Tuesday, 12 March 2013

WBCOOP: Thank Blog For That!

10 days. 10 tournaments. $66 of SCOOP tickets. 1 PokerStars Pro elimination. 25 gallons of coffee.

What a great series that was. If im being honest, I started off hoping to get as many SCOOP tickets as possible, whilst learning some of the new games, and having a bit of a fun on the blogging/tweeting side of it.

In the end, I ended up railing some of my favourite players, interacting with several bloggers via Twitter, and that made me change the whole way I looked at the series as a whole. I even agreed give 10% of my prize away to www.helpharryhelpothers.com if I won either the Tweeter/Blogger award, taking note on what many bloggers decided to do last year, and for good reason, its a great cause.

WBCOOP has tons of great prizes on offer, and although these will give me an excellent insight into playing the slightly higher levels, the $22 and $33 entry tournaments especially, it will be the interaction and the reading of other players blogs that will help me the most.

From people who play professionally to recreational players like myself, and from BronzeStar all the way to SuperNova, it has been fantastic to read these players blogs, and get some very helpful hints and tips along the way.

Anyway, this pretty much summed up my mood before the tournaments got under way...

....and after 10 tournaments and probably 30+ hours of Poker in 10 days (Including about 8 or 9 on the final day alone)

Here are my results for the series.

WBCOOP-05 ~ NLHE Shootout :-              317th of 397 
WBCOOP-06 ~ 8-game :-                              4th of 256  ($33 + $22 SCOOP ticket)
WBCOOP-08 ~ NLHE :-                              72nd of 570 ($11 SCOOP Ticket)
WBCOOP-15 ~ NLHE (6max Turbo) :-      191st of 401
WBCOOP-17 ~ Heads Up NLHE :-             80th of 546
WBCOOP-24 ~ NL Omaha H/L :-              186th of 296
WBCOOP-25 ~ NLHE (Deep Stack) :-      403rd of 589
WBCOOP-28 ~ HORSE :-                           98th of 352
WBCOOP-29 ~ NLHE (6-max) :-                304th of 619
WBCOOP-30 ~ NLHE :-                             190th of 516

So not bad, ill be keeping these statistics until next year, where I will hopefully improve, and after a target of $50 of tickets, I ended up with $66, so a success, despite not cashing in the last seven tournaments.

After working out my position %'s in the tournaments, I finished in average the top 33%, which i will take as a very good achievement, especially with two early-ish exits!

If you want to know how to work it out, take my WBCOOP-15 for example. Divide the finishing position, 191, by the entrants, 401, and you get 0.476. Now multiply that by 100 and you get 47.6%, which is the amount of runners that finished ahead of me.

If you do that to all 10 tournaments, add those %'s together, then divide by 10, you will get your overall %. 

It is a shame we will have to wait a year for another WBCOOP series, but maybe that is what makes it so sweet, and im sure I will see many familiar names in the MicroMillions and SCOOP series too.

PokerStars idea or awarding both bloggers and tweeters is a great one, and with $5000 and $1000 on offer, they are prizes that make people want to be involved with that side of Poker.

I have my ideas on who will win the Best Tweeter award, and I think there are some fabulous blogs this year, so that prize is up for grabs. I will keep my cards close to my chest on names, but good luck to all!

Congratulations to everyone that cashed, in tickets, and in the Main Event as well, hope to see you in the SCOOP!

Finally a shout out to all of people I tweeted and railed during the tournaments, it would be simple impossible to name you all, but im sure you know who you are! 

Here are a list of great blogs that I discovered during the tournament, make sure you give them a read:

Thanks again to all, especially at PokerStars, and see you all in 2014. 

WBCOOP - 30: The Highs and Lows of Nut Flushes.

Wow. What an awful way to end the WBCOOP series. I never collected enough chips to make a spacestation-type model, thats for sure.

It was one of those tournaments that will forever confuse me, I went in ahead twice and lost, and went in behind for my whole stack, massively, and won.

