The first time I played poker was on a Friday night in early January 2001.
My first opponent was an Australian called Joe, and he had a full head of hair.
I was playing against a man named Chris, who looked a lot like me.
I remember thinking, this guy is a real tough guy.
Chris was the kind of guy who would beat up on anyone who wasn’t as good as him.
But he didn’t beat up too hard, either.
After a few rounds, I won the first hand.
I lost the next two, but Chris was still angry at me.
“What you doing here, man?” he said.
“I’m just playing poker with you.”
I couldn’t believe my luck.
I had played for two months against Joe, a tall, stocky guy who’d never played poker before.
I’d never been so nervous playing poker before, and the poker room was empty.
“It’s not your first time playing poker,” Joe told me.
We sat in silence for a few minutes.
I thought I was the first person to ever get to see a live poker table, but no one else had ever been to a live one.
I asked what I should do.
“Well, I’m not going to tell you,” Joe said.
I told him, “I just need you to get in front of a TV and play poker for a couple of minutes.”
“Well that’s okay,” he said, and sat in front me for about 20 minutes.
It was the longest poker session I’d ever had.
After we played for about an hour, I started to think, This is going to be a really good time for me to learn how to play poker.
But when I finally left the room, I was so nervous I nearly got punched in the nose.
I sat down on the couch and watched TV for a while.
I just kept thinking about how I had just won the poker game, and how it was just another game I’d played in the past.
But I’d seen so many poker players who’d gotten to the top of the game, who’d made it all the way to the World Series of Poker.
I began to think about what it would be like to play against people who had done it.
I wondered how good I would be, how much I could learn from the guys who had made it to the big leagues.
I felt like I was on an airplane that had crashed, but I knew that it was all worth it.
The next few days I played every single hand I played.
I didn’t need any advice, I just played.
And every time I lost, I’d be like, Oh, man, that was a terrible loss.
But after I won a few more, it dawned on me that this was not the way I should play.
So I started trying to improve.
One day, I went to the casino to play a game called Blackjack, and I didn’ have much money to play with.
The other day, Joe invited me to play at a tournament he was hosting.
It had been raining all day, and it was freezing.
I came out of the tournament thinking, Well, it looks like I have no chance of winning this game.
I started playing well enough that I was able to win the first $25,000 pot.
But that day, my friend Josh was there to play the tournament.
He was also in the hotel, but he didn’ play.
It turned out that Josh wasn’t too bad at poker, and so he was going to win all his money.
So he went back to his room and took a nap.
Then he woke up to find out that he had won a million dollars, and was still in the tournament the next day.
Josh had never even heard of poker.
“Oh my God, Josh, you’re a millionaire!” he yelled.
Josh and I played for an hour or so and eventually he won the tournament again.
I don’t remember exactly what I said to Josh after that, but we played it again and again.
“This is awesome, Josh,” I said.
But then I started thinking about what I’d just done, about how it might not have been enough.
And I started wondering how I could be even better than Josh had been.
And the more I thought about it, the more it was making me think about myself, about the things that I wanted to be good at.
So at that point, I decided that if I was going the poker way, I needed to play as much as possible, so that I’d have the best chance of beating anyone who had played a good amount of poker, who had been in the poker world, who was the best at what he or she did.
I learned a lot about myself that day.
The way I played was different from my own.
The games I played had a different feel to them, like they were a little bit different than I’d been playing.
And at first, it was