Just a few weeks ago I couldnt have told you if a flush beat a full house and didnt know a flop from a river. But I had caught a few hands of poker on tv, heard of the internet poker phenomenon, had some time on my hands, and decided to give it a go.

I'd never played the game before. The impression I had gained of it from movies etc was of a game that centred around bluffing and macho posturing. The idea that poker might be more about maths, probability and game theory struck a chord with me. All subjects I have long been fascinated by. So I created an account on PokerStars determined to see if I could become proficient in the game. I must admit I was not immune to the lure of all the signon and first deposit bonuses on offer. If I could just become good enough to break even at smallish stakes, I could make a nice little  profit from bonuses alone.

But that is for the future. First I have to learn the basics.