It started off pretty poorly, I had hardly took a sip of my tea before my top two pair was completely counterfeit against well disguised three-of-a-kind sevens, and 20% of my stack was begrudgingly shipped to my left. If that was a live game, id have probably grabbed those chips and starts crying. "Please! Dont take them" After all, my main aim was to play tight, not give away pots in the first levels. Well, that worked...

I was stuck between two pretty aggressive players for most of this tournament, and boy, if you haven't tried it, I wouldn't recommend it. Every raise I made was either shoved or hugely raised, and although I had big hands, there was nothing I wanted to put my life on the line for.

Now for the massively overplayed AKs. Mr.Aggro on my right called my pre-flop raise, which immediately got suspicious about, to which I convinced myself he had a big hand. The flop brought 6-4-5, and i convinced myself yet again he had something similar to me, what didnt occur is he might have a high pocket pair, which means id be almost dead with two cards remaining. His min bet brought a shove from me, a very loose shove, and he called. I won't repeat what words come out my mouth, but he flipped 6-7, and an A or K was needed.

Keeping in line with my crazy series so far, the turn gave him a straight, but me a flush draw, and then I hit the river. Phew, that was close. Better play more conservative now, I thought...

It seemed like one big hand per level at present, and when I was dealt 5-8 in the BB, I was happy to call Mr.Aggro's min raise and see a 6-9-4 flop. It went check-check, and 7 diamonds hit the board. It gave me a straight, but three to a flush, nobody likes this scenario. He 3-bet me all in on the turn, and after much deliberation I called, the thinking being that any flush draw he would've bet on the flop, being his aggressive style.

He flipped over AdQh, and he was dead to a diamond. It was a diamond that came, and he got his own back on me, but it didn't stop a bang of the fist from me, coffee exiting my cup in the process.

Being between these two players really stopped me getting anywhere, I would raise the likes of A-10s, or 8-8, and I would be shoved, insta-raised, and I just couldn't call, I wanted to make sure I was ahead.

In fact, all this did was decimate my stack to just 11BB, and a raise from a new-ish player left me no choice but to shove A-Js, only to get 2 callers. 

Automatically knowing I was behind, KK and AK was flipped over. I was pretty much dead to a flush, a nut flush, one that came, and put me back in the chips in the tournament. Somehow. No-one knows how.

Again, I wanted to crack on, but every marginal hand was attacked, as I saw the men around me shatter hopes of others as they called off loose, getting there in extreme fashion.

The next hand I received was QQ, and a pre-flop raise was again called, the flop bring K-2-3 all spades. An awful flop really. He bet 35% of my stack, and with K-4 beating me, 4-5 spades basically drawing me dead, I had to fold, and when he showed 8-9, no spades, my heart dropped, and the .gifd below pretty much explains exactly my emotion at that point.

I hung around in there until I was left with about 7BB, and again I received AJ and threw my chips into the middle. That warranted a call from QQ, and the tournament was over, a respectable 190th from 516. But as i've said before, if its not a cash, its nothing to me.

Big well done to those aggressive players either side of me though, [morrison.18] finished 25th, and [Papa_M-s25] cashed in 81st. 

Monday, 11 March 2013

WBCOOP-29: Bubble? You might as well go out first.

I think its a measure of how far i've come if I consider 314th of 619 as a complete failure, but the fact of the matter is, if you don't come in that top 108, you are tossed onto the scrapheap, and all branded as losers in that particular competition, morale victories count for nothing to me, every time I bubble, I wish i'd have gone out first. Its a cruel game.

It was another tournament that never really got going for me, every time I hit, people were hitting combo draws and all sorts, but managing to stay in with only 6/15 showdown wins was an impressive feat in itself.

As 6-max goes, chip stacks can fluctuate massively, and within 20 hands I had been up tp T$3500 before losing a few hands and being down to T$2200, but just 10 hands later, I saw my Q-7 hit a 3-8-Q-2-J board, and effectively double up as I reached T$4000 chips.

I then fired three bets at a 4-5-9-2-4 board and expected a loss when he called, only to see him turn over A-10, and I was up to nearly T$6000.

I then went a few hands without anything of note, that until AQ was given to me, and the short-stack fired all in, I snap called, and he showed AJ. Only for this to happen..... .

