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Adventures of a London Luckbox Adventures of a London Luckbox

11-20-2012 , 03:02 AM
I can't help it if this sounds inherently racist, but the asian poker community in london are an unbearable bunch of egos. Obviously not all, but a remarkable majority. Why is this??
12-05-2012 , 07:01 PM
So, I haven't updated this in over a month. Some things have changed for me since then, especially mindset-wise, and I really haven't felt like writing here. I feel like I have a few things straighter in my head now than before and am ready to talk about it!

Cliffs at the bottom.

In the days after my last post (end of October) I lost a few hundred bbs at 2/5 and didn't feel great about it. I don't think I played horribly, but it struck me that I felt the pang of losing much more greatly than I feel satisfaction when I win.

Over the next couple of weeks I played very little, as I tried to figure things out. I began wondering if I would still be happy if I was playing poker full-time in five years, and if my current way of life will, in the not-too-distant future, make me unemployable due to CV gap and general lack of experience of work and proven life-skills. Eventually I decided that I should put much more effort into other endeavours while continuing to play poker on the side to pay the bills. I decided to try and forget about growing a bankroll and trying to bink a tourney and just be happy to play a few hours a week to cover my monthly but.

Around this time I met a girl at a party who has worked for a long time for an international charity and got to talking. Although I was in a very incoherent state, I managed to get across that I was ready and motivated to put in some time and effort if she could find a role for me, and I'm now helping to work on a project with her. It's not much but it's a good first step, and I have a few other things that look promising as well.

In the days following this, out of the blue I got an invite to a private 2/5 NL game. It's been running weekly now and I've played it a few times, have ran very well and am currently up ~7k from about 30 hours of play. The action is good, the rake is high but beatable, and the atmosphere is very friendly and fun. The guys who run it really do an excellent job. My running hot hasn't changed my mind about wanting to pursue something else long-term, but it's certainly been fun. I've played here and there at the Empire, the Hippo, Aspers and the Fox and am up 1k or so.

On the days when I haven't been playing poker or pursuing charity stuff, I've been meeting up with some friends who I haven't seen regularly for a long time and it's been great. Aside from going to parties and the like we've been working on a short film, which is probably about 1/3 done. If it turns out to be any good (I'm not convinced at this moment) then I'll give a link. Either way, it's a lot of fun.


- Started questioning poker as a viable long-term option.
- Decided to play less, stop caring about playing bigger and bigger.
- Put more effort into finding voluntary work, succeeded.
- Started playing a private game, ran hot.
- Social life is good.

So, generally things are looking up after a couple of weeks of doubt about things. I'm still playing poker, and if you know me you'll still see me around, but hopefully not as much.

I probably will only update this if something exciting happens or I want to get something off my chest. Or, I might take it up again properly at some point, who knows.

I update Twitter regularly so give me a follow @luckboxd. It's a private account but I pretty much accept everyone.

I know it's a long shot, but if anyone reading this has links with a charity or any good advice then please shoot me a PM.

Also, I know I said I don't care any more about playing tourneys, but I will prob play the Fox main this weekend. Some things don't change...
12-05-2012 , 07:11 PM
Originally Posted by Otompsett Adventures of a London Luckbox
Any updates? Empire 2-5 still running?
Yep it runs most nights. Quality of the game is variable. Usually it's at least good though. Some nights it's 5/10 and it's always fantastic.

Originally Posted by PetrelliDK Adventures of a London Luckbox
Does the empire have a twitter profile as well?
Yep @pokerlsq. They don't update it as often as the Vic, but it's much better than Aspers or the Hippo.

Originally Posted by GrimIsCool Adventures of a London Luckbox
Interesting to read. Also a grinder from London. Usually play the Fox 1/1 and 1/2 games as well as the sparing Empire 1/2 game. Haven't got down to the Vic nearly as much as I should. Keep it up mate.
Thanks, gl. I would spend more time in the Hippo and the Empire if I were you, the games are very soft.

