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“It is a common belief that poker is a game of chance, therefore based above all on luck. But this is very wrong! The fact that it is played mostly with money doesn’t mean that it belongs to the kind of games like roulette or the lottery. There is actually a part of luck, but finally the better player wins, at least as much as in backgammon or bridge. In the world of poker you should enter step by step, with humility. You should study gradually how it works, and once you feel ready you can take your first small risks. The right balance between luck and ability are the ingridients that make poker very similar to backgammon and bridge. Poker goes actually further, it is the only game that includes all the four ludic “pulses” beautifully described by Roger Caillois in his ‘Les Jeux et les hommes’: Agon (ability, competitiveness), Alea (luck), Mimicry (the mask, wich in poker is the art of bluffing) and finally Ilinx (vertigo and adrenalin that the players feel during the gambling).”

translation from the introduction of
Il grande libro del Poker
by Dario De Toffoli

I “discovered” modern poker in 1998 in London, at the second edition of the Mind Sports Olympiad.
It was an accidental encounter, with the Omaha even before Texas.
Love at first sight: at once I understood that I would have had to deal with this game for a long time… and it was true. And, who knows, maybe it is just a question of imprinting, but Omaha is still my favourite version of the game.
At that time in Italy everybody was mixing up poker with the old little italian style card game with the five cards, and only very few people knew the new styles.
I immediately started to divulge these new versions of the game.