Tuesday, 22 May 2012

It's getting hot in here! (+SCOOP Overview)


So, the SCOOP is officially over. I must say, it was pretty intense for various reasons. First of all, I was planning to make enough points for Platinum before the SCOOP was over. That practically meant 7.500 VPPs until May 20th, which unfortunately did not happen. Here is my current VPPs count: 

It's not too bad and 2.183 VPPs until the end of the month is doable. But I'll get to that later. Right now I'd like to talk about the reasons I didn't make it to 7.500 till May 20th like I had planned.

I was playing the $9.18 tournaments since the beginning of the SCOOP, and that meant that I was getting 0.99 VPPS per tournament. Let's make that 1VPP to make calculations easier. To reach Platinum until May 20th, I would have to play 375 tourneys per day, everyday. I think that's where my plan went wrong. I cannot predict what each day is going to bring and even though I was determined to play every single day, I was pushing myself to the limits. After all, 375 tournaments is not playing a couple of hours, it's a full day's work, for me at least.

I was ready to give up my weekends and free days in the week, but that's when it hit me. You see, our wonderful office is located on the west side of our building. That means that during poker peak time, we are sitting right across the sunset. Even though that may sound romantic at first (awww, two love birds in their own little office working together at sunset, so cuuuute!), I can assure you it is not. For those of you who weren't in Lisbon during this month, it was feeling like summer. Picture this: nice sunny days, people going around in t-shirts and flip-flops and me sweating non-stop, trying to work in front of the sunset. The heat was so strong that one afternoon I felt like the air around me was impossible to breathe!

André seemed kind of immune to all this, which is weird since I'm the greek and I'm used to way more heat overall. But since the whole thing was physically tearing me apart (and after confirming with sharkscope that I was indeed spreading my money at the tables at that point due to lack of concentration), I decided to go home. I pictured myself outside, at my balcony, with the spring wind blowing in my face, a nice cold beverage to help me recover from the hell I was just put through and my laptop to continue my grinding. Here's a photo as proof that I tried it: 

Too bad it didn't work. Shortly after I had everything ready and started playing, I realized that the wireless in our house was pretty unstable. After getting out of Internet connection a couple of times and running around the house like a maniac with the laptop in my hands in order to get better reception, I decided to call it a day. I couldn't play at home and I was not willing to go back to the Sahara desert that my office had recently turned into. I figured the poker gods were sending me a message and went to watch some T.V.

The next day though, I was determined to play in better conditions. I gave André an ultimatum, saying that if he didn't fix the air-conditions in the office I wouldn't go back there before winter time. Oh, yeah, the irony of this is that we DO have air-conditions in the office but they weren't functioning. Plus André does not like air-conditions at all, but hey, tough luck. :P

So for the few days it would take to fix the air-condition situation, I would have to make myself comfortable at home. I connected the laptop to the Internet through a cable this time, got an actual mouse (as you may have noticed in the picture above I was only using the laptop's mouse equivalent which is far less comfortable), and connected an extra screen to have more space for multitabling. It's not that I play that many tables, but I just HAVE to play in tile. The outcome was just beautiful:   :)

Nice, huh? Too bad this didn't work either! I was playing 3-4 bubbles when the Internet suddenly went down. Since it was not a wireless connectivity issue this time but had to do with the actual network, all I could do was to wait patiently until it came back. When it finally did, I had lost all of the bubbles and was barely alive in the rest of the tourneys. Considering that as an individual unfortunate event that was unlikely to repeat, I kept on playing. It happened again. Twice! Not only was my connection bad, I was also being unlucky with the cards. And yeah you guys, I have a new record for my worst day ever: -60 buy-ins. Here's the graph:

As you can see, apart from the obvious fact that this graph is really ugly, I decided to stop after 175 games that day. Far from the 375 games I was supposed to play. There were some other days that I decided to play less as well, which resulted in me not making it to Platinum on the 20th. Lesson learnt: whatever you do, always give some margin to the timeline of your poker planning. If it's too tight you most likely won't make it, simply because you can't predict the unpredictable.

Feeling defeated and considering whether it would be a good idea to go play in my swimming suit to battle the heat, I went back to the office the following day. Fortunately, the temperature dropped a bit so it made the place more bearable. On my way back to the office after lunch, I passed by a place that was advertising its "Café frappé". To you it may not sound like much, but that iced coffee is a thing that is part of the greek culture and that I personally find it hard to survive without. I have what I need to prepare it at home, but unfortunately I never found a place in Portugal that sells it. So imagine my surprise when I saw that advertisement. I was immediately drawn in. It turned out that what they considered to be "Café frappé" was actually a milkshake with coffee-flavored ice-cream. Oh, whatever! The day that I enjoy iced coffee in Portugal may have not yet come, but I got the beverage and went back to the office.

