Archive for January, 2010

Going Pro

Posted: January 30, 2010 in General

Mrs fLuke is off to enjoy a New Zealand summer shortly. She’s away for three weeks, two of which I intend to spend in London, so I figure I may take a shot at ‘going pro’ for week while she’s not around to cast disapproving glances.

Obviously I have a real job that I don’t intend to give up any time soon, so the intention is to play at least six hours a day, Monday to Saturday. It’d be nice to make a few extra quid, but primarily this exercise will be to see (a) how dull playing so much poker could be, (b) whether I can pull in enough of a salary to sustain the lifestyle I’ve become accustomed to, and probably most importantly (c) to examine the impact of intensive poker life on my psychology and physiology.

If I’m playing as a pro, I’ll have to do so to some fairly strict rules. Will be taking no more than 10% of my bankroll out on any given night, and will be seeking out games where said 10% can be put into play in at least four buy-ins. I don’t have a bankroll per se, my ill gotten gains are just mixed up with real money in a savings account, so instead of this I intend to substitute my lifetime poker profit, which as the result of a rather bad run in January is reduced to £8,600.

For simplicity, we’ll call that £800 a night, which nicely provides four reloads at 1/2 NL.

I did give some consideration to playing a week of tournaments, however I’ve previously concluded that tournament poker isn’t my forte. I lack the discipline and patience to go months between each big score. Much prefer the instant gratification of playing a solid winning cash session. Cash will also provide more flexibility on venues and start/finish times.

To mix it up a little I’m intending to vary my playing location from day to day. Probably aiming for something like the following:

  • Monday – a relaxed start to the week at the Gala, taking  a chance to build an early lead on the week
  • Tuesday – the International to try to hoover up any drop-outs from the ‘beginners night’ tournament
  • Wednesday – the regular Canine private game at The Loose Cannon
  • Thursday – may make a return visit to the Vic, as it’s been well over a year since I last played there
  • Friday – the Empire for a long late game that’s very likely to last into the following morning
  • Saturday -home for breakfast, some afternoon Zzz’s, and then back to the Empire to close down my six days of hard graft

Will aim to blog my results nightly, so pop back soon for an update on how it’s going.


Taking a bad beat with the worst hand

Posted: January 24, 2010 in General

Saturday 2am to 6am had the Empire nicely sewn-up for a moderate but safely won £350 profit.

Saturday 7pm to 10pm had the Empire nicely sewn-up for a moderate but safely won further £200 profit.

Saturday 10pm to 1am had my Empire nicely sewn-up for a moderate but safely lost £700, courtesy of the Baron. Two hands of note:

  1. The Baron and I get it all in on the flop, me with top and bottom pair, him with top pair, a flush draw and a gutshot. His %age advantage holds to take down the first biggish pot of the last few hours with a straight.
  2. The Baron and I induce the only other big stack on the table to shove into us with AJ after I flop middle set on an A45 board and somewhat predictably the Baron has 23o. Baron takes down a £700 pot that I could almost taste.

We had the rest of the table in knots for the entire night, everyone else afraid to put a chip in the pot for fear of being outrun, outplayed or outgunned. Unforunately though it was really only Tom and I that were willing to play for stacks, and so in the end we just pushed the chips back and forth between us until we found the two only meaningful situations of the night. Despite being behind when the money went in on both hands, losing with 2-pair versus 1 feels horrible; and even though he had the implied odds to call after I raised my red fives and found four callers,  it still felt like an absolutely horrific bad beat to lose with a set versus such a  rag hand.



Posted: January 15, 2010 in General

Popped into the Cannon for what turned-out to be a monster game this evening. Run-bad from last night continues apace unfortunately. Have quite honestly sat at the table for eleven hours now and have seen four premium hands: AQ once, QQ once and JJ twice. Only one of those in this evening’s shorter session, and I had to pass my jacks on an ace high board where it turned out all three other players to the flop had one each.

No outdraws to report this time at least, I managed to get all three of my stacks in bad. Most notably flopping a flush with 64s versus an aggressive Conrad’s nut-flush for a £700 pot. Believe I played the hand correctly given the conditions, so I guess I just have to shrug it off and persist until the current wave of variance washes over…

Three pair

Posted: January 14, 2010 in General

Two pair on the flop good, three pair by the river bad. Got my money in with the best hand no less than four times last night at the Empire, only to be counterfeited in such a manner.

Total loss £640, wiping out yesterday’s profits.

As I was saying to the Baron towards the end of the night, taking a long-term view as a solid player all you can really do is to try to win as much as possible when you’re running good and lose as little as possible when running bad. My results of the last two nights don’t exactly demonstrate that, however it is something I’ve tried to play to for the last few years.

Oh well…

Bit of an ugly first two sessions for 2010. The first a £200 hit that really should have been a decent win after I lost a massive pot shoving a 14-out draw into Smalls and missing. The second a planned small limit drunk game that went a bit overboard and cost me £450.

Had a few days of solid sober poker planned for the second week of the year, but after twisting my knee in a double class of spin & ski circuits at the gym I had to blow-off Wing Tsun, and so decided to spend the evening at the Empire instead.

Lost my first stack of £200 on the second hand played, shoving trips with AJ into what turned out to be a rivered flush. However from there it was all upwards as I changed tables and started to run like a God. A few very well timed steals and a couple of clever plays, but the majority of the win due to catching a world of draws, and finding a lot of spots against good second best hands.

Extract from my SMS boom/doom monologue to the Baron copied below if you’re interested in the details.

First hand doom. Stacked with AJ trips vs flush. Net-200

Boom. Back in credit. Manage to get JJ to pass pre with an oop reraise with my TT (weird given stacks), then stacked the third short stacked player shoving blind before flop dealt. Just now flopped KK top set but no major action. Net+50

Stacked a regular with bottom set. Moved tables as they were all just too solid, also starting to catch on to the numerous small pots I stole. Net+150

Boom. A7 two pair on flop called by AJ. Have two fit chinese bird on table now, keep up the studying bookworm. Ps. I’m not here late, so stay home. Net+400

Booooom. Made correct thin call with 4th pair on river. Next hand check-shoved flush draw & overcards and hit. Net+550

[Much later] Still going, have 1100 in front for 400 start. Table full of loose passives, just one danger stack. Conditions too good to go home at moment. Net+800

Boom. Flopped nut flush vs king flush vs bottom set and held to stack both. Running rather good it seems… Net+900

All the loose passive players busted. Made one wrong step at end for 200 loss with flopped bottom set vs a turned straight. Don’t think could have got away from it. Final score +708

And so net/net for the year I’m back into the black, banking a moderate £58 profit for 2010.