Originally Posted by ~Caligula~ Adventures of a London Luckbox
How have you not mentioned aspers? I'm guessing location is the only reason.. It's mostly (incredibly soft) 1/1 which plays like the empire 1/2 a lot of the time and most days there's a 1/2 game which seems to turn into 2/5 when the whales arrive in the evening. The room is well-run and clientele are fun to play with. I find empire a painful collection of depressed-looking "grinders" in headphones and hoodies all jacked up on poker attitude. Aside from the comfortable chairs, that place has no other redeeming value imo.
I played cash at Aspers for the first time last month. From all I've heard the bigger games are fantastic but it's very tough to predict when they run. It's a long way from anywhere else so you have to really commit when you go there, and there's always a decent chance you'll be stuck playing 1/1, as happened to me one time. My God do I play spewy at 1/1!

The Empire is kinda depressing. I guess I just like it because the action is decent and I've gotten to know a bunch of people there. A lot of the regs are annoying, but more than a handful are fun to play with and chat to. The dealers are also MUCH better than Aspers, in my experience.

Originally Posted by ~Caligula~ Adventures of a London Luckbox
I can't help it if this sounds inherently racist, but the asian poker community in london are an unbearable bunch of egos. Obviously not all, but a remarkable majority. Why is this??
Not really sure about this. It could be true, but I haven't really noticed a strong correlation. In my experience the average low-stakes NL reg is delusional and ego-maniacal though.
12-10-2012 , 02:12 PM
Played and busted the Fox Main, missed a lot of flops in 3bet pots with AK/AQ/KQ, then lost Q9<AJ on QT8r. Would've put me back at above average for the first time. I think I played alright all in all.

Then I went to the Vic, played in a very soft/passive 2/5 NL, won nearly a buy-in in about an hour without many showdowns, then had AA vs QQ on 567dd flop, ran it twice and chopped. Switched to a great 2/5 PLO. Lots of hands were 8 to a flop. People were getting stacked with dominated draws twice an orbit. I lost all the big pots running bad, and botched one hand pretty badly. Lost 1k. Very standard though in this game. When people never fold you have to make hands and I missed some big draws and never held.

Just heard the Fox is closed for good. I wonder what happened there... it seemed like Genting was getting a lot of use out of it. Lots of live tourney grinders will be without a home now.
01-09-2013 , 01:09 AM

Last month I won 7k in 2 weeks then lost 5k back in the next 2. Tilt was responsible for maybe 40% of that loss. Not good.

Although I am balancing poker with other things, and focusing on not having poker get in the way of the things I really want to do in life, it's important to still have goals, and I came up with the following for the month:

Focus on playing solid, tilt-free poker.
Maintain diamond edge on full tilt (this is absurdly easy).
Play regular, but short, live nlhe sessions.
Avoid live PLO. Full ring PLO pretty much sucks balls.
Not too many all nighters! i got into a decent sleeping schedule over christmas, and it felt nice. I know I'm typing is at 5am, but this is the first time this month I've been up this late.

So, very modest goals. I've done a good job so far is month, I'm up about 1200 from six short live sessions, and a few hundred from playing online. I'm running decent and have tilted not at all, and long may that continue!

I should probably write something about tilt here soon... I've thought a lot about it in the last few months and I really feel I'm getting to the core of why it happens to me. Somehow that feels important. I'm too tired now though.
10-29-2013 , 08:16 AM
Just found this thread, hope OP continues as I enjoyed it.

Deliberating playing the 5/10 at Palm Beach - still can't find any TRs on it though.
10-29-2013 , 09:03 AM
Have any of you guys played at Southend or Westcliff casinos? What's the play like? I've never played live so just curious.
03-09-2014 , 08:41 PM
I randomly started rereading this thread and decided that I made a mistake in letting it die, so here I am! I really appreciated all of the well wishes from everyone who posted, and I hope everyone is running as good as I do

I thought it'd be interesting to look at my original goals:

Originally Posted by Make Them Dig Adventures of a London Luckbox
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.
This worked out fine, I've played 2/5 for quite a while now, although I do still play 1/2 a fair amount, firstly because I've been playing days lately, and secondly because the advent of the 'deepstack' has made these games slightly more desirable, while also killing off a lot of 2/5 action. I feel totally at home at 2/5, and am slowly trying to make the transition to 5/10.

