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Old 08-14-2012, 06:16 AM   #1
Make Them Dig
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Adventures of a London Luckbox

Hello all,

I am a 23 year-old poker player living in London, UK. I 'went pro' around a year ago, and, despite being incredibly lazy, have at least managed to cover my monthly nut every month since then, mainly playing £1-£2 up to £2-£5 NL, which I guess is good. However, I have saved very little beyond this, which is bad. My hope is that posting updates in this thread will make me a little more 'professional' in my endeavours (see goals below). I also aim to include some life stuff, like trip reports from nights out, and other non-poker goals.

Background (cliffs: young guy goes to uni, plays poker, can't get a job, plays poker).

I first started playing poker regularly in my first year of uni, with a weekly ten pound tournament/micro stakes cash game with my hall mates. Around the same time I deposited online. While I was unquestionably a donk, I managed to win some money from my fellow students and luckbox a couple of small tourneys on Full Tilt. With some of my winnings I bought Theory of Poker and a couple of Harrington on Hold Ems, and then discovered Two Plus Two, where I lurked strategy threads.

Over the next two years I discovered that several of the casinos in my uni city held nightly hold em cash games and tournaments. The players mostly consisted of drunken Scandanavians over to watch live football and Chinese restaurant owners who love to gambol. These proved to be very lucrative for me, and I never had to go to an ATM for the rest of my uni life. I played only sporadically, and spent pretty much all of the money I made going out with friends, which I don't regret at all. The rest I blew on a couple of trips to the Middle East and South America.

I graduated a year ago, full of optimism. I hadn't got round to applying for any jobs, but finding one shouldn't be too hard with my 2.1 in a respected subject from a good university. How wrong I was! Luckily though, my family home is near London and I could still play live and online. Pretty soon I had a bit of cash, and I moved into a flat in central(ish) London with two friends with legit jobs. Since then I have played live cash games and, to a lesser extent, online MTTs for a living.

The following are my short-mid term goals in poker and in life

Make £2-£5 NL my main game. For the last few months I've played £1-£2 and £1-£3 as my main game with occasional £2-£5 bumhunting sessions. Time to move up I think.

Up my volume. I haven't made anything near what I should have in the last few months because of laziness, basically. Not very professional...

Get invited to or start a home game. I hear home games are pretty soft. I want in on this action! Any tips?

Play some big field live donkaments. The sad fact is, not many people come up through the ranks through grinding it out in cash games. Plus, live donkamenteurs are the worst poker players on the planet. I played UKIPT Nottingham in the spring and while there were plenty of decent players some of the play was just atrocious. I obviously busted on day 1 all the same.

Get better at poker. I've neglected study of late, which is very bad. I will probably join a training site soon, though I have no idea which one is best.

Never tilt. I tilt rarely, but it does happen. It's totally unacceptable. I find playing shorter sessions/taking more breaks than I used to helps a lot, but even so it rears its ugly head every now and then. Not good.

Volunteer at something. I don't want to play poker forever, so this would be good in terms of my CV. Also, as a UK poker player I don't pay any tax on winnings, so it's only right to give something back.

Keep seeing plenty of my friends/going on nights out. Poker can be absorbing, and some of the best games are on Friday/Saturday nights. I'm determined to miss plenty of these games though, as I have lots of friends outside of poker and am in a long-term relationship. It's tough to balance everything but I will certainly try!

I may well fail to reach some of these goals, at least in the near future, but making good progress would be fine.

I'll try to update this thread fairly regularly, as I think it could be great motivation!

Last edited by Make Them Dig; 08-14-2012 at 06:42 AM.
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Old 08-14-2012, 06:28 AM   #2
Make Them Dig
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re: Adventures of a London Luckbox

So... last night I decided to make some progress on my first goal and play some £2-£5 at the Vic. Except I didn't, as they turned me away because I was wearing shorts. Slightly tilting, as it's the only regular £2-£5 in town and I swear I see people dressed like bums in there all the time.

I ended up playing a long session of £1-£2 at a certain fish-filled establishment in the West End. I table selected well and am happy with my overall play, a couple of hands aside. I also ran terribly and lost £600 in probably the juiciest £1-£2 table in England . Nothing much to learn from it, just run better I guess.

This month I'm up about £1500 from maybe 30 hours of play, so I've been a lazy bastard, as per usual. Let's see if I can do a bit better for the second half of the month...
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Old 08-14-2012, 08:32 AM   #3
sighhhhcall
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re: Adventures of a London Luckbox

Hey im also a grinder in London. Playing live for a living is such a grind! I tried to do it for a while but it just took over my life and didnt have much time for other + life ev things.

