Tuesday, 12 March 2013

WBCOOP Wrap Up

Hi everyone!

I couldn't say goodbye to the WBCOOP series without making a wrap up post about it and letting you know what I thought of it. This was my first year participating. I remember seeing it last year, but then I decided to not participate because I was just getting back to playing poker and my blog had been inactive for more than half a year.


This year, I decided I'd give it a try. I thought it would be fun and didn't think it would be a big deal if next to my grinding tables I had one MTT going. I'd make a small blog post here and there and that would be it. Boy, was I wrong!

Early in the WBCOOP week my grinding was thrown out of the window. I guess it depends on how much each one of us decides to get involved, but I found this series to be quite addictive. I'd play the tournaments and since they were MTTs they took a significant amount of time. Then, I had to write my blog posts which included reviewing hands and sometimes that took me more time than what I spent playing the tournament. When I was not playing or writing, I was checking other people's blogs. When I was running out of new posts to read, I'd check what were the latest tweets. And in between all that, I'd drop by the leaderboard and check what was going on there and who was ahead. In a few words, I was hooked

Results

I think it's in order for my last WBCOOP post to have a summary of all of my finishes. My profit was $9 and $49,5 worth of tickets. Not bad for an MTT newbie! Here's the list:

Event 08: 297 out of 570
Event 13: 95 out of 497 - $5,50 ticket
Event 15: 227 out of 401
Event 19: 33 out of 292 - $16,50 ticket
Event 20: 281 out of 374
Event 21: 19 out of 340 - $11 ticket
Event 23: 161 out of 509
Event 27: 338 out of 422
Event 29: 231 out of 619
Event 30: 22 out of 516 - $16,50 ticket
Main Event: 120 out of 1009 - $9

Organisation

Okay, probably not everything went 100% as it was supposed to. There were a few technical problems with tickets arriving late, or some people getting more than 10 tickets or tickets disappearing from accounts. These things unfortunately do happen, but it was eventually sorted out since only the first 10 tournaments of each participant would count towards the leaderboard and those who "lost" tickets got them back. 

Another issue came up with those who participated. The rules clearly stated that participants should make a 500 word blog post or a short video about their best Pokerstars moment. They also stated that the blog should be at least one month old and regularly updated. I'm copy pasting from the WBCOOP terms and conditions "We may seek and/or request evidence of this requirement to ensure compliance with these Rules." What I understand from this sentence (I may be wrong) is that Pokerstars did not hand pick who was fit to participate and who was not. They must have had well over one thousand entries, I can't imagine them checking (and reading) every single blog before they sent the tickets. The bottom line is, we're supposed to be adults. If you're a blogger, this event is for you. If you're not, then you should not take part in it. It's as simple as that. Pokerstars is not the school principal that will have us grounded when we misbehave. Each one of us should be responsible for their own acts. Which brings me to my next subject.

Behavior

Unfortunately there was some bad behavior, both on and off the tables. It made me sad to see once again people blaming the site, the other players, the cards, the VIP status, the weather, basically anything apart from bad luck or their poor play. I understand the feeling of frustration, but there's a limit to everything. Insulting others won't get you anywhere and it certainly won't get your chips back. At forums and blogs, I saw people complaining about having an old blog and not participating in the WBCOOP while others that created a new one did. You guys did the right thing by not participating cause your blog was not in compliance with the rules. Be proud of it instead of feeling bad cause others broke the rules. Also, if you think something about the event is not right try to say so in a constructive way, so as to help make it better. At least there were a few people who even though they had a negative opinion, they expressed it tactfully. This paragraph only concerns a small percentage, I think that most bloggers can actually speak properly instead of just insult, but still I had to put it out there.

Twitter

Apart from all the money to be earned at the tables and the leaderboard, the WBCOOP advertised two ways of winning: blogging and tweeting. I decided right away that twitter was not for me. I had an account but to be honest, I hardly knew how it worked. If you asked me 10 days ago what a hashtag is, I wouldn't have an answer. Yet when I logged in to see what was going on, I didn't want to leave. The community that I discovered at #WBCOOP is simply amazing. People from all over the word came together to share a common interest: playing poker. It's hard to stay back watching and not participate. Before I knew it, I was part of tweeterland! A big thank you to everyone for a super twitter-week. You guys are awesome! Oh, and good luck to Liam (@Rubikscube91) for the best tweeter award. If it was up to me, I'd give it to him here and now. Live coverage, stats, graphs, cheering up and always positive attitude, he is twitter-crazy! :)

Conclusion

The WBCOOP was for sure a lot more than I had expected. I discovered new poker blogs, found new interesting people, heard a lot of stories about good moments playing this game, wrote a lot of blog posts, tried out new poker formats,  had lots of fun... Oh, and I got some money in the process. Thanx Pokerstars for this great event! WBCOOP 2014? Can't wait! :)

WBCOOP Main Event

Hi everyone!

The WBCOOP is officially over. Since I did one post for each one of the tournaments I participated in, I couldn't leave out the biggest one: the main event!

The main event gathered 1009 players, being by far the biggest of the series. I played during over six hours so there were a loooot of interesting hands and spots. Since I can't review them all here, I chose those that in my opinion are the best 4.

The badbeat

So, action is folded to me. I'm on the cut-off with K8o and 57BBs. The player on the BB has about 3BBs left behind. The player on the SB is also kind of short with 14BBs. With all the antes and the blinds in the middle both of them should be more eager to gamble than the average so I don't know what I was thinking. I guess I had it coming. I raised 2,5x and got called by the SB. The flop came 6c-9h-Kc, a pretty favorable board for me. The SB checked and I bet 1,6k into a pot of 2,8k chips. The SB shoved over the top. I had to put 3320 chips to call and claim a 9,3k pot. Plus, I was holding top pair. And when the SB shoved, there was almost as much as his stack