Good afternoon, everyone, and welcome to playing with shadows. I am your humble writer, DarkFirebird, aka Shadowbird. I'm not the brightest bulb in the chandelier, but I'll try to be as insightful and entertaining as I can in relating my poker adventures to you as best I am able to remember them. To start off, maybe I should tell my poker story. Once upon a time, in a gal--oh, wait a sec, wrong story, and that one's copyrighted anyway...let's rewind and start at the beginning. Seven years ago, I somehow managed to stumble upon the World Series of Poker on ESPN, which I have been watching every year since. I had never played poker before in my life (well, at least, no poker but 5-card draw, and not for money) nor watched it on television, but what I saw interested me. I watched the main event through to the end, and I liked what I saw. Of course, when one Chris Moneymaker won in the end, I was both in awe at his win and also in shock that "you can play poker online? For REAL!?" Of course, I couldn't do anything with this revelation at the time, considering that I was 19...so for a few years, I forgot about it pretty much. Then about 4 or so years ago, I made an online friend from the Las Vegas area who also happened to be into poker. He and I actually had been playing a different card game altogether, but our mutual appreciation for poker came out soon enough. So we joined poker sites and played quite a bit. He obviously was able to play more live games, as at the time, our local casino didn't have poker (at least as I knew), but we played online as much as we could. I never really tried to make money playing poker myself, but I did play with real money over the years, including live games. I've never really worried so much about winning and losing, as for me, poker's been a way to unwind. Regardless, I still have a good idea about when to quit altogether...and I try not to get arrogant when I'm ahead. I hope I'll have many interesting poker stories to tell here, so until the next time, best of probabilities.