Last edited by sighhhhcall; 08-14-2012 at 08:35 AM. Reason: .
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Old 08-14-2012, 08:37 AM   #4
sighhhhcall
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re: Adventures of a London Luckbox

Good luck with your goals and managing everything else successfully, so tough imo. I'll follow this thread closely
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Old 08-14-2012, 10:58 AM   #5
BertieWooster
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re: Adventures of a London Luckbox

Nice thread. I might be moving to London soon and if I do I'd be looking to dabble in the cash games, what sort of bankroll would you need for £2/5?

Good luck!
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Old 08-14-2012, 11:07 AM   #6
TheLuckFactor
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re: Adventures of a London Luckbox

Good luck OP. I think it's just a case of upping your hours and slowly improving your game along the way.

When playing in London I think you need to consider outside costs a lot such as travel to and from the casino, food, massages etc! These kind of things add up pretty quickly and can make a big difference on your monthly return. But there's certainly money to be made in those games, they are very soft on the most part.

Do you grind alone? Or do you have a mate or 2 that play similar stakes at the same time? Have you had any experience at 5/10 and 10/20? Are these games running regularly and do they have recreational players playing? Also interested in which casinos in London you prefer and why? From my experience the Vic was probably the most poker player friendly, with lots of games running at all times of the day.
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Old 08-14-2012, 11:37 AM   #7
LolDonkamentz
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re: Adventures of a London Luckbox

London / South Coast grinder checking in. Good luck, subbed.
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Old 08-14-2012, 12:43 PM   #8
LSgambler
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re: Adventures of a London Luckbox

Good thread. I'm moving to London soon playing high stakes (online mostly though), but will play some live probably as well depending on traffic. How often does 10/20+ run in casinos?

GL OP
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Old 08-14-2012, 12:51 PM   #9
Make Them Dig
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re: Adventures of a London Luckbox

Quote:
Originally Posted by sighhhhcall View Post
Good luck with your goals and managing everything else successfully, so tough imo. I'll follow this thread closely
ty
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Old 08-14-2012, 12:56 PM   #10
Make Them Dig
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re: Adventures of a London Luckbox

Quote:
Originally Posted by BertieWooster View Post
Nice thread. I might be moving to London soon and if I do I'd be looking to dabble in the cash games, what sort of bankroll would you need for £2/5?

Good luck!
I have about 20 buy ins. I'll prob have to make some good risk vs reward bankroll choices when I get deep some days. Should be fun.
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Old 08-14-2012, 01:22 PM   #11
Make Them Dig
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re: Adventures of a London Luckbox

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Originally Posted by TheLuckFactor View Post
Good luck OP. I think it's just a case of upping your hours and slowly improving your game along the way.
Yup, that's the plan!

Quote:
When playing in London I think you need to consider outside costs a lot such as travel to and from the casino, food, massages etc! These kind of things add up pretty quickly and can make a big difference on your monthly return. But there's certainly money to be made in those games, they are very soft on the most part.
Travel is not too bad for me, as I live in zone 1 (just!) so it never really costs more than about 3 quid. Massages hold no temptation for me. Watching old guys hit on the massage girls is entertaining/cringeing though. Food is a massive leak though.

Quote:
Do you grind alone? Or do you have a mate or 2 that play similar stakes at the same time?
I don't really have any proper friends who grind, my friends from uni who played all have jobs, though I can still annoy them with the odd brag or beat. I'm on friendly terms with a dozen or so guys from the casino, but I don't really 'know' them.

Quote:
Have you had any experience at 5/10 and 10/20? Are these games running regularly and do they have recreational players playing?
No experience personally, but they do run, in the Vic and the Palm. They can be very juicy, I've been told, or very tough, depending on the line-up, obv.

Quote:
Also interested in which casinos in London you prefer and why? From my experience the Vic was probably the most poker player friendly, with lots of games running at all times of the day.
The Vic is great for game selection. On any given night there's likely to be £1-£1 up to £5-£10 NL along with a £1-£2 PLO and maybe higher too. They're very efficient in seating people, which is great. IMO for below £2-£5 there are usually going to be plenty of better games in town. The average regular is a bit older and rockier than elsewhere. £1-£3 can be good though, as not many good £2-£5 regs play it. £1-£3 PLO up to £2-£5 is probably the best value game of its size in London if you have the mad PLO skills. Dealers are good, but can be a bit grumpy. A couple of the dealers have a real hard time figuring out the pot in PLO, which tilts me no end.