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...
One of my huge leaks is that I am terrible at balance in general. I go from playing 6 hours in a week to playing 70. It's something I'm always working on, and a real goal for the future.

Get invited to or start a home game. I hear home games are pretty soft. I want in on this action! Any tips?
I now play every week in a very soft 2/5-5/10 home game. I think my three biggest winning sessions are from this game. I know some people who play in a whole host of pretty big private games and it'd be great to play more of them.

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.
I've done a bit of this and binked nothing. Pah! One minor final table is all I have to show on my meagre Hendon Mob page . I think that travelling far out of London for a poker tournament is kinda silly so I'll be largely sticking to cash games for the foreseeable future.

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.
I am certainly a lot better than I was, and certain regs whose opinions I respect think I'm a much tougher player than I was 12 months ago, but I do worry that I'm not reaching my potential. I'm sure that I can get a lot better if I really put in work.

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.
I still feel tilted a decent amount, but I think that it hurts my play less and less. Still something to work on no doubt, but I am much more in cotrol at the table these days.

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.
I've had three voluntary positions with charities and started a small business with two friends, so this is definitely a box ticked. Unfortunately, I'm still no closer really to working out what I really want to do with my life.

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!
Still in the same relationship somehow. She's very patient I guess. Partied a little too hard last year, to the extent that it was having a negative effect on other parts of my life, so I'm toning that down while still getting out plenty, so that's gone alright!

All in all, I haven't done badly. Progress has been made in all fields, and, if you'll excuse a moment of wankerishness, I do feel like I've grown a bit as a person in this period. I can always do better though, and I'm determined to make more progress, and I'll write a bit about these things in future posts (this is getting too long already!)


In January I had my biggest winning month, winning about 13k. This boost in bankroll and confidence has made me want to try and step up to 5/10 NLHE.

5/10 is an interesting beast... I've spent my whole poker life looking over towards the 5/10 table and seeing all of the ballers with their 10k stacks and feeling very inferior! Now that I'm at the point where I'm taking shots at those games I don't feel quite so scared as I did, which is obviously a positive, and a large part of that is down to the fact that I know quite a few people who beat those games, people who I feel I am of comparable skill level. It's just a case of building my roll and not letting the stakes phase me, and this will take time. This is my number 1 poker goal at this point.

The private game I play is sometimes 5/10 and always super soft. I've been fortunate enough to run very well in that game to date and it's been a huge boost.

Unfortunately I seem to have lost the ability to play solid at lower stakes while winning in bigger games. This is a huge leak and there's no good reason why I can't bring my best game to lower stakes. Spewing is not acceptable!!! I need to decide whether I can play well at 1/2 or else just quit playing those games.

In 2014 I've done a good job at keeping to a sensible sleep schedule. I just need to make sure I don't get obese eating at Five Guys every other day. Balance is the key!

I need to sign off and sleep now, hopefully that wasn't too rambling, and I will endeavour to keep this updated on the regular!

Last edited by Make Them Dig; 03-09-2014 at 08:49 PM.
03-11-2014 , 11:26 AM
Moved to 'House of Blogs' per OP request - thread transitioning to less poker related content
03-11-2014 , 01:49 PM
So this thread was always more of a blog than a challenge thread anyway so I requested it be moved here. Poker isn't my sole concern and so I want to have scope to write about other stuff too, and this gives maximum freedom!

A poker/kinda life intro can be found in the op. I'm now 24 and my 'working' hours are divided between three main areas.

1: Poker. I try to play live poker at least 3 times a week, sometimes more, and I play MTTs on a lot of Sundays.

2: Volunteering. I'm currently doing 24 hours a week, which is an all time high for me, and I'll continue to do this for at least 2 more months.

3: Theatre. The 'business' I set up with my friends is a theatre company (inverted commas due to the fact that it makes very little money, lol). This has taken up not much time in the last 2 months but will take up more and more, with a busy summer/autumn planned. Hopefully it should make some money then, though this is a tough ask.