Ill be first to admit I went a little on tilt, calling a flop with 8-4s and thinking my pair of fours were good on a 9-7-4-K-10 board, let me give you a guess... They weren't. But in fairness, his A-10 did hit the river. 

It didn't get any easier for me, I held K-9 on a 7-8-9-5, double suited board, and after convincing myself he was drawing due to his flat calls, I jammed him all in, and the same guy hit his miracle river, needing a 6-8-10-J.

I was never the same from there on in fairness, another 20 hands without a hit, I managed to double up against my nemesis of the day, my A-8 hitting against his 5-5, and I was back to a manageable stack size again.

I wanted to kick on and make a break for the cash, but again a long spell without a hand, especially in a 6-max tournament, is never ideal, as blinds come around faster than the leaders on a Formula One track.

I've talked about patience and how I have it in abundance, but how I lacked in it this tournament. with blinds sitting at 75/150, i checked a K-10-9 flop with K-Qs, and when I raised him on a 5 on the turn, he 3-bet all in, and after much deliberation, I called, stupidly really, as I could only put him on J-10 or Q-10 that I was beating, but in fact he flipped over Q-J, and I was drawing dead to a J.

That one was over, and it was on to the last preliminary WBCOOP event, before the main event on Monday.

This .gif pretty much summed up my (6-max) event.

Sunday, 10 March 2013

WBCOOP - 28: Neyyy luck in the HORSE

You didn't expect me to talk about HORSE poker without the hilarious picture of horses playing poker did you? Well apologies if you did.

My self-confessed favourite event, and with a massive 5th place in the 8-game - HORSE with added extras - I was quietly confident when I sat down.

I didn't expect the commotion preceding the tournament though. Our football match started at 10:30am after a rigorous pitch inspection, and a 6-1 drubbing did nothing to enhance my mood pre-tournament, neither did my ruined hamstring, or the fact I had to wait 20 minutes for a bus in the freezing cold.

Anyway, I arrived back home at 2:21pm, surprisingly only T$97 down and ready to rumble, a quick couple of round on Razz showed me that people we're not too clued up on the game, and I could really exploit that and the Stud H/L, or the 'E' of Horse, standing for Eight or Better.

My first big break came in the Stud though, my weakest part of the tournament, but when I was dealt 5-8-8-5, I knew I was going nowhere, and sure enough, although I missed a full house, my opponent never improved on his AA start, and i effectively doubled up.

It didnt take long for me to add to that stack either, in the Stud H/L section, being dealt 3 spades and adding another two pre-seventh street, I knew with him showing 4-6-5-3, that I would most probably be splitting the pot with a low, but low and behold, he ended up desperately unlucky, but who was I to complain, as I stole the table chip lead.

To say it seemed to be all going right was an understatement, just minutes later, as I was flying with a decent low and a shot at a straight for the high, we reached the river as I put in a customary bet, with him showing 7-7, I knew it would be a split pot, only to see him fold the Hi and allow me precious extra chips in my pursuit for the crown.

My parents were asking me what football was on at this point, clapping, cheering, even holla'ing every time chips were sent my way, and an AQ vs A5 all in during the Hold'em was music to my ears, as the flop bought a Queen and began shattering dreams as well as firming my own.

I was about to enter a rut though, one that lead me haemorrhaging chips in Omaha, Stud, and even Holdem. However, it would take about 25 minutes mindless searching for me to hit a hand, and it came to no surprise that Razz delivered the goods, as I swept up a $20k pot after starting with 5-2-3-4, after a guy vastly overplayed A-A-5-4.

However, we were nearing the bubble now, play tightened, people used whole timebanks only to fold 3-8o, and I began to get frustrated. For right or wrong, I wasn't happy with simply blinding into the cash, as $5.50 was nothing to my bankroll compared to the $22, $33 and above that was on offer, including those elusive leaderboard points, that I had been pining over since my early run in the 8-game.

At times it was like the picture below, a very lonely poker table, one full of chips, but devoid of players.

