re: Poker & How long before i should be cashing
Totally depends on the situation. The thing with tournament poker is, the element of luck plays a bigger factor than in cash games and therefore is very volatile. Cash games - you make the right play every time, in the long run you'll win money. Tournament poker....you can make the right moves all day long and be out in an instant and there goes your buy in. It is highly volatile. However, it can be a huge score if you win one.
Tournament poker is about being patient, observant and picking your spots to make moves (steal pots/blinds, etc.) I love Dan Harrington's series on tournament poker. If you're just starting out, I'd take a look at those. If nothing else, it will give you a perspective on what other seasoned players are doing. You may win one of your first tournaments and then not cash again for several. You may not cash for several and then go on a burner and cash in a bunch and win one or two.