Number of cashes
A little introduction to begin with. I have decided to chronicle my attempts at scoring big at this year's WCOOP (World Championship Of Online Poker - for those that dont know what this is, you can read about it on PokerStars.com). Why do I think this would be interesting to you? Well, I believe that I am in the same boat as a lot of players who are in the "middle" level of the poker ladder. I am a winning player and play consistently well enough to make some nice money but I am no where near the league of the heavy hitters, although I'm trying :) . This will be my first year playing in the WCOOP so its new to me, like I'm sure it is to alot of you. I could afford to buy entry into every tourny along with all the associated rebuys and add-ons but this would be poker suicide for me. Although I am fairly confident, I am not willing to risk the health of my bank roll to take a shot at some big $. I wont go into my entire poker history as I have a brief summary of this in my profile but - I live in England and I work full time, so normally my play is limited. For example, I cant play the big sunday tournies due to work the following day. However, I have the next fortnight off and I plan on playing as many WCOOP events as possible. My main plan of attack is to sat into most of the events and ideally win some extra W$ by winning multiple entries into events via sats. We will no doubt hear about the successes of the big name players and rightly so, but, what Im hoping to do with this post/blog is to show the other side of the coin. The day in, day out struggle/s of an average player trying to play the best poker he can against the best in the (online) world and hopefully winning a bracelet in the process. I will defintely be playing (trying to anyway) all of the NLHE/Limit/PLHE and PLO events, but I do not know hilo8 or stud too well (unless I get a bax style lesson from someone before the event) so I doubt I will be in these ones. This blog isnt going to be specifically about my bank roll through these 2 weeks. Money's great and of course it is important but I play poker primarily because I LOVE THE GAME! It's more about the whole package, not just the bottom line. I may not even cash in one of the events, or who knows, maybe this blog will end with me signing off as the 2005 WCOOP Main Event Winner..... I can hope Can't I. Day 1 - $500 + 30 No Limit Hold Em. I woke up late and with a hang over (nothing unusual for a sunday). I soon cleared my head thanks to a greasey fry up and a jaquuzi (not at the same time). I was really pumped up to get stuck into some satilittes and start the ball rolling. The choice of sats offered on pokerstars for the WCOOP is mind boggling - FPP (frequent player points - points you get awarded for playing raked hands) MTT sats, cash MTTs (freezeout and R & A) and one/two tabled Sit N gos (cash and FPP). Where to start!!! With all of this choice, I was like a kid in a candy store (no - not shoplifting!) but I needed to find out which type of sat is going to A. Offer me the best chance at getting into the event, B. Fit into my prefered timescale for doing it and C. Offer best overall value. I usually sat into bigger tournys via the 1 table sngs offered, so I thought that this was as good as a place to start as any! The first one I played was a $65 9 man SnG. Absolutely nothing of interest happened in this tourny untill I got heads up. When we were 3 way, I had it in my mind to offer a chop if I got Heads up with around even stacks. The problem with stars SnGs is that if you go through the field quickly you find yourself with massive stacks compared to the blinds, if I feel im up against a capable player I will offer a chop. I have 2 reasons for this. Firstly, Time. if you both have stacks of 6000ish and the blinds are 200/100, you could be there a LONG time. time better spent playing another sat or cash game. The second reason is that HU play is unpredictable and I would prefer to get some profit out of the 60/75 minutes ive just spent playing this game! Anyway back to the game. I got heads up with a good player who had me outchipped nearly 3 to 1. I couldnt offer a chop at this point, wouldnt be worth it. So I battled away and got it to about 2 to 1. It was at this point that I offered a chop. After some umming and ahhing he agreed, but while he was deciding he took a few pots of me through me timing out, this affected the chip count a little but not a great deal. So, he says ok to the chop. I email stars support while we are both sat out. The action was obviously going fast and the blinds growing as we sat there and waited patiently for support. While sat there, i was watching my hole cards and was horrified to see AA, AK and JJ go past in quick succession. Support eventually arrived to inform us we couldn't chop - as it was a seat. I was under the impression that they would just chop the W$ (wcoop entry dollars), but no, this wasnt the case. I was a little embarrased by this and before I could think straight to offer a private chop (without supports help) we had agreed to play it out. The only problem was the blinds. stars had taken so long the blinds were much bigger than what they were. It took the play out of the game and I busted on what I think was the second hand. It all happened so quickly, it was a bit demoralising to say the least. What a start to my WCOOP quest! I tried a few different sats, some Rebuy and Add on MTTs and some Freezeout MTTS. They each have their good and bad points but this is something that I will discuss in future blogs. I should also make it clear that when I'm playing these sats, not all of them are for the particular event of that day. I will play any sat that looks good, that will give me W$ to play with. It was a couple of hours before the event and I had yet to qualify. Not only that, I had spent $200 trying to get into it. I had one more chance to get in there via a sat and this was a $20 RnA MTT. It looked GREAT value with 563 players in it, it meant with all the rebuys there would liekly be 50+ seats to be won. My kind of tourny!This was sunday afternoon in america, everyone's last shot at getting in an event that had already surpassed the million dollar prize pool mark! In short, it was time to do the business. This was a "turbo" tourn. The blinds went up every 5 (yes FIVE!) minutes and the rebuy period was only for 30 minutes. Needless to say by the time we got near the bubble (payed 65 seats by the way), the blinds were HUGE in comparison to our stacks. It was litterally a lottery, people who were top ten would suddendly be short and desperate after they had gone through the blinds. I managed to scrape through and win my seat with 2500 chips left. enough for 2 more hands as the antes were 2000 at this point. I was in.... I was happy to say the least, it had started to look like I was going to start off my quest by missing what turned out to be the biggest sunday prizepool stars had ever had. $1.531 million. The winner would take over $300k. I also found myself fighting the temptation to unregister to take the W$. I have absolutely no idea where this urge came from. I had spent the entire day tying to get in this thing and now I was considering unregistering for a measly profit of $200+ ??? I still haven't figured out where this came from and to be honest I doubt I ever will. I managed to get myself in the correct frame of mind, which was that I was going to cash. Not just "cash" but really "CASH". I believe a positive mental approach is invaluable in poker, it's just a matter of implementing it, which is something that I have not always done. So, I was pumped up ready to go, telling myself (and my friends) that I was going to go deep in this thing. Then the unthinkable happens...... Theres a storm outside. Absolutely nothing like what has recently been seen in NO and Miss, but a pretty bad one for England. So what? well..... My broadband connection that I've had no problems with whatsoever in the 2 years I've had it, decides it's a good time to break on me. NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO. It kept on skipping on and off, on and off. I couldnt believe it. with 5 minutes untill the cut off point for unregistering, I was forced to make a decision. Do I let the tourn start without me and hope that my connection comes back quickly or do I unregister in case it's down for the next 5 hours??? F beanie!(sorry had to get that in on my first blog) What should I do???? I eventually decided to unregister and managed to do so in one of the brief periods my connection was up. I was in profit but demoralised. Id be interested to hear what you guys would've done in that situation. I will finish up on that depressing note and to those of you that are still awake - I wish you GL. Oh, for those interested, my connection was out for about 90 minutes.....