Empire is the best place for £1-£2 NL, imo. Lots of games, decent action, though the regs who've been around a while say it used to be much, much better, which sounds amazing to me. A big drawback is that this tends to be all that runs, though on the very rare occasions they have a PLO or ROE game it is too good to miss. I have fond memories of getting one of the reg 'pros' to stack off with dry aces, no back doors, in a £1600 pot vs my set. £2-£5 happens sometimes, and it's never bad. Dealers are pretty good. Floor rulings are always terrible. They just quote the rule book at you, never taking in account intention or common sense.

Elsewhere is pretty variable. The Palm is the place for £5-£10 and higher, and everywhere else tends to be £1-£1 or £1-£2. I've never joined the Fox, because live donkaments are lol and they don't often seem to get higher than £1-£2, but I will probably join to play their main event some time. The Hippodrome gets a surprising number of tables considering I got completely lost trying to find their poker room. I guess not everyone is as retarded as me . Random places like Gala Queensway can be great on a given night but there's really not telling, and not much way to game select.
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Old 08-14-2012, 01:23 PM   #12
Make Them Dig
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re: Adventures of a London Luckbox

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Originally Posted by LolDonkamentz View Post
London / South Coast grinder checking in. Good luck, subbed.
tyty
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Old 08-14-2012, 01:26 PM   #13
Make Them Dig
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re: Adventures of a London Luckbox

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Originally Posted by LSgambler View Post
Good thread. I'm moving to London soon playing high stakes (online mostly though), but will play some live probably as well depending on traffic. How often does 10/20+ run in casinos?

GL OP
£10-£25 runs at the Vic and the Palm Beach, but pretty much only when a whale is sat. There's a post in the London thread in B&M about how all the high stakes ballers spend their time chasing fish out of smaller games, bribing floormen to get a seat, and insta-sitting out when they leave. Neil Channing has a blog saying similar. £5-£10 is a bit more regular.

TY
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Old 08-14-2012, 01:35 PM   #14
LolDonkamentz
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re: Adventures of a London Luckbox

I've seen 10-25 running a fair bit recently at the Vic, follow @TheVicCardroom for hourly updates.

Palm Beach usually has decent games from what I've heard but I don't know enough about them.

Les Ambassadeurs has large private games but I know literally nothing about these.
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Old 08-15-2012, 05:41 AM   #15
sighhhhcall
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re: Adventures of a London Luckbox

The best 1/2 games in my experience are at the mint casino. They only get one table though and if youre not there when the game starts (9pm) you could be waiting a while.
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Old 08-16-2012, 01:19 PM   #16
Make Them Dig
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re: Adventures of a London Luckbox

So, in line with my goal of playing more £2-£5 on the regular, I again went directly to the Vic for my latest session. This time they let me in! So I was off to a good start . The £2-£5 game was short handed when I got there, and to be honest I was in two minds about staying but it soon filled up and I coolered a guy AA vs QQ. First time AA has held up for me for a while which is nice. The game still wasn't fantastic, so I switched to £1-£3 PLO, where most were £1k+ deep. I ran pretty good there to book a decent win overall.

I was pretty happy with my level of play and I think the session length (~5 hours) is about perfect for me. Generally when I play longer my play suffers. When I was a student I'd do ridiculous things like play 17 hour sessions but it's really not a great way to live and I find it impossible to play well throughout. I try to only do that now when the game is just too good to miss and even my C game is printing money.

I'll play again tonight, possibly at Empire if they have £2-£5.

Regarding life goals, I haven't made much progress re: volunteering. It is something I wanna do, but also the type of thing that I tend to put off forever. Early next week I'm going to make some progress though!
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Old 08-16-2012, 01:21 PM   #17
Make Them Dig
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re: Adventures of a London Luckbox

Note: I will post hands here from time to time, but I'd rather make them interesting ones / ones I'm unsure about rather than bad beats, coolers and whatnot.
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Old 08-21-2012, 12:27 PM   #18
Make Them Dig
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re: Adventures of a London Luckbox

Update

Volume wise, the last few days have been a bit of a fail. I played a decent session on Thursday night and another last night, but nothing in between, aside from a small online session on Sunday night. I don't feel like the time was wasted though as I spent the weekend with my gf, went out with friends and generally had fun, which is one of my goals after all.

On Thursday I played a session of very deep £1-£2 NL at Empire. It was actually the most fun I've had playing poker in a long time. I played pretty LAG and got dealt more than my share of monsters, and booked a decent win.

