I've been playing card games as long as I can remember. I was introduced to 5 card draw on a family holiday ironically by my Mum. The poor woman always tried her best to steer me clear of any form of gambling, little did she know teaching me these hand rankings play a big part in me eventually choosing poker as a career.
When I was around the age of 16 in 2007 I discovered Texas Holdem. I would play every lunch time in school with different groups of friends. I absolutely loved the competition. Once I started to regularly beat them I wanted to test myself in a 'real' game. I entered a local pub tournament, run by tournament director extraordinaire Nick O'Hara. I would eventually get knocked out by another young chap, one I recognised as the older brother of a girl from my class. Kev Killeen. I feel it was this encounter that has probably had the biggest influence on my life over the course of the past 7 years.
We both were completely obsessed with the game. If we weren't playing, we were watching videos on training sites (bond18 on pokersavy being our hero), reading every single book we could get our hands on and most importantly in my opinion, running spots past each other. We've always played the differently over the years, but back in the day when we were terrible but inevitable thought we were the top dogs our arguments over hands would get heated at times. These days we're more likely to hear the other person out whether we agree with each other or not and use it to help our game somehow. It would ultimately lead to Kev leaving his job as an electrician and my school grades suffering from a lack of attendance (COD modern warfare 2 may or may not have influenced this also). The first summer where we started to get any sort of decent results online was 2010. I distinctly remember the first time I had a decent four figure score. I decided to mix it up from my usually $5 to $50 heads up SNGs depending on how far I could spin it up. I won an afternoon $26 MTT on FTP for just shy of $5k. I felt on top of the world sitting in Kev's apartment in Galway, I just wanted to go celebrate. Problem. Neither of us had any cash to go out. We ended up chopping a pizza to celebrate. Ballin'. At the time we had an agreement where we swapped in the region of 10% to 20%. I can't remember the figure exactly.