I didn't think about poker at all for the next week, just concentrated on college, this was a few weeks prior to my A-level exams. The weekend arrived, sitting down to revise I suddenly had the urge to play poker. Asked for another $20, no problem. Sat back at the $0.50-1 NL table at Pokerroom, this time I was focused, full concentration, I had to make my $10 back. Things started off badly and I went down $9, I started to worry about losing another $20. Then it happened. It was one of the bests sensations I will ever have, winning my first pot brought sheer jubilation, I remember jumping up and running round the room (these were the days when I was moderately sane). From $9 to just over $30, and over the next hour it got better, I left the table with $62. I slept happily that night. I logged on for a few hours that week, this is when I really began to notice the guys who were my opponents (I had just watched the film Rounders, and the phrase "If you can't spot the sucker in the first half hour, you are the sucker." was echoing in my head), the same guys would be up a $100 or so every time we played. Sometimes I just watched, I cannot over emphasize the importance of watching great poker players (the sharks). I learnt a lot from these guys.
Over the month I built my bankroll up to about $300, I decided to cash-out $250 by postal cheque. By the time it arrived I had lost the $50 I had left on. So back to Mum's credit card, slapped on another $50, lost, another $50 which I lost also. I let her keep the profit in exchange for another $50. Over the next three to four months, this process was repeated many times (the bank probably thought there was some money laundering going on). During this time I had moved up levels and was now playing $1-2 NL, the action was much faster and every decision was a cliff hanger. I probably squeezed a couple hundred $'s profit, but I let my mum keep it.
I went to University in September, and poker was put on hold due to excess socialising, and no internet connection where I lived. It was towards the November where I played for brief spells, making money and losing it again. I had my own credit card by this time and had a bit of money from my student loan and some small winnings to play with. The Christmas holidays arrived. I planned to revise for exams in January, but revision was soon replaced by poker. The week leading up to Christmas day was my worst, down $300 and more. I made the decision, if I lost the $50 I had left on my PokerRoom account I would quit. It was 2 or 3 days before new year and I was down to my final $22. I decided I would go for broke and play the $20+2 limit tournament, my first tournament that wasn't a free roll. All I remember is I came 2nd, $930 thank you. My brother came home from a late night out and phoned all his friends, smug was an understatement. (Continued: The Great White)