I do still believe that more profit will be made in the long-run if you do play your own game near the bubble. Tight is not always right. However, had this been Event No.30, I may well have blinded into the cash and seen what I could do from there, in the end, I jammed most of my stack in Stud H/L, being dealt 3-4-2, and the rest as i was dealt a 3, later figuring out I was 49% likely to make a Lo after 3 cards, and 36% after i'd paired my 3s.

 It wasn't to be though, and I exited in 98th place, with 96 cashing, and despite being 32nd with 104 remaining, I don't regret a thing, as if I win the 50/50s instead of losing, I put myself in a massive position to run deep.

Yeah, this pretty much summed me up after I bust.....

Plus, I still had two tournaments to go today... Surely I could cash again?

Saturday, 9 March 2013

WBCOOP 25: 90 Minutes of Pain, Torture, and no Cards

Dear PokerStars,

Next time I confess my undying love for an event, can I please have infinite luck, loads of royal pocket pairs, countless nut flushes, and a partridge in a pear tree.

I was so excited for the Deep Stack tournament of the WBCOOP, it was the first one I entered when the schedule came up. At 3pm on Saturday, I had to ditch my football plans, as I got cosy on my seat ready for a good four, five, even six hour session to reach the cash and those all important leaderboard points.

There was some sort of irony in the tournament in fairness, as I sat down to listen to Birmingham play 90 minutes of successful football, I had the opposite fortune and after 89 minutes and 52 seconds, the whistle was blown on my hopes, as my 15 big blinds fell victim to a rivered Ace. My 8-8 unable to hold up against a pretty loose A-3 shove.

Still, it would be silly to blame in all on that hand, although it is always bitter when you go out whilst being the 70% favourite. But sometimes it simply isn't your day.

The worst thing about it, was my opponent in that hand, [javerianaest] had already dispatched of two opponents, a stagnant 'sorry' to both of those, as their Q-Q faced 10-10 on an evil Q-J-J-10 board, before their 7-7 hit a worldie 7 on the turn to conclude the tournament of a guy who was holding 10-10 - seemingly the nominated unlucky hand of the day.

It was perhaps fitting that after [javerianaest] had destroyed people on the flop and turn, that it was left until the river to confirm my exit, after nearly 90 minutes of nothing card wise, it was almost inevitable that the Ace would be shown.

But, like I said, that wasn't the main reason I exited. The 88 hands I played in were a combination of the most frustrating i'd played. Early on i received 10-10, only to see my raise raised, and then somebody shoving 250BB into that raise. That sort of bet would lead me to believe he had a lower pocket pair, or the likes of JJ or AJ, however, I was never going to find out that early on.

I was given AK and AQ, but received no takers for a flop, and it wasn't until hand 62 where I had anything worth betting at, holding Ah 8h, we saw a 3-way flop for 300, and it came down Kc Jh 2h, and my nut flush draw was looking tasty. A firm believer of betting my draws, i smashed 70% of the flop in, and the insta call and then shove from another player was my greeting. Another 1100 into a pot nearing 3000, and it was a reluctant, but hopeful call.

My hand didn't improve, as we checked down the last two streets, my opponent, the serial tweeter [cardkahleesi] missed her open ended straight draw, and instead hit runner runner flush, not like it mattered, as the guy who shoved the flop, ended up turning a boat, rendering us both card dead.

Down to 2,500 and around 25BB, I was certainly still well in it, but I was leaking chips, first my KdQd hit a dead board and lost me 400, before 6-6 hit a KhQhJh board, leaving me scratching my head in disbelief at the hands I was being dealt.

Sure enough, another 20-odd hands passed, and the inevitable happened. Elimination, before a century of hands, and it seems PokerStars is saving up all my luck for the final day. At least it better be. A win, albeit a very optimistic goal, would fire me up the leaderboard and hopefully a chance of lifting the WBCOOP trophy.

Tomorrow I have a football match at 10:30am, will have time for a quick beer at the pub, before getting home and settling down for hopefully an absolute marathon session of Poker.

Coffee at the ready... See you at the HORSE, 2pm deal.

Friday, 8 March 2013

WBCOOP 24: Omaha-ha-ha.

