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Lil David Nicholson

When you are younger you are often asked what you would like to be when you grow up? The favourite of the bygone age used to be a professional footballer, but kids up and down the M1 are now telling their parents they want to be Little Dave Nicholson. The 23-year old professional poker player from Leeds lives a playboy lifestyle that Hugh Hefner would be proud of. It’s just such a shame that he only remembers half of it!

So Little Dave, how much live poker have you played this week?

I played in the monthly £300 Deepstack event at Dusk till Dawn and also some cash games in Leeds almost every night last week.

Tell us a little bit about your cash game in Leeds.

We play at the local Gala Casino. It’s a £2/2 or £2/5 Pot limit Omaha game with a Mississippi Straddle. You can straddle from anywhere and the action starts to the left of the straddler, so the game can get pretty big. It’s pretty common for there to be three or four straddles. One of the biggest straddles we had was £2,500 in a £5/5 game; it ended up all – in either three or four handed? The winner had a dreadful hand if I remember rightly.

How many hours are you spending in this game?

It’s not always a good game. So I’ll sit down when it’s very good and play online when it’s not. Play usually starts at 22:00 or 23:00 and can play till mid-morning/afternoon.

Describe ‘Good’?

I like to play with deeper stacks so I can play all the streets without being all in by the flop or the turn. So I like deeper stacks and people that give a bit of action, because I tend to play pretty loose. When the game is tight and shallow I end up punting it off, but when it is deep and aggressive I love playing in live poker games that are like that.

How deep is deep?

Sometimes I am sitting down with a couple of thousand, but it depends really. The minimum to sit down is £100, but there is no maximum.

Who plays in that game?

Lawrence Gosney plays and is incidentally my favourite person in the whole entire world. There is nobody else I like more than Lawrence, he is a huge hero and is a massive legend. Not because of the way he plays poker, just because he is just a huge legend. George Wainburg also plays in the game. Anyone who is serious about cash games in the UK will know George. He is a really successful, old school gambler, lovely guy. I have been playing with these guys for so many years; I started when I was 18 and have become good friends. They have all helped me a lot in my career and I have a lot of time for them.

Did you come out of the game a winner or loser last week?

I lost quite a lot – a decent four-figures. I played pretty badly and was drinking quite a bit, which didn’t help.

How do you measure success or failure?

Immediately, you always measure success with how you did, what the results were e.g. if I won a lot in that week I would think it was a good week. I hope I am objective enough to say, “I won a lot last week but I probably didn’t play great?” I would rather play better and win, than play good and lose, providing I know how to play good. I have been playing these stakes, and higher, in live poker for a long time. I have been playing almost eevry day for the past four to five years, so I am pretty at ease with it all. It doesn’t bother me too much but it sucks to lose, I would rather win, however it doesn’t affect my mood if I have lost, and I think I am reasonably objective about it.

It must affect you at some point?

Well I guess it does concern me at times. I know if I am losing a lot I will try and play a little lower variance, smaller stakes. I have played in a lot of bigger live games and online games, which are much bigger than the games I played in Leeds recently. The swings in those I am experiencing week in week out, so the immediate emotional effects of the swings are ineffective now. If you lost three-weeks in a row, that would definitely be demoralising and that is what happened to me. In January, I lost most of the time that I played. It was demoralising and you start to second-guess yourself a bit, your general moral suffers a bit as a result.

Coming Up In Part Two…

If you want to learn more about the exploits of Lil Dave Nicholson, then check out his blog at Lil Dave’s Life. In Part Two, Lil Dave delves a little depper into his Leeds cash game.

About the Author

Lee Davy is a writer from Ogmore Vale in South Wales. You can follow his views and opinions through his blog at or on Twitter

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