For the love of Prague
When I wrote this, I was sitting in Prague where the latest European Poker Tour stop is winding down. I had just busted the Main Event and had been playing cash games and having fun with my friends as I prepared to return home to Hungary where I have been for the rest of the year.
I always enjoyed coming to Prague. It's the closest EPT stop to Budapest (where I live), so I kind of consider it to be like a "home" event for me. The games are always good, and the field is big and usually soft. And there are usually a lot of Hungarians who come here, too.
Besides being a beautiful city, Prague is also filled with history, which is something that appeals to me because I have a degree in political science and thus am very interested in history. I love all of the stops on the EPT, as all of those cities (Barcelona, Sanremo, Prague, Berlin, etc.) are great to visit and have rich histories that stretch back many centuries. And the organization of the tournaments by PokerStars on the EPT is fantastic, too.
I went to school in my hometown of Miskolc, Hungary, and soon after did some traveling to visit the U.S. and other countries. Then I spent a year working various jobs for low pay, including as a waiter, a housekeeper, and a mover. It was a good experience for me, and in fact had a lot to do with helping me respect the value of money.
After that year of working odd jobs I took a more stable position with an IT company for about one-and-a-half years, and after that moved over to poker full-time which I've done for the last seven years or so.
I was fortunate to have success early on in poker, and that initial upswing made it easier for me to make that transition to becoming a pro. But I think having that experience in the working world has helped me tremendously when it comes to bankroll management and staying in the game.
Overall poker has been a great career for me. Traveling to different cities to play has allowed me to continue to explore my interest in history. And my pre-poker work experiences have helped me when it comes to managing money, too.
I didn't know it at the time when I was getting my degree and working those former jobs, but really I was preparing to be a poker player all along!
Richard Toth is a member of Team PokerStars Pro