Now, for someone who is pretty obsessive and naturally uninclined to balance interests - I seem to prefer spending all my energy on one thing - this has been challenging. It's particularly a problem with poker, as long sessions are both mentally draining and absorbing, and I find it easy to lose perspective on my life in general. But, with poker being the only profitable aspect of this trifecta I am forced to play a lot in order to further these other aspects of my life.

Other than my gf, my very close family and a couple of others, no one knows all of these things about me. Some of my poker friends know that I volunteer, but very little if anything about the theatre company, and none of the people I work with in theatre or the charity know about poker. This doesn't seem like a particularly sustainable way to live a life but it's where I've found myself!

Really, I have one goal for each of these areas:

Poker: Crush 5/10 - getting paid 100 an hour to play a card game sounds nice. Let's try that! I think skill wise I'm close to being good enough. If I can fix my mental game leaks, which are smaller than they were but still imo prohibitive, then I think I can make huge strides in the next 12 months. I'm currently at the point bankroll-wise where I'm taking shots at these games.

Volunteering: Keep going - I feel like I gain a lot from these hours, although I think 3 days a week is definitely overdoing it. I want to keep doing this enough so that I'm gaining skills and providing something tangible for the organisation I'm working for, but not so much that it hinders other things.

Theatre: Become profitable - The hardest goal of the lot easily. So so many people try and fail in the arts. If I really give this my best shot though I hope that my company can at least be a noble failure, one that produced good work. I hope for much more than that though.

Things to avoid:

Computer games - I haven't played Football Manager since the New Year, which is good going for me as I get insanely addicted to that game. I haven't bought an Xbox One or PS4 and my old 360 died ages ago and I have resisted the urge to replace it. So, apart from playing Civilization 2 a few times I've done good this year, long may it continue!

Drugs - Last year I went a bit ballistic, I have managed to tone down this year pretty successfully so far. I think that doing certain party drugs here and there when the occasion demands is no bad thing, but they're bad as a lifestyle choice. It really takes its toll on productivity. Pretty sad that I came to this conclusion only after a year of going nuts, but there we are.

That concludes this re-intro post. Thanks for reading.
03-13-2014 , 11:49 AM
Nice blog, looking forward to updates!

What stakes were you beating online before you decided to go pro and grind live?

P.s. totally agree with you on Football Manager, such a massive life leak lol
03-16-2014 , 09:17 PM
Originally Posted by TheHolyRiver Adventures of a London Luckbox
Nice blog, looking forward to updates!

What stakes were you beating online before you decided to go pro and grind live?

P.s. totally agree with you on Football Manager, such a massive life leak lol

In my last year of uni I was grinding ssplo and plo8 on full tilt. When I couldn't find a job I put in a bit of effort on my NL game and played live mainly. There was never a moment when I decided to play professionally I just fell into it really. Running hot at the start helped. I'd already done pretty well playing live while at uni and I had no clue what I was doing then.

FM is so fun but so so f time consuming. Best not to buy the new one!


I had a good few days at the pokers, winning a bit over 5k. Very happy with my play overall, vast majority of hours were me at my A game. I played 5/10 PLO for the first time which was interesting. I'm definitely not ready for the swings so it was undoubtedly a little bit reckless, especially as there weren't any donators in the game. I ended up winning a few small ones and then bluffing it all off. Woops!

People I play with regularly keep giving me abuse for being a luckbox. For some reason I really enjoy it. Even when I'm down money on the week I think I play better when I tell myself that I run really good. I don't know how that makes sense, I guess I just find it easy to delude myself. Today I actually was a luckbox when I went nuts with 76 pre, got snapped and sucked out on the guy. I play with him a lot and I'm generally pretty solid so I guess it helps my image. He was not happy with me.

I'm currently locked into a schedule that goes: volunteering in the day Monday to Wednesday, then play all night in a home game Wednesday night, then mix poker sessions with theatre and social stuff from Thursday to Sunday. It doesn't leave much time for sitting at home doing not much, which, if I'm honest, I really enjoy but maybe that's a good thing on the whole. It also ensures that there's a few days a week where I don't think about poker which is probably good for my sanity!

