__FullFlush1__: Luke Schwartz lets rip!
06 May 2009
When a foul-mouthed force of nature called __FullFlush1__ began ripping into the highest stakes on the net in February, the chatter on the forums went crazy. He must be on a massive heater, they reasoned. He’s bound to go broke soon. But __FullFlush1__ did not go broke. He continued to tear into the best players in the world with impeccable reads and fearsome bluffs.
“Could __FullFlush1__ be the real deal?” we wondered. “And who the hell is he anyway?” Well, he’s a gobby, opinionated 25-year-old Londoner with a seemingly pathological hatred of Tom Dwan. Ladies and gentlemen, we bring you Luke Schwartz.
Luke, can you explain how you just turned up one day and started crushing the nosebleed stakes online? How?
I started playing poker in 2005 and everyone was just a fish then, so it was easy. Soon I was playing $5-$10 NL, four tables at a time, just grinding fish. I wasn’t playing heads up then – just ring games. I made a bit of money there, but then in 2006 I went broke. In fact, I went broke loads of times that year. But then I won the Sunday Million on Stars in 2007 and after that I got back into cash. By 2008 I was starting to get good at cash, dominating the European sites, and then this year I’ve won $1.5 million on Full Tilt. I gave Full Tilt a break for a while because they banned my chat and I returned to iPoker and Betfair, and I won $1.5 million there – that’s in the last two weeks. So this year’s been pretty good.
Did you stop playing on Full Tilt when they banned your chat because your chat gives you an edge?
No. It was because it was bullshit. It’s because they just side with their little regulars. If durrrr’s rude to me, that’s fine, but if I’m rude back – the slightest bit harsh – I get instant chatback. It’s painful.
Does your chat give you an edge?
No, not really. I do it to get under people’s skin because I enjoy getting under people’s skin, not because it gives me an edge. I’m talking about people I don’t like. I wouldn’t do it to your average player who just seems like a nice guy. I wouldn’t antagonise anybody for no reason, but anyone who seems a bit obnoxious – like durrrr – I just give it what I feel.
Why do you hate durrrr so much?
I just can’t stand him. I hate watching him on that new High Stakes Poker and seeing dominate so badly. He’s such a cringeworthy guy. It’s all too geeky. I just can’t handle it. I’d love to be on that table. It would be completely different if I was on that table – I’d give him some of his own medicine.
His time will come, though. I’m going to do the Durrrr Challenge soon. He said he’d play me while the thing with Antonius is ongoing. When I stopped playing at Full Tilt I withdrew the $1.5 million, so I need to redeposit, but they’re saying I need to send them all this verification and shit because it’s such a large amount of money. So once that’s sorted I’ll be ready to do the challenge. But he just deserves to be broke. He’s just too irritating...
Have you met him?
I met him in once in the Bahamas. He didn’t know who I was – this was when I was still playing on Euro sites. I went up and called him a donk for folding to Hellmuth in some pot where Hellmuth was bluffing. He didn’t say anything. He just rolled his eyes as if to say, “So what?” So annoying!
Why do you hate nerds?
(Laughs) I don’t really hate them. I used to hate them at school because I always knew I was smart but I never did much work and they always used to get the good grades. That probably used to wind me up a little bit... and now we’re in the real world and they’re still OWNING!! (Laughs)
What kind of kid were you at school?
I went to school in Camden in North London, where I was brought up. I was a bit naughty at school. Nothing serious – I wasn’t a criminal, although I was well into graffiti. I was a pretty good graffiti artist and my tag was all around London.
What do your parents think about the whole poker thing?
They definitely get it. They were actually the people who taught me to play because they’re American and it’s part of the culture.
So you don’t really hate Americans when you abuse the “yanks” in the chatbox?
