I learned how to play poker during the summer of 2004. I distinctly remember the day: USA Chess, Inc. was holding a chess camp in Wilmington, DE. A few of the camp instructors and I were in the hotel restaurant for dinner and I convinced them to teach me how to play. We moved to the lobby area, brought out a deck of cards and collected as many $1 bills as possible. We did not sleep that night; went directly to camp the next morning right from the lobby, in fact. I was hooked.
     I continued my poker education by playing the local cash games in the Dallas/Ft. Worth area. Little did I know that this would prove to be a tough place to learn the game - perhaps one of the toughest places in the country. I had no idea about the history of poker, where it started, where the hotbeds of action were, etc. But I found out very quickly.
     Once I realized the difference between cash games and tournament poker, I decided to focus on tournaments. I thought that my chess background and experience would be helpful and relevant to the skills needed to be a good poker tournament player. I traveled a bit throughout 2004-2005 playing various WSOP Circuit Events and tournaments at Louisiana, Mississippi, Indiana and Oklahoma casinos. I did not have good results, and by the end of the 2006 World Series of Poker in Las Vegas, I burned out.
     I started playing poker again in late 2008 and spent most of 2009 traveling back and forth between Atlantic City, Foxwoods, Las Vegas, Los Angeles, Europe and Africa playing in the EPT, WPT and WSOP circuits. I had good results. I had also started playing online poker more regularly during this time and I'd noticed substantial improvement when I would play live poker. I had played sporadically online throughout 2005-2006, but now I was determined to devote more time online and to improving. 
     By January 2010 I was playing online tournament poker full time. I was able to play online for 16 months before it was banned in the United States. I did well during this period having played approximately 10,000 mtt's with an ROI of 49%. I lived in Las Vegas for a while after online poker was banned in the U.S. but eventually moved to Rosarito, Mexico to get back online. I loved living in Mexico and created a thread on 2+2 that I updated with pictures and trip reports throughout my time there.

     I moved back to the U.S. in 2014 to my home state of New Jersey since they now have legal, regulated online poker.