I'd better cut this update short, considering I have to get up in about 5 hours. Good night all.
03-17-2014 , 01:40 PM
where is your regular casino game these days?

i randomly stumbled across this thread and noticed i commented in the early post and forgot to subscribe

my biggest issue was adapating from playing 1/1 1/2 to 2/5 5/10 as the game is so much different, and due to limited bankroll i couldnt play the table bully like i do in smaller games

London poker seems to be booming, Aspers is busy every night mainly for 1/1, with empire, hippo and the vic all still pretty busy and plenty of value in the 1/2 games

i have managed to play in every venue recently and can't decide which place i prefer...whats your preference?
03-17-2014 , 07:49 PM
Originally Posted by fazzers Adventures of a London Luckbox
where is your regular casino game these days?

i randomly stumbled across this thread and noticed i commented in the early post and forgot to subscribe

my biggest issue was adapating from playing 1/1 1/2 to 2/5 5/10 as the game is so much different, and due to limited bankroll i couldnt play the table bully like i do in smaller games

London poker seems to be booming, Aspers is busy every night mainly for 1/1, with empire, hippo and the vic all still pretty busy and plenty of value in the 1/2 games

i have managed to play in every venue recently and can't decide which place i prefer...whats your preference?
Hi Fazzers, I see you around in the London thread.

I've definitely played more hours in the Empire than anywhere else. In fact, I've probably played more hours there than everywhere else combined.

When I first started playing in London there was a legendary whale who used to come in maybe three nights per week. He would be all in several times an orbit, mostly preflop. If he got stacked the previous hand he would go all in pre next hand without fail. He'd drop on average maybe 3k per night. He probably lost over 200k at 1/2 and 1/3 at the Empire, and a few good players built their rolls in those games. While I benefitted, I didn't put in the hours. I guess I thought it'd go on forever.

At this point the Empire was a really buzzing card room. It was small and dirty and dingey but games were great and the staff were friendly. I also beame friendly with a few regs, most of whom play higher now.

I still like playing there for the staff and a few of the old regs but really it's not like it was. The hippo and aspers have taken lots of punters away, and the rake race and rake free promotion just bring in nits. I feel a bit sad about it all really. You still get decent games there but more and more I go elsewhere.

In the last three weeks I've played at the Vic, the Hippo, Empire, Aspers, the Palm, the Golden Horseshoe and a private game. I guess I'm kind of a nomad now. I can only see myself spreading myself further between places as I balance priorities and try to find the best games when I can play. As much as I'd like for it to be like the ol days where empire would have incredible 1/2s or round the clock 2/5s I think that the old place has too many rivals now.
04-21-2014 , 08:06 PM
When I tell people that I play poker for a living I always try to give off as level-headed and responsible an image as possible. I try to make them think that in many ways it's like any other job, and that I'm not just a degenerate gambler. I won't be pointing any of those people to this story.

The Most Degenerate Day of My Life (or The Day I Could Have Gone Broke By Accident)

I rush to the Empire as soon as I can (on this day that's 5pm). I'm in a rush not because a whale is in the house, but because I want to find a free seat at a slot machine as quickly as possible.

The progressive jackpot on the Empire's slot machines stands at 17,300, and it must be won before it hits 17,700. In the days prior I formed a syndicate to try to take it down, and it's my turn to put in a shift and try to bink the lot.

My friend (I'll call him 'The Brain' for the purposes of this blog), a winning mid-high London reg, is sat at two machines sipping a cup of tea. He declined to join my syndicate but went for a solo punt. He kindly gives me a machine ("the cold one") and we play. I run hot and win a hundred before I'm relieved by a team mate. The Brain runs exceptionally poorly, and seems slightly tilted, which is uncharacteristic for him.

I depart with The Brain to a take a seat in a private 2/5 game. The game is decent, but I run poorly, and am soon down a couple of k. I also lose a few hundred on random prop bets. I then get news that the slots jackpot has gone off, and none of my syndicate were even on a machine at the time. By this point It'd be fair to say that I'm pretty tilted.

