When I was a couple of years older I began playing poker and rummy with my parents and their friends. Thanks to my keen interest they let me sit down and join in, and whilst they were there to have fun, throw away some pennies away and get drunk, I played it like a dedicated pro. I would even practice for those nights, knowing that if I played my cards right (literally) I could come away with what amounted to a couple of dollars. A lot of money for a kid who wasn’t on any pocket money (my parents used to say, “if we give it to one then we have to give it to all, and if we give it to all then we’ll go broke”)
I would like to say that I was a child prodigy, that I won all the pocket money I could ever need from my parents and their friends, but the truth is I was useless and I lost more than I won. I pretty much gave the game up at that point as life and adolescence got in the way, but following the crippling embarrassment and awkwardness that I am forced to call my teenage years (we’ll save that for another post, preferably one that no one ever reads), I returned to the game in my early twenties when my friend invited me to a small Texas Hold’em tournament.
It was then that I fell in love with it again. I finished second in the tournament, more through luck than anything else, and began to join and play on a regular basis. Fast forward a couple of years and I had been on a few stops of the bigger tours, saving all of my winnings from home games and casino games to buy my tickets. Then the online game took off and I was there when it did. I played from the beginning, back when there were just a handful of people at the tables and only one or two variants on offer. It offered something a little different and served to increase the excitement. It was quick, tense and there was a lot of money exchanging hands; it was poker like I had never known before and I loved it.
I became a very gifted Omaha and Hold’em player and I also made it my duty to learn every variant that I could. I had big cashes in 7 Card Stud and 5 Card Draw games at casinos in Vegas and Miami, I won a big Badugi tournament on Pokerstars — one of the first ones — and I picked up big wins in Triple Draw, 8-Game and more. I played day-in day-out but at one point I began to tire of the game. It was too “samey” and it had lost its edge for me.
I actually considered giving the game up at one point, which was surprising considering that I had made poker my full-time career for a number of years and was making a very healthy living from it. But instead I decided to take a few months off, to reset myself and to see if I would miss the game and thus fall in love with it all over again. That break changed my life.
It was during this time that I discovered Open-Face Chinese Poker, introduced to me by a high-stakes player who had been involved in a few of the first tournaments at the Bellagio. It was a little confusing at first and I had no desire to learn, but he convinced me and promised he would pay for my buy-in at an upcoming tournament if I learned how to play.
So I did just that and I was hooked from the first hand. It restored all of the excitement that I had lost and for the first time in a long time I actually enjoyed playing poker again. That first night we stayed awake for hours playing and then the money began exchanging hands and adding to the excitement. I finished second in the first tournament I ever played, reminiscent of my first time playing Hold’em professionally, and I decided that I was going to return to poker and devote my time to learning this new game.
That was about a year ago now, and I stuck to my promise. I’m still learning of course, but that’s the beauty of OFC. There’s so much to understand and so much to discover that you never stop learning. I have played in OFC tournaments with some of the biggest names around, both online and offline, and although I fancy myself to be a solid player, I’m still some way off the standard of the big OFC stars, mainly the Russians and the Finnish.
In an effort to further develop my game, and to teach other poker players the joy of OFC, I developed this site. All the articles and all of the content was written by me, all of the games and websites that you see advertised were carefully selected by me and I am a member on all of them. Who knows, if you join up you might even catch me playing at one of the tables.