remains a dynamic environment from which to learn. In many ways I feel priviledged and grateful to be a member of this community, even if it has taken over a large chunk of my life.

Thanks for being there.

(edit) I just saw that I've posted 673 time as well. Oh lord I'm a sick puppy!)

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