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I Read Cards, Not Minds

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I Read Cards, Not Minds

"I read cards, not minds." That's what I used to say to people as a fortune teller reading tarot cards, when they would ask me if I thought I had omniscient psychic powers. From tarot reader to poker player, I suppose I've always liked cards. My dad told me to play Blackjack in a Reno casino hotel room when I was a child. We traveled to Reno and Vegas every year, where we ate special VIP meals and my dad brought home trophies. I have wholesome memories of the sound of slot machines, and I didn't realize until adulthood that my dad must have had a gambling addiction.

I've led a good life of high variance. Unfortunately, at age 21 I became permanently disabled. Fortunately, at age 26 I married, and eight years later I had two beautiful children. Unfortunately, when I was 33, a truck crossed the double yellow line and hit my car head on while I was driving with my children. Fortunately, I was able to walk again in time, and even ran a marathon. Unfortunately, at age 34 I was diagnosed with Stage IIIC breast cancer. I endured five months of chemotherapy, double mastectomies, 36 rounds of radiation, and my ovaries were removed, all while I cared for two preschool aged children. Fortunately, I survived and am currently cancer free. The week of my ovary surgery I went on a camping trip since I had been looking forward to it throughout the long dark winter of my soul, and I took my husband, children, and good friend with me. Unfortunately, my good friend and my husband of over a decade hooked up, and less than two months later he moved in with her, triggering a legal battle that lasted a year. I paid handsomely and gave up spousal support to be able to move back to my homeland in Canada with the kids. Every day, I thank my lucky stars. In late December of 2017, I played my first hand of Zynga poker, at age 36. Something hooked me. I immediately subscribed to Doug Polk's Upswing email list and read each email religiously ever since. In January I read my first poker book from the library, *Play Poker Like the Pros* by Hellmuth. Currently, I'm reading *The Big Book of Poker* by Ken Warren. He wrote some stoic wisdom that explains why I love the game so much:

“Once you make a decision and then act on it, you have actually
fulfilled the object of the game. This will probably surprise you, but
what happens next in the hand after you act is not important. It does
not matter what your opponents do next and it's immaterial whether or
not you win the hand. The most important thing is that you understand
why you're making the play and what goal you're trying to accomplish.”

I joined all the Poker Facebook groups, followed all the Poker Twitters, Instagrams and Snapchat. I joined TwoPlusTwo and /r/poker on Reddit. I played the Poker Life podcast in my car. I moved from Zynga and Scatter poker to Pokerstars, PartyPoker and Bodog. I played my first live game in the summer at a local Freeroll. In the fall, I made my first deposit and began microstakes on PartyPoker. I made my first foray into my local casino, Hard Rock Vancouver, but they only had those weak sauce poker games: Three Card, Four Card, and UTH. I joined a local poker club and played my first online tournaments. Now, I buy every poker book I see at Value Village thrift store. I've drummed up a couple neighbours interested in a home game for nickels at my house. I've applied for a Content Creator/Manager position with RIO, and I look forward to being a StreamR. I sure hope I get tagged with the Live HH transcription for High Stakes Live Tournaments gig posted on here sometime, too. Goodness knows I love to sneak down to my local burger shack to watch WPT. I'm here to learn, to grow, to make friends, and to be at peace with life's variance.

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