Your Poker Story

I was just wondering: How did you discover and get into the game of Poker?

For me it’s kind of a personal story that I’ve never talked about until now. When I was born in 1996 I was extremely sick I had heart problems and kidney problems. The day I was born the doctors told my parents I would most likey not make it though the night. I beat all odds and eventually got better after 3 years and several surgeries thankfully I was to young to remember any of it.

Growing up the Doctors said I shouldn’t play any contact sports (If you’ve read my Replay profile page you know I’m a big sports fan.)

Than one night in 2015 I was going though the channels I saw"Poker After Dark" that’s when I first discovered the game and I fell in love with the game of Poker almost instantly. A few days later I googled “Free Poker sites” and Replay was the first site to come up! I consider Poker a mind sport but that’s a debate for a different day.

That’s really how I found Replay Poker and discovered my love for the game. That’s my Poker story. How did you discover Poker? Just wondering.



@Marc978. Wow, my eyes were leaking during the first paragraph. Glad to have you here and thanks for sharing!!!

For me it was the United States Marine Corps. 18 years old and somewhere in the world you didn’t want to be.

We got paid every 2 weeks , couldn’t really spend the money on anything and didn’t know if we were going to be around the next minute or not so during “free time” you really only had a few things to do, write letters, read the same magazine you already read 50 times , play craps or poker.

I chose the latter and here I am years later on Replay Poker still playing the game I love.

That’s just the poker story :wink:


For me it was 6 years ago, I went into surgery to have a routine gall bladder removal because there was a cist on it, it’s just a three small hole endoscopy operation and I should have been back at work 3 days later driving a truck and delivering goods from a central warehouse to a supermarket chain here in Germany.

Aparently… (because I don’t remember) … in recovery, I complained that I was in pain, after pain killers were administered and 4 hours had passed I was still in pain so they took me down and opened me up to see what the problem was.

My stomach wall had ruptured and the gastrick acids had already attacked all of my organs, they did what they could and put me into an artificial coma and informed my family that I had a one percent chance of survival.

I was at some stage transfered to a specialist hospital where 7 weeks later I awoke from the coma and didn’t have a clue what had happened, I couldn’t speak, couldn’t move my limbs, and was confused.

cutting this short, after a lot of care and hard work I eventually learned to walk and do things for myself again and today apart from not being able to lift heavy objects, I’m quite healthy and live a normal life though I am now unable to work as I’m classed as 80% disabled.

Well not being able to work after having been working since my 15th birthday ( I was then 56 years old ) was difficult to come to terms with and so I bought a PC and somewhere along the lines I discovered Poker.

Poker is just 1 of the many things that I do on my PC but it is by far the most enjoyable of them.


My Poker story starts at the end of WWII, with my Dad…
SSGT Garland D Finley learned to play poker on board ship returning from the Pacific Theater in 3 1/2 weeks at sea with 3000 men who had just gotten a year’s pay and had nothing else to do but gamble. If they went home with too much or too little, Mom & Dad or the Mrs. would certainly know something was up!! That’s when he developed his poker rules!!
With his love of the game, it was only natural that he used it as an effective parenting tool… Just before kindergarten, Dad used poker to teach me numbers. When I played slowly, he might ask, “So, are ya counting the dots? Are they all still there?” Later, he taught me odds as a tool in decision making. He used poker to teach about life:
#1 - Always be polite. Beat them on the table, the only way it counts in poker.
#2 - If it’s folded, it didn’t exist: look forward in you play.

When I was in the military 67-70 & 76-93, I played poker to build team spirit. I was also fortunate enough to deal part-time in 1973, and have a table with 2 greats, Amarillo Slim and Johnny DeMoss.

Finding Replay, I found my Poker Home. It feels ike a childhood family garage game…


Greetings Marc & our Replay family,
That is a very powerful & intimate story about poker and how fighters and survivors learn to play, succeed, and thrive in the game of poker, as well as everyday life, . All this based on the real life true story that you were the main character in, or Star of… By no choice of your own…
I’d like you to consider adding or putting your story into your bio’s somehow Marc. No telling how many people this could touch & inspire or help in many ways that you don’t even know it could. The ones facing similar challenges in their life quietly as we all do in the beginning … All it might take from them is to stumble onto a game you happen to be on ( Poker after Dark kinda) and then, similar to myself, like to read and learn about other people who’s paths we cross. Sometimes when people or players come across each other, it’s by accident, or maybe it’s a coincidence, then perhaps it might be a little more divine intervention or inspiration from somewhere…
Then, what I know of you and so many of the other volunteers at Replay. That desire and willingness to step out of your own life and graciously help others… I think this part of you could open many many more doors in the future that will help others who first, identify with your life experiences, then your playing skills and knowledge. Based on all my life experience, this will also make the relationship so much closer with the people you’re being of service to, in life as well as poker …
Your friend, Rail-Bird :sunglasses:


well said RB!!


