In 2009 I graduated with a degree in compsci, 3.0 gpa from an average school. I worked for a few professors as a research assistant doing fairly simple programming in C/C++. After graduating I found a better paying job at a different school. This job is hard to describe as my duties were all over the place, light programming, web development and a significant amount of work with adobe framemaker. This job paid well but the work environment was terrible. I quit in early 2011 with the intention of playing poker for a while (I had been a profitable player since 2006).
In both 2011 and 2012 I made over 100k. Some of this profit was from coaching and making videos for poker training sites but the majority from playing online. The truth is that im sick of playing, the game is slowly dying and the thought of being a 35 year old still playing poker for a living, if that is even possible, scares me (i am 26).
So, I want to get back into programming. I have been studying/programming small projects for the past 3 months and I am finding an incredible passion for it. I know for certain I want to develop for a living. Ive never felt this kind of drive. I am in no rush because of savings/supportive wife so I want to do this right.
My question is, how should I go about this? Should I include playing poker on my resume? I am proud of my poker accomplishments but I am scared they will be looked down upon from people thinking I am some sort of gambling addict. Putting nothing for 2.5 years would also look bad. I obviously will be taking a massive pay decrease, at this point id work for free if I thought it would open up some doors and set me up for a career.
Thanks for any insight you may have.