David in Blogland.

It was bound to happen sooner or later. I’ve officially joined the legion of idiots spewing nonsense into cyperspace. Welcome to my blog.

About me:

I spent my entire childhood and most of my adulthood sidestepping the question of what I wanted to do with my life. As an undergrad, I fancied myself a writer, and was told that becoming a lawyer was a nice way to parlay my supposed skill into a lucrative career.

So I went to a fancy law school. I graduated. I landed a job at a big law firm. And after a few years, I got fired.

None of it resonated. Not the austere law school or its reputable curriculum. Not the diploma with the Latin words on it. Not the pompous law firm or the oversized egos populating it. Not even the experience of being rejected from that culture. I felt nothing. I was nowhere.

I still fancied myself a writer, so for awhile I pretended I’d make a living doing that. It didn’t take long to discover that I lacked the talent and determination to make it happen.

Still directionless, I latched onto my father’s criminal defense practice. As it turns out, I did not inherit my father’s drive or his love for courtroom wrangling. What I did inherit from Dad is his taste for games of chance.

As a child, I can remember working out the odds for blackjack and craps with a paper and pencil. I can also remember possessing an uncanny knack for handicapping professional football games (I trait I think I still possess). And I can remember my time as a childhood bookie, running football pools at an age when most kids could not do long division. And, most importantly, I can remember my late maternal grandfather teaching me the basics of poker, and I can remember using that knowledge to separate my Junior High School friends from their lunch money on a regular basis. I enjoyed that a lot.

My love of poker lied dormant through high school, college, and law school. It was not until sometime in 2001 that it was rekindled. I began to participate in a home game in my neighborhood, and found poker on television (a Travel Channel special airing a luxury cruise line’s tournament won by Kathy Liebert hooked me). I soon found myself buying instructional manuals and thinking strategically about hands I had played in my home game. I also discovered online poker and internet poker newsgroups. Before long, I was a bit of a budding poker know-it-all. Something funny was happening: I felt most alive when I was challenging myself at the poker table. I began to play in much of my spare time: at new home games, in New York’s poker clubs, and online.

Sometime in 2003, I became a consistent winner. Sometime in 2004, I became a prodigious winner relative to the low stakes I was then playing. And in 2005, I qualified for the World Series of Poker’s Main Event online and proceeded to cash in that tournament. At that time, another strange thing happened–I began to consider playing poker professionally. This was not strange because playing poker for a living is so unusual, but because I was taking charge of my life for the first time. I felt energized. In October of 2005, I gave my father notice that I’d be setting off on my own.

I’ve been playing poker for a living since January 2006, and as of the date of this first blog entry (May 16, 2006), it’s been a success. Also, I’m as happy as I can ever remember being.

This website is unlikely to break any new ground, but I feel like I have a lot to share. I hope to use this space to track my progress as a pro, to discuss interesting hands I’ve played, and to arbitrarily discharge my pearls of wisdom and sure-to-be-amusing anecdotes.

I guess I still fancy myself a writer. So hello everyone.

-David Zeitlin