Tuesday, 3 April 2012

Beginnings and future?

Like a lot of people, I got into poker by seeing it on TV. Watching Late Night Poker, I was intrigued by these larger than life characters playing what to my naive eye looked like snap! It didn't take me long to realise that there was a lot more going on here than I first thought. As a young boy, I played chess to quite a high level and I appreciated the thought processes that were going into the decisions. I also liked the bluster and the banter.

I downloaded Pacific Poker (remember them?) the next day and played some play money games. I tentatively made a small deposit and played a £2.50 STT and won. The adrenaline buzz from pressing a few buttons was indescribable and I was hooked.

Next weekend I went to Blackpool Grosvenor as it was called then and played a £5 rebuy tournament. It was fast and furious and I had very little idea what was going on and I sat quiet just watching the carnage that was taking place. Eventually I got dealt AK, and just like on TV put in my 3x raise. I got 8 callers. The flop come Ace high - fantastic! I bet my remaining 550 chips and got 5 callers. Unbelievably my hand stand up and I'd raked my first live pot. The adrenaline was coursing through my veins now and I quickly got into the swing of it. I eventually cashed 5 hours later for £110 and am proud to say that I have never played poker with my own money since.

This was about 2005 although my memory is a little hazy. I have been playing live poker ever since then as a hobby and am proud to say I have never had a losing year. I am constantly thinking about poker and spend a fair amount of my time striving to improve and analysing my play.

Part of the reason I decided to start writing a blog was I feel I am at a crossroads in my poker career. It has always been a hobby for me but for the past year it has become a far more important source of income for me and my family. I have never 'built a bankroll' and have always spent my winnings on my family and home once they had accumulated. I paid for my wedding, honeymoon, home improvements and holidays using money won at the tables but I have come to realise that I will never progress in the poker world with this attitude to bankroll management. Like I said in my opening post, I want to be winning bigger buy in tournaments and playing bigger cash games and this will never happen if poker remains a hobby for me.

This year I have not spent a single penny of my poker earnings.

Not a single penny.

Shortly, my wife and I will be making a decision. The two options are:
1. Do the sensible, safe thing and keep poker as a hobby. Continue to play at weekends and make a few quid here and there whilst maintaining the sensible, safe teaching career.
2. Go all in. Fuck the job off, use the growing bankroll and chase the dream.

I am genuinely torn between the two and no decisions have yet been firmly made. History tells me I am a winning player, but am I winning enough to support my family? My teaching career is solid, reliable and at times, rewarding. I often become frustrated with being unable to play tournaments due to work commitments but show me a poker player who hasn't felt that! This is not a decision I am taking lightly and I feel whatever I decide it will be clouded by a tinge of regret.

That being said, it's exciting.

Thanks for taking the time to read. Follow me on twitter @Awesome_Hutch and feel free to message me with comments.


  1. I think everyone in the world started their live poker 'career' at the G £5 Sunday rebuy.

  2. Can you not take a career break for a year or so and see how it goes?

    1. It's not really an option in my current job to be honest. Having said that, I can certainly re-apply for jobs this time next year if it all goes tits up!

  3. Good luck Hutch in your venture whichever way you choose to do it.

    Everyone likes a 'local boy comes good' story. Could this be the start of many years hard graft to achieve this ?
    The odds are stacked against it but I sincerely hope so.

    1. Thanks mate, be nice to be on the right end of the fairytale!

  4. In my opinion if you choose poker as hobby it will be safest thing so, that you can focus on your career as well as your commitments. It's true that if you treat poker as hobby you may not going to win bigger tournaments.but I hope you still have a chance to win at holdem this time. All the best for your next tournaments.