Hi Rail-Bird,

I have taken your suggestion and I have updated my Replay Poker profile page to include my story. I hope it inspires people who may be facing similar challenges and I would also like to offer a little bit of advice to anyone who may be facing similar challenges that I did throughout my childhood and even sometimes now as an adult:

Never let anyone say you can’t do this or can’t do that. Don’t let people bring you down and don’t let any medical problem or disability define you. You only have one life on this earth. Spend that time doing things you love and don’t think of what people may think or say, This is your life not theirs.

For me I grew up loving watching sports then in my early adult years I discovered Poker and fell in love with it. I believe I was 19 at the time I first watched “Poker After Dark” now I’m 21 years old and simply love playing and teaching new players the game of NL Texas Hold’em.





I learned to play while I was in prison, using cards made from toilet paper and inmates’ teeth as chips. It’s surprising how fast you learn in that kind of environment.


surprised to see there are so many sad stories involved to be led to this game. but i’m glad all of you all have so much fun in the game considering what happened.

here is mine:
the first time i learned about poker was about august 2013. i go every year to a vacation camp for people with autism, i always enjoy this a lot because i like almost all people there a lot and also because we always do all different kinds of fun activities. but of course we also have some spare time between these activities. one of these times someone wanted to play poker and learned the game to a few people, i was one of them. however it was more of a cheap incomplete version of it, like no straight flushes and straights better then flush, missing rules and all kinds of things like that. but of course i didn’t knew at the time. but while i always like to play games i wasn’t really much into card games at the time, i did liked it but it wasn’t really on the top or something like that. but considerering this i was really surprised how much i liked the game of poker and in a matter of days it already became one of my favorite games and the favorite not long after. after the camp was done (always monday to friday) when i came home i tried to learn more about the game by studying the rules on google and once i learned.

if you also like to know my other milestones in poker. see my profile page


Greetings Ms. LaYer Thanks for sharing your story… You never mentioned where, how long ago, or if it was in another country, which the prisons are hugely different. Sorry for all the questions, but that was an interesting sliver of your poker story.
Thanks, Rail-Bird :sunglasses:

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It was 13 months ago. I got sent to a US prison for an overdue library book.


I was in the third grade. On a rainy afternoon in 1954 I was over at a friends and he said to his mother, “We’re bored’” His mother had the perfect solution. “Why don’t you teach your friends how to play poker?” So here we are,65 years later and still leaning how to play poker.



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Glad to see someone on Replay has an exagerated and morbid sense of humor! Bet it really helps your bluffing gme, Huh?! :see_no_evil::hear_no_evil::speak_no_evil:


I flagged the post. I read the response, look at the username and there you have it.

Another ( you know what ) ruining a good thread.

I’m surprised that post is still here. You don’t have to be a member here or logged in to read the forum posts. I hope not to many readers worldwide saw that and were just disgusted.

@Craig_Anthony @Lecky - Its a joke, from the top ranked player here. In addition to being the sites chip-leader, he happens to be a really nice person on the tables as well, offering help and tips to players smart enough to ask and wise enough to listen. There are quite a few trolls here but this isn’t one of them.

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Top ranked player on the site.
It’s a guy with a girls picture.
Username, idiot player.
Disgusting response.

He should have come back and gave everyone a heads up about it being a joke.

Thanks for clearing that up.

I’ll let my daughter know who is a member of this site that it was a joke and see if she comes back.

Thanks again :+1:t2:

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He’s a nice guy and tries to help people on the forum ? ? ?
No wonder a disguise… I should have thought of that… :scream:
JUST KIDDING…:sunglasses:

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I moved to Indianapolis with a job promotion in 03. I didn’t know anyone in the entire state. I was playing duplicate bridge at the time, and clubs there have partnership desks for the pairs game. (arguably better than poker but that debate is for another day). I became friends with one player, old enough to be my dad, and he invited me to his family for Thanksgiving. I met two of his six sons, who were my age. First we played bridge, and I cleaned house. then we played Texas Hold 'em. They mopped the floor and took no prisoners. I, only knowing 5 and 7 cd stud was amazed.

15 years later, I am in FL killing a day off watching a free School of Rock concert at a local bar, and there is this Omaha game in a pub poker league. I play, lose quick and think nothing of it. But a few weeks later I see the same league in a restaurant near my job, with some of the same people. Texas hold 'em is so much easier, and my first game there I made final table and placed for some points. I became a weekly player at that site for almost 2 years.

I got my father involved and he joined me for a while. He’s in a wheel chair and only plays at venues without high top tables, often too weak to play. I started looking for day games and eventually games on line. He never got to play on line, but I got hooked. He is in rehab now, and my tips to pub dealers decreased as I play there less. I get all the thrills from my pc without the expense (I buy food and drinks for extra chips and spend over 20 per evening with nothing but points to show for it, sigh)

I still play there Sundays when I must work open and close to cover the dept. There is a game in between, but I play here 7 days a week often more than once. This is a fun game.