This is where the real degeneracy begins. The Brain and I begin playing red or black on the flop. I win 10 for a red flop, double for an all red flop, quadruple for a red flush flop, and octuple for a red straight flush flop. If a 5 hits the flop, I'm on for doubles (or if I'm already on doubles, I'm on quadruples, and so on), same goes for The Brain if he hits a T, and if the board is paired then the next flop is double stakes for each of us.

This game didn't seem especially large when we agreed to play, or indeed for the first half hour or so as 20, 40 and occasionally 80 got traded back and forth. Pretty soon though, it became a nightmare. For around an hour (or it at least it felt like it) each of us were on 32X and 64X multipliers, exposed for thousands of pounds on each flop. Both of us were showing physical signs of discomfort and stress - I could barely keep still, while The Brain could barely bring himself to look at the flop.

I missed nearly every time I was on a high multiplier and ended up losing more money than I had in my stack, or in my pocket. When we finally called off the prop, I could feel the relief surging through my body, even though I had just lost as much as I've ever lost at the poker table. I was relieved simply to still have a bankroll.

The 2/5 game became a 2/5/10/20/40/80 game and I finally ran good to make a dent in my losses before the game wrapped up.

So, I played a game that was far too big both for my emotions and my bankroll and lost a lot, and potentially could have gone broke. It's fair to say that I'm off props for a while.
04-22-2014 , 05:23 PM
what night was this game running?

would love to see the line up for this game
04-23-2014 , 10:05 AM
Cool Thread man, enjoy reading it! Im a US player and getting ready to visit my pops who lives near London (Lindford,Bordon) this August. I was wondering if you had any recommendations for soft 1-2 or 1-3 games in the area and where would be the best place to play? I played at the empire about 3 years ago and remember it being really juicy, but seems like it has dried up. Any suggestions would be much appreciated!

04-26-2014 , 03:05 PM
Originally Posted by fazzers Adventures of a London Luckbox
what night was this game running?

would love to see the line up for this game
I can't really divulge any details I'm afraid. The line-up tends to be 3-4 known 2/5-5/10 pros and 4-5 recreational players.

Originally Posted by PokerFiend4LYFE Adventures of a London Luckbox
Cool Thread man, enjoy reading it! Im a US player and getting ready to visit my pops who lives near London (Lindford,Bordon) this August. I was wondering if you had any recommendations for soft 1-2 or 1-3 games in the area and where would be the best place to play? I played at the empire about 3 years ago and remember it being really juicy, but seems like it has dried up. Any suggestions would be much appreciated!

Thanks, glad you enjoyed reading it.

1/3 at the Vic tends to be a good game. 1k max buy in makes it quite fun. Lots of recreational players who feel intimidated by 2/5 will happily sit, even though it is a much bigger game than 1/2, and not all of the good regs who play higher will bring themselves to play with the little people!

Most nights there will be a 1/2 deepstack (no max buy in) at either the Hippodrome or the Empire, or sometimes both. The quality of game will vary from night to night, but it's never too tough.

Empire isn't like it was 3 years ago unfortunately! You still find excellent games from time to time but not nearly as often.
05-12-2014 , 05:41 PM
On my last update I was feeling pretty low. I was worn out from playing and working long hours, and had just punted a decent % of my br on props. This evening finds me in a much better place.

I just got back from UKIPT Nottingham where I was able to scrape a cash and had a great weekend. The buzz in the room at DTD was really something special and I was there with a group of friends who were all really up for playing hard and having a good time. The field was incredibly soft and the tourney was nicely structured. I got in the money with nearly double the average stack but busted before the end of day 2. AT couldn't hold against A5 for heaps and then I shoved 66 into JJ and that's all she wrote. I was gutted to bust but the free bar at the Stars party after helped me to get over it pretty quickly.

My br has now more than recovered from my props 'incident', despite one horrendous failed shot at the Palm. I feel more comfortable every time I sit down there but I'm yet to convert that into a big win. I think it's coming though .

My latest volunteering stint is now done, so I will be focusing purely on poker and theatre for the next couple of months. I'm planning on some more 5/10 shots so if things go well in the next few weeks I could have a decent bankroll boost before a summer of festivals and the Edinburgh Fringe. Sounds good to me!