I must admit, when I joined this one, I had no clue it was a turbo. That put me in good stead from the beginning. Not.

Wasn't at all impressed with the amount of people sitting out though, if this was 6-max you'd be most likely playing by yourself, though at least you can't lose that way I guess.

Took me about 20 minutes to win a hand, Omaha isn't my strongest game, but played a good hand below, cumulating in a straight on the river for a few thousand chips.

So, quickly enough, the blinds were catching up with us, as the big stack raised every hand, not really allowing me or our other opponent pick up any chips, in this massive 3-handed game we had going on. Superb.

Sure enough, after playing a few missed draws, I was down to shoving territory, and my 10-9-Q-9 had enough about it to warrant getting it all in the middle, though Mr.Big Stack could afford to call with pretty much any cards, as he threw some pocket change into the middle with his A-J-2-7.

Sure enough, he hit three-of-a-kind jacks, and although I was sweating on a Spade for the River, I didnt catch, and I was out before i'd even got onto my second can of beer. Not great, but 4 strong events over the next two days, so i'm quietly confident of clambering up that leaderboard still.

As this blog was one of my shortest, I thought id spruce it up with this lovely picture of cat I drew whilst waiting to be seated. Don't worry, there won't be many more monstrosities. Hopefully.

See you for the Deep Stack, 3pm Saturday. 

Wednesday, 6 March 2013

WBCOOP - 17: Will I pay for forgetfulness?

Couple of days off the poker and to say im chomping at the bit to play is an understatement. I have now played four tournaments, and if you are wondering where the blog was for my third event, well, there isn't one. Why? Because I forgot to play.

A late decision to watch the football last night bit me in the rear end, when i'd planned to play WBCOOP event, terrible decision. Oh well, onwards and upwards, still with a decent tally and sitting 91st in the table, I think I need to win an event and cash 2 or 3 more to have a chance of topping the leaderboard.

I got a $22 ticket for eliminating 'frosty012' which takes my total to $66 worth of tickets, after just 4 events. Nice. I don't plan on playing any more events until Friday night so hoping to get some points tonight to keep myself on that leaderboard over the next two days.

So tonight its Heads-Up poker, there were a decent 546 entrants, and with 512 needed for heads up, we needed only 34 people eliminated, meaning 476 of us sat and watched Round 1, and to my delight, I was one of them.

Round two came pretty quickly, and after moaning about my loss of a ticket yesterday, it was my turn to inflict this pain on someone else.

Would I wait for 5, 10 minutes to see if they appeared? Hell no. The poker world is a dog eat dog one, so I blinded him out as quick as possible. 7 minutes to be exact. So, I wait until Round 3, 256 will remain, and I now require two wins to get that elusive cash, and more importantly, those leaderboard points. 

Well, along came Round 3, and the SilverStar of [pepa.G92] sat down. The game was to only last 12 hands, as my 10-10 hit one of the remaining two in the pack on the flop, and feeling he may bet out, I checked the set, only to see him check back.

The turn brought an 8, and two flushes were out there, I bet 2/3 of the pot, only the see a shove over the top. He certainly didnt have KK, so i was ahead, but may well be up against a strong draw. I called, he flipped over Q-2 and was already dead. Easy passage to Round 4.

Just the next match stands between me and at least an $11 ticket, glad of my decision to play this tournament now. Will have to scope my opponent out early, as he may well play tight in the fear of bubbling the cash.

After just 13 hands it was my longest game of the night, and we both took early 1800/1200 leads. I was the first below 1000 though, as my two pair was outdone by a straight.

An epic battle commenced, and although managed to get back up to 1.1k, I was down to 300 before I knew it. My J-10 hit against his A-K to keep me in, but not for long, as my last 500 was shipped on a A-Q-5-4 board, with the nut flush draw and top pair, AK. He hit his 4 outer on the river with 6-3 (The 2 and 7 of spades were mine) and that's all folks.

5 down, 5 to go now. Hoping for a big last stretch, and targeting four cashes, three deep runs, two final tables, and one win. Very optimistic, but what do you get for holding back? Not a lot.

Bring on Friday.