Last night I headed to the Vic as I saw on Twitter they had £2-£5 and PLO going. Lists were long so I started off on £1-£2 NL. I haven't played that stake at the Vic in so long, and I was surprised by how differently it played to other places. I played for half an hour and raised and took down the blinds three times. That might have doubled my tally for the last couple of months. The players are just as God-awful post flop as elsewhere, but they do seem nittier pre (this could all be wrong as I only played for half an hour, but it's in line with what others have said to me).

Eventually I got on the £2-£5 and the game pretty much sucked. It wasn't particularly deep and most players seemed on the young side and bet sizing was reasonable. So I transferred to £1-£2 PLO... where the game started off good, and then became incredibly good. Everyone was at least 400bb deep, and half the table were punting off. Combine that with some run good and I was able to book a good win for the night. I probably one outered one of the better regs in a £1600 pot. So yeah, I ran really well .

Here's a hand from last night:

£1-£2 PLO: straddled pot. There's a bunch of limpers and I limp along on the button with JT93ds. Blinds call and straddler checks. Many ways to the flop.

Flop: 9-3-3r. BB (action player, isn't afraid to make big moves) bets 25. Straddler (fish, overvalues hands like AA and 2 pair, pays off too light) calls. Everyone folds to me who raises to 100. BB 3bets to 225. Straddler insta-4bet shoves to ~750. . I folded, can anyone find a call?
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Old 08-21-2012, 01:17 PM   #19
massivetime
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re: Adventures of a London Luckbox

Posting for subscription, you're in a scarily similar situation to myself minus the presence at £2/£5 games. I'm a regular at the Vic, I'll probably end up playing with you before the end of September. Good luck man.
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Old 08-21-2012, 03:23 PM   #20
Make Them Dig
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re: Adventures of a London Luckbox

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Originally Posted by massivetime View Post
Posting for subscription, you're in a scarily similar situation to myself minus the presence at £2/£5 games. I'm a regular at the Vic, I'll probably end up playing with you before the end of September. Good luck man.
ty and gl! How good/deep/regular is £1/£3 NL at the Vic? I haven't it played in ages
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Old 08-21-2012, 06:35 PM   #21
massivetime
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re: Adventures of a London Luckbox

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Originally Posted by Make Them Dig View Post
ty and gl! How good/deep/regular is £1/£3 NL at the Vic? I haven't it played in ages
Normally one table every night from around 9pm and pretty deep, standard not great either. Just a bigger 1/2 really.
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Old 08-21-2012, 07:47 PM   #22
freezergt
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re: Adventures of a London Luckbox

How reggy is 1/2 at the Vic?

1/1 is obviously fish invested and a great smaller hourly and I hate the 1/2 at the empire.

GL I'm going to be playing semi-proffesionally their as of next month so will most likely bump into you
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Old 08-22-2012, 09:53 AM   #23
massivetime
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re: Adventures of a London Luckbox

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Originally Posted by freezergt View Post
How reggy is 1/2 at the Vic?

1/1 is obviously fish invested and a great smaller hourly and I hate the 1/2 at the empire.

GL I'm going to be playing semi-proffesionally their as of next month so will most likely bump into you
Obviously the higher you go the more familiar the faces but there are a few people you see all the time at 1/2 that are just terrible. A few gamble-happy regs just sit in 1/1 waiting for a seat
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Old 08-22-2012, 10:30 AM   #24
Make Them Dig
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re: Adventures of a London Luckbox

Quote:
Originally Posted by freezergt View Post
How reggy is 1/2 at the Vic?

1/1 is obviously fish invested and a great smaller hourly and I hate the 1/2 at the empire.

GL I'm going to be playing semi-proffesionally their as of next month so will most likely bump into you
What massivetime said. There are regs but the vast majority are terrible.

GL to you too.
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Old 08-22-2012, 10:32 AM   #25
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re: Adventures of a London Luckbox

dont play the 1/1 unless you feel like punishing yourself

the 1/2 at the vic is all about table selection, there are some good games to be hand, and listen out of the regs all trying to get a transfer when they spot a fish donating chunks

the empire tho, as you said is the best value in town for 1/2, and they get an occasional 2/5 going. if i was local, i would just live in the empire especially now they have a decent loyality freeroll and a hefty BBJ

the vic is great for 2/5, games start from midday, and run all night, if you want bigger games, palm beach and the vic are the only regular places for 5/10+ but i havent got much experiance in those games.

just keep this thread updated, and a more hands and this could be epic!
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