A new general life goal is to be less degen. This means not playing long hours when tired/tilting, game selecting properly, NOT playing a props game that is 10X bigger than the game I'm in, but also things like eating better and getting more exercise. I feel very motivated to make progress on these goals. I've already been eating better, and I have quit smoking. I probably smoked a pack every 10 days or so, so this shouldn't be tough at all, and is definitely +EV!

So, I'm sat here on my first proper say off in a few weeks, feeling very positive about the future. I'm ready to make life changes that will make me healthier and happier and win bags of money playing higher stakes. Let's go get it!
05-21-2014 , 08:40 AM
Just read whole thread, good read.

Glad you've started updating again, found it at the right time

Best of luck m8
05-27-2014 , 10:24 AM
Originally Posted by t0pb1ll1n Adventures of a London Luckbox
Just read whole thread, good read.

Glad you've started updating again, found it at the right time

Best of luck m8
Thanks man, good luck to you too. Say hello if you know who I am!


It's nearly June, the best month of the year. I have my 25th birthday and my second Glastonbury Festival to look forward to, and London looks great in the sunshine!

I thought I should check in with my goals:

Crush 5/10: Still 90% playing 1/2-2/5, but running good and feeling good about my game. From the beginning of June I'll be moving my afternoon action to the Vic and playing the Palm, if it's good, at night. I'll still probably put in some hours in LSQ but I'm going to try to get out of the mindset of the Empire and the Hippo being my 'home' casinos. 18 months ago there was a lot of money to be made grinding 2/5 at the Empire but it looks like those days are gone for the foreseeable future - the advent of 1/2 deep helped put pay to that. It's beyond time I got out of my comfort zone and chased a bigger hourly.

Volunteering: I overdid it a little in the early part of the year - 24 hours a week, plus full-time poker, theatre stuff and social life is far too much for me - so I've eased off. Probably something that I'll pick up again in September.

Theatre: A very exciting summer ahead: Edinburgh, two bookings at top notch music festivals, and other dates in between. This will take up a lot of my time in July and August, so June is a good time to grind hard at poker.

Computer Games: Have managed to totally avoid them all year, probably for the first time since I was 10 years old. Very happy with this!

Drugs: A couple of big nights out aside, I've steered clear. I'm happy with this level of consumption.

Degen: Being less degen is a difficult goal for someone who enjoys gambling as much as I do. I don't play any table games but I am usually more than happy to flip my stack if someone wants to. Part of this is to project the image of a crazy gambler who is capable of anything, but I know that deep down this is just an excuse I make to myself - I really do enjoy it. I also don't feel bad about myself if I lose when playing a neutral EV game. I do, however, feel bad if I play too long a session and lose a big pot when I'm not on my A-game, and this is something I've improved at a lot. I'm also still eating better and generally sleeping well, which is a big plus.

Overall: The feeling of progress being made is very satisfying. I still won't be happy until I'm an established winning reg at 5/10, but I'm prepared for this to take around 12 months of hard work, and, considering I have other things going on which I don't want to sacrifice too much, I have to be patient.
06-17-2014 , 09:33 AM
I just got back from my first proper holiday in two years, to Rome!

Trip Report

I liked Rome a lot, but maybe not quite as much as I expected to.

It's a good place to wonder around and people watch. There's lots of interesting little streets and cool buildings, and loads to go and see. The Vatican Museum is great (though it is worth paying extra to get tickets online, you skip the 2 hours+ queue that we were stuck in), as is the Forum. The Colosseum didn't quite live up to the hype for me, covered in scaffolding and crawling with tourists as it was, but was still very much worth seeing.

The food is great, but did make me appreciate the huge array of options that London has to offer. I guess it's great though that Italians are proud of their culinary heritage, and the quality of their food is generally very high.

It's nearly as expensive as London, which is always disappointing, though we did get better value for our hotel accommodation than we would have got here.

Watching England vs Italy in an Italian bar would have been a lot of fun but for us losing and a very audible monkey chant when Sturridge scored. That made me feel pretty uneasy and tarnished a lot of my memory of the evening. I know that there are racist idiots in London too but I just rarely come across them I guess.