No, I don’t hate Americans at all. I just say that to wind them up because they’re so patriotic. We used to play seven-card hi-lo as a family when I was eight-years-old, so I’ve always had a bit of a knack for cards. But I was always into gambling. Before poker, when I was about 16, I had a bet on Ronaldo to be the top goal scorer in the World Cup, and it won. I won like a grand, and that was a lot of money for a 16-year-old. I thought I was proper rich. Then I met someone who knew how to gamble on pub fruit machines professionally and I learnt how to do that pretty quickly. I could make, like, £300 a day doing that. I was a good pool player, too. Before university I took a gap year and just spent the time whole time going around playing fruit machines and hustling pool. When I went to university to do Maths – that was around the time online poker started happening, and I basically quit university to play full time, and that was that.
What do you say to those doubters who claim you’re on a massive heater and you’ll be sent home broke eventually.
A heater over 70,000 hands on Full Tilt? On Betfair and iPoker before FullTilt, and then after FullTilt banned my chat – five million dollars? That’s got to be some incredible sort of fluke! It’s so sad when people think I’m on a heater – they don’t realise how much I’ve bluffed. I’ve bluffed my way to millions.
Would you care to share a couple of big bluffs with us?
When I first played durrrr – on the Mafews account in January – I destroyed him. Then I played him for the first time as __FullFlush1__ when my account was at, like, 400k and I thought I’d just take a shot at him and play him on one table. I pulled two of the illest moves on him. First one, I had J-7 – I raised, he called. The flop came K-4-2 rainbow; he check-rasied me on the flop. I knew he was just up to shit so I flatted him. Turn came a four. I knew he was check-folding the river, which he did, so I shoved and showed him jack-high. Then just 20 minutes later, I re-raised him pre-flop with 10-7-off, barrelled the ace-high flop; barrelled the turn and shoved 40k into 40k on the river and showed him the bluff again. But I don’t really show my bluffs any more. I don’t want people to know how badly I’m owning them.
What do you think your strengths are? You seem to be an amazing reader of the game...
It’s hard for me to say. I don’t want to get into why I think I’m good and why I have an edge against other players, but I definitely do have better game flow reads than anyone else.
We saw that hand on the internet when you checked behind with the king-high flush. The second nuts! How do you do that?
That was against FLIPPokHer. I’d been playing him a lot. He was actually one of the best players I played on Full Tilt. I actually think he’s better than most of the people that play $200-$400 – maybe not durrrr, but he’s a lot better than Urindanger and guys like that. So I checked behind the second nuts – I don’t even know why. It just felt like he had either the nuts or no diamonds. I didn’t see any value in betting.
In your table chat you like to claim you’re the “greatest”. Is that something you genuinely believe or is it a way of winding people up?
I think I’m definitely the best heads up player there is in online poker.
Is there anyone you actually like?
I like LarzLuzak. I like him and I like his game. Patrik Antonius is a bit of a hero; Phil Ivey’s a bit of a hero...
Is there anyone you fear?
No. I would love to play a lot more with Patrik and Phil, but they don’t seem to want to play me much.
Do you practise bankroll management?
I’ve learnt the hard way. You don’t really see me playing the $500-$1,000 games very often. The old me would have been there all the time. If I want to play four tables, full-stacked at $500-$1000 – that’s a little high – so I am careful. I do think I’ve got pretty good bankroll management nowadays. Plus, the $500-$1,000’s an Omaha game and I always get fucked in Omaha.
What’s your favourite table-chat cuss?
I don’t know my favourite, but anything that’s derogatory to durrrr is fine by me. There’s been quite a lot of those (laughs).
Was tilt ever a problem?
Not really, especially not now because if I’m losing I just quit. Durrrr’s put some of the sickest beats on me. I’ve won 500k of him but it really should be a million. I used to tilt a bit, but now, the second I get a bad beat I just sit out. I quit.
A lot of people seem to think you’re a cocky, arrogant loudmouth with an inflated ego? Are you?
Yes, I am. Why not? Poker’s just full of geeks at the moment. You need a villain in the game, otherwise the game’s just dead. Currently poker revolves around durrrr and his geeky friends all trying to feed off Gus. How is that anything to hero worship? You should hero worship people who go out, play anyone and send people broke – and that’s me.
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