In some respects, pool and poker are very much alike. You have to be selectively aggressive, overly patient, be able to bend the truth when needed, and, at the same time, know the math like the back of your hand. And the keys to being successful in pool and in poker – not coincidentally, they’re pretty similar too.
It’s no wonder, therefore, that London’s ‘FouEnculePL‘ has gone from a half-decade love of playing pool to a poker career that has seen him amass nearly $900,000 in lifetime online MTT winnings. And it’s just the beginning, as he’s only been playing poker professionally for three years.
“I was playing five or six times a week in a pool club nearby,” he said. “I sometimes was training for seven or eight hours daily. First, it was just a hobby. Then, I wanted to play more seriously and had to put more effort into it. I was training and playing for money with guys who were better than I was, but it was for really small stakes.”
After two years of polishing his pool chops, he was invited to be part of a Polish national pool team. He traveled to different cities around the country to play pool.
“I had one year in which I won all the matches in that league, which was probably the last year I played,” ‘FouEnculePL’ said. “Now, the team has gotten stronger. They have European and world medals in the youth division. Their team got pretty good.”
However, a career playing pool just wasn’t in the cards (pun intended). After all, as he put it, being able to strike it rich hitting the eight ball around wasn’t much of a possibility.
“I needed to find some priorities in my life,” he said. “And, apart from good fun, there was no money to be made in billiards and it was costing way too much time and effort with nothing to achieve. Basically, I got burned out and decided I needed to do something more serious with my life.”
As fate would have it, one of his billiard friends was paying the bills by playing poker. The rest, as they say, is history.
His largest career cash online was worth $20,000 and came as a result of a win in the PokerStars Big $215 in mid-July. He also has wins in the Big $55, Hot $55, and Bigger $44, just to name a few. He’s currently the ninth-ranked PocketFiver in the UK and #2 in the metropolis of London.
Another parallel between poker and his life involves his love of travel. Over the years, he has had a chance to touch just about every corner of the word, from Kenya and Tanzania in Africa to Thailand in Asia, from the US and Caribbean in North America to the island nation of Cuba.
“Because my father was really into traveling, we went two or three times a year to see new places when I was younger,” ‘FouEnculePL’ said.
And the traveling hasn’t stopped. Now that he’s a professional poker player, he’s been to tournaments like the PokerStars Caribbean Adventure on Paradise Island in the Bahamas. And being in Europe, he has hit up a few European Poker Tour stops and made one EPT Main Event final table last year.
Just because he’s traveling for poker and grinding online doesn’t mean he has abandoned his love of pool. Sure, he doesn’t play pool nearly as often, but he heads to billiard rooms every few weeks. “I don’t have much time because of the amount of effort I’m trying to put into poker since I turned pro,” he said.
Speaking of his effort, ‘FouEnculePL’ plays poker four to six days a week and nearly around-the-clock when a major live or online festival is going on. His typical day begins in the afternoon around 16:30 CET and runs for 10 to 12 hours depending on how deep he can go.
Finally, if your poker career isn’t quite paying dividends the way you thought it would and you want a little change of scenery, ‘FouEnculePL’ shared an important tip to hit it big in pool.
“Your mindset is very important at higher skill levels in pool,” he said. “So, be confident when you step into a match and remember to always have fun. Like poker, at the end of the day it is just a game. Also, learn to lose.”