It's definitely a nice place to visit and a very good place to go as a couple. I would probably visit again if the chance arose. On balance though I prefer Paris as a romantic Euro holiday destination.
06-23-2014 , 07:18 PM

In general I'm running very good. I've played the two biggest pots of my career so far and won both of them. In the first, at 5/10 NL, I was all in drawing to 6 outs, ran it twice, and scooped. In the second, at 10/25 PLO, my opponent folded to my river shove getting nearly 7/1 on a call, so he clearly missed a big draw. Running good is fun!

Until that 10/25 PLO session the general theme of the last few weeks was to godmode 1/2-2/5 everywhere and then give most of it back at the Palm. I don't feel that I'm an underdog in those games, but my results so far have been discouraging. The PLO session went well, which puts a decent dent in my losses, but I have a long way to go before I feel established in those games.

I find it psychologically difficult to go from card rooms where I'm generally given a lot of respect by the other regs (auto-stealing position on me, not wanting to play short handed with me, playing hands defensively vs me) to going to the Palm where the regs are way better at poker, way better rolled, and can spot a shot-taker a mile off and make his life hell. There have been a couple of spots where I've definitely played a hand sun-optimally and levelled myself with that in mind. I have to keep telling myself that I will get there in the end - it all comes with the experience and bankroll growth that follows putting some winning sessions together.

Vegas Itch

In the few months running up to this year's WSOP I've been getting my first proper itch to go to Vegas. As a cash game player, I've always felt that to go half way across the world to play games of similar size and softness to those closer to home is a bit silly, and tournaments are enough of a variance minefield already without adding in the cost of flights and accommodation. I also find tournaments to be much more mentally draining than cash games, and the long hours and inevitable busto tends to make me unhappy. I love the purity, complexity and freedom that are part and parcel of cash game poker. These are all good reasons not to go to Vegas, and are why I'd never seriously considered it before.

Sadly for my bankroll and my sanity, some positive MTT results and general run good this year has caused me to listen to my inner donk and go and play the main event. All my action is sold, my flights and hotel are booked, and I've been working hard on my game. I'm excited, determined, and really can't wait. Let's see what happens!

Most of the time up until I fly out will be taken up by Glastonbury Festival. The weather forecast doesn't look fantastic at the minute, so I'm hoping for some more run good there! I spend pretty much the whole year looking forward to it so I'm definitely going to make sure I have a good time come what may. The line-up isn't quite as good as last year but Glastonbury regs have a habit of saying that the line-up doesn't really matter, and it's true. It's a performing arts festival with 250,000 people there and over 100 stages, if you can't find something fun to do then you're doing something wrong!
06-27-2014 , 10:41 AM
Thanks for the posts!!

would be cool to hear some specifics on hands you have played in the bigger games

Good luck keep crushing!!!
07-06-2014 , 11:49 PM
Originally Posted by AM_ Adventures of a London Luckbox
Thanks for the posts!!

would be cool to hear some specifics on hands you have played in the bigger games

Good luck keep crushing!!!
Thanks man. I don't really want to get into strategy but I'll post some fun hands when they crop up.

Here's one from a couple months ago that I think will stick in my mind for some time!

We're playing a five handed 5/10 NL game with 40k on the table. Villain is on monkey tilt. Steam is coming out of his ears. He is not in the folding mood.

Double straddled pot. It folds to me in the 20 straddle. I look down at AKo and raise to 200. Villain insta-3bets to 500. I ship 2k effective. He snaps me off. The action lasted less than ten seconds.

Me: "I have AK".
Him: "I can beat that".
Me: "Oh ****, do you have aces?"
Him: "No, I said I CAN beat that! Run it once!"

His 85o scoops the pot. Lol.

I'm in Vegas, I play day 1c of the main event tomorrow. tomorrow. Very excited. I'm nearly breaking even for the trip even if I brick so I'm going to play without any undue pressure on myself. I'll play my best and let whatever happens happen. Playing the main is something that I never really thought I'd do, particularly when I started out playing micros six years ago so I'm incredibly excited. As long as I play well I won't be tilted by the result, I hope!