It was summer of 1995. i was 16 years old. Some friends and i gathered secretely once again in my bedroom and we were playing poker. Back wasnt aware of texas hold em but the regular poker was just fine.
We used to play for 20-30 pounds each (that was like 50-60 dollars back then) but we used to hide the money and play with chips so that even if we got cought we would say that we are playing with chips.
I was enjoying a nice life with my gabling winnings untill school began and we had to separate with the friends. We used to play here and there for christmas but slowly slowly poker lifestyle faded out untill i went to the army in 1997.
In 1997 we found a secret place in the army where we could play poker without being seen. I used to win loads of money and live like a king inside the camp. Untill one day, we got careless because it was chirstmas and we were playing on our beds. I was around 5-6 times my money untill the commander showed up to wish us merry christmas.....that was the end of our poker days as he sent me miles away...
Ever since i slowly forgot about poker and the excitement it gave me (not to mention the profits) until 3 years ago, when had a new years eve pary in my house.
We all gathered to play the 5card poker. Suddenly my cousin yells out: Why dont we play texas?
I wasnt really comfortable with the idea of playing a totally different game versus 8 people. Not to mention that i was half drunk untill then.
A couple of guys knew the game and they were trying to convince the rest of us that its better than the poker we know and its really skill rather than luck.
That was it! I learned the game that night...dont expect me to tell you that i won cause i lost all my money that night....but it was the sweetest money i ve ever lost. I lost to a card game that finally was not about luck and luck only. It was about handling your cards right, betting right, playing the player and not his cards.

It was somewhere in 2009 when i discovered Pokerstars and its the only place i play. And there's a reason for that but i ll get back to this later.
I was casually playing here and then but in november 2010 i started taking the game seriously. I was playing more regularly, i was reading books, watching the pros play. I was trying to get as many information about the game as i could.  My practice was the 0.10 cents S&G.
360 careless people who only have 0.10 cents to lose and they will surely lose them if you play like a shark. Fold your ATs, fold your AJ, fold your small pairs 22,33,44,55 (when all in occurs) but make sure you play your AA,KK,QQ,AKs, AK agressively. They will call with anything, you build your stack and then you can be the preditor again...
Anyways, i ve been playing loads of games of 0.10 cents and i was in the money pretty often. When i finally got my 1st win and 2nd place the exact next game i played, my confidence was way up and i thought that it was time to move on.

I got it going, investing more money this time in me and in Nov 1 2010 i finished 65 place out of 7242 $3.30 +R tournament winning my first $115,00
I also won a SUNDAY MILLION ticket for only $3,00 and that got me $317,00 by finishing 1124 place out of 8341 people. That was Nov 15 2010
While i was enjoying myself with playing a game i fell in love with, by the end of 2010 i had to stop getting paid from my work while continuing to work there. I know it sound crazy but to cut the long story short: its a family business that isnt going so well (had to fire all the staff) and i feel obligated to stay there untill everything is sorted out.
So here i am with a work to do, but no income!

Life lead me to think poker as a source of income....would i make it? I wasnt really sure if i could play under the pressure of making a living out of it. Cause its not like a regular job where you make everything right and at the end of the day you completed your 8 or 10 hours and you will get paid. Its POKER! you can do everything right and leave first from the tournament. (by the way i only play tournaments, i dont grind yet).

Since december 2010 when i lost my job i have around $3,400 of winnings but dont get me wrong, these are not profits. In poker you win some you lose some. If you manage to win more than you lose, well then thats the beauty!
Poker rankings shows ROI (return of investment) -19% on a $4,891.00 total earnings. Heres the link if you want to see some results:

Anyhow, recently i discovered PSO. I am so glad i did! This school put me back on track. It reminded me that you need plenty of discipline to play poker. You need to play right! Before PSO i slowly slowly started playing like a donk calling from UTG with 86s or 10 7s or whatever crap i had in hand.
I enjoyed the structure of the lessons and i feel that i belong in the POS family now! I wish Pokerstars gave us something like a ribbon to know one another! I played at the league a couple of times and now i think i am going to be a regular )

Now i am back on my 0.10 cents tournaments since my budget is really low (got expenses) but i won a ticket for competing for a package of the biggest event ever occured in greece. The greek cup! It has a buyin of 1100 euros and i am playing in the 20th of March 21:00 Eastern European Time.

I will be posting here on my blog random subjects, about my progress, discussing some tactics, interesting poker issues and i would love to hear from you guys, to meet you.

My name is Stelios Orphanides i am 31 years old, i live in Cyprus/Limassol. My wife Elena (who is very supportive with me playing poker and i am thankful for that) is currently pregnant. The radiologist said its probably a boy which makes me VERY VERY HAPPY. At last but not least, we have a 3 y.o daughter named Maria after my mother. She likes poker. The first time i delt her, she made a flush beating my trip 7's

Thanks for reading i ll keep you guys posted!