I'm the kind of guy who has to eventually be great at something if I'm ever going to pick it up to start with. I've always been this way. It's no fun to be bad at things, so I will only pick something up if I think I have a chance to be great. By "great," I mean being among the best (not necessarily THE best).
I started playing Texas Holdem about 3 years ago and at that time, I was just playing to hang out with the guys and have some fun. I didn't know how much I would love it though. In keeping with wanting to be among the best at things, I'm very competitive by nature. That's just part of wanting to be great at things.
Since that night, I've spent a lot of time playing poker and even more time studying poker (especially No Limit Texas Hold'em). I realized very early that if I ever wanted to be great, I needed to seriously LEARN to play like great players. To learn to be a really great poker player, I do all of the following things farely regularly.
1. I play 3 live poker games every week.
2. I watch poker almost every time it's on TV. If I can't see it "live," I always record it to watch later.
3. I search the internet for other poker blogs to learn about how others play and think about poker.
4. I search the internet for poker educational sites. There are lots of them out there that are really good.
5. I study the guys that I play with and I pay close attention to the way they create success at the table.
6. I spend time weekly reflecting on my own game. I tend to be brutally honest with my own game play.
7. I play online weekly at www.fulltiltpoker.com. Playing several hundred hands per week keeps me on my game and improves my Friday Night Poker games.
8. I even have a Texas Hold'em app on my Blackberry.
Texas Hold'em is like everything else when it comes to being great. You have to learn the trade (so to speak), and there is a lot to learn: The basic rules, winning hand hierarchy, basic and advanced strategies, statistical odds, and more. This will take a lot of time, but if you really love doing anything, it's worth it.