But that thing was so loaded up with sugar that it was barely drinkable! Yuck! I drank it anyway cause it was cold, but I started to wonder how much bad luck a person can endure within a matter of days... Then my luck changed! I noticed that I was running good at the tables and whenever I checked my balance in between sessions (I'm still good at that, heh!) I watched it go higher and higer each time. The result? A new record of my best day ever, and right on the next day of my worst day ever! Life is funny sometimes... Anyway, I won 52 buy-ins, so I almost recovered all of the money I had lost. Here's the graph:

The rest of the SCOOP days turned out to be pretty good too, even though not that amazing. On Sunday morning André and I woke up rather early for our standards to seize the day and grind until the SCOOP was over. I didn't even bother with breakfast at home in order to not lose time. I brought the essentials to the office instead: 

The following graph is of all the $9.18s I played during the SCOOP. Part of it was back in April, since I was playing the satellites for the SCOOP tournaments that were scheduled to run on April 1rst. But I chose to put it this way cause it gives a better overall idea:

Overall, I'm very, VERY happy with the way things went during the SCOOP. My bankroll got an enormous boost and I am now rolled to play the next level, the $18.77s. The only negative thing in this whole story was that after my $9.18 tourneys were over, I was waiting for André to finish so I decided to play some $13.43s. My bankroll was high enough for me to play those and since I had nothing else to do, I went for it. Unfortunately, I got unlucky and within a matter of 20 minutes I lost around 25 buy-ins. Which is not THAT bad really, but if you spend 20 days grinding at the $9s, then suddenly losing 25 buy-ins at the $13s is kind of hard to take. So not only I did not wait for André that day, but I left with a bitter feeling even though the SCOOP went really well overall.

I was planning to go up to the $18.77s so as to make the remaining of the points I need for Platinum this month. It would be rather easy since I would be getting the VPPs at half the time comparing to before, thanks to the higher buy-in. However, I noticed this afternoon that those were missing from the lobby. After mailing support, I just got a reply that there will be no Sunday Cubed tournaments in the future. Those were the ones that the $18.77 satellites were feeding, so that basically means that we have the following options: the $3.74s, the $7.49s or the $37.07s which is a huge jump (not to mention out of my budget). I did notice some $18s that were feeding the 12K Guaranteed, but those only ran for like half an hour or so (at least that's how long I caught them in my lobby). The $7s would be a good option, but the problem with those is that they run for only 2 hours per day so I'm not going to make Platinum for sure... Hmm... If there are any fellow hyper-turbians out there that have any piece of advice on what I could play or have information about the schedule that I don't, please let me know!

Finally, some good news... André just got of the phone with the person who is coming here tomorrow to fix the air-conditions. We may manage to turn this into a proper working space again...

See you all at the tables!


  1. Hi Katerina, congratulations on your current performance at the hypers. Right now what are your current thoughts and feelings about them? How much they differ from 9 man turbos?
    Thank you.

    1. Hi Luis! Thank you for your comment. I really enjoy playing the hypers! When compared to the 9man turbos I find that they are worlds apart... It's a completely different game. I could talk a lot more about this subject, but there's only so much one can write in a comment, so keep checking back if you wanna know more about my adventures at the hypers!

  2. Thx for the info about $18s :-), pretty useful. I have noticed that change, $18s are starting every working-day at 17:30 (GMT) and finishing at 20:00 but have to say that in this time this is a truly regfest. Hard times coming....
    Also some $18s you can play at 0:00 to 2:30....

    I have emailed many times to PS support to say some ideas/improvements/suggestions how to greatly boost traffic at the satellites but nothing have been done, dont think that some day will be.
    Does have André some better position for discussing about this topic with PS as member of PRO team ?

    1. Hi Roy4lp4yor!

      Thanx a lot about the info on the $18s! I ended up playing a ton between 00:00 and 02:30 as you may have noticed... And given the time, I might had not discovered them if you had not told me about them.
      I guess that as Team Online André has a better position than you and me to discuss certain things, but Pokerstars has an excellent support system and I really believe that they consider every idea that goes into their mailbox.

  3. First congrats for your results during the SCOOP
    Roy4l is right, to much regs in the $18s.
    Another hour is between 9 to 10 PM.
    What you can experiment is to play the normal hyper turbos 6max. I do that in my Fr account and the result is amazing. Because I have a background in the 9max and the hypers, so its very easy to adapt.

    1. Hi David! As I've mentioned before, the normal 6max hyper turbos have a different structure, so I'd rather not get into that right now. Glad it's working for you though! Oh, and thanx for the tip about the time of the $18s! :)



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