I used to be one of those people who scoffed at gamblers.

Reading all kinds of books in the Rich Dad Poor Dad series by Robert Kiyosaki and other gems like Napoleon Hill's Think and Grow Rich. 

I did my best to start my own businesses. I have had 6, to date, I think. Some went better than others. I turned 40 last year and you might say it's time for my mid-life crisis. 

My best friend lived in a roomshare situation with a mixed Japanese - French family. Everyone played cards there. Like most of you I am guessing, my home life was infused with regular family card game nights. Mostly harmless non betting games like Oh hell; 500; bridge; crib; Koon Can; Last Card; and one for you poker manics, Go Fish. So cards have never been far from my hands.

New Zealand, where I was born, didn't have any casinos when I was a kid. Which is a good thing, probably. I would have walked in there and had so many hard knocks that you'd have thought the colours black and blue were making a never ending come back. 

Coming and living in Japan, a lot of my youthful anger and pent up tension has been worn down, through countless lessons in cultural differences. Generally speaking, foreigners here are much more direct in their choice of words, and also in their mannerisms.

I have learnt from living in Japan for the last 18 years or so, to deal some patience to myself, to knock the corners of my opinions most times and to be a little less quick to go for the samurai sword.
It's not easy admitting I'm not right. So usually I try to avoid that- old habits die hard- and bluff my way through situations. Generally I count myself as quite a good "story teller" AKA liar.

Cutting a long story longer, my American friend who lived with this mixed family, introduced me to Texas Holdem NLP. 
After righteously refusing such stuff for 20 or so years, I caved in and played. That was the first time in May 2011. Last year. Since then I have been hooked. I love the game. I read everything I can about it. Right now going into Annie Duke's  Decide to Play Great Poker.

I really want to get started on poker stars. I went into the Christchurch Casino when I was back for my sisters wedding last month. Talk about fish. Man, you'd have thought that there was water all around me or that they just read my plays one by one. I was so shocked. Even the stupid dealer was giving me tips in the end. (of course they weren't really based on any sensible intelligence.. he just saw me losing) 

So I came back to Japan, revved up to study harder. I am so gutted that Japan is going to charge 10000yen at the doors when casinos open here. How stupid. 

I have been trying to put money into my pokerstars account to no avail. Once the holidays are over I am going to go down to the bank and try to sort it out so that they can help me do it online. That way at least I can get my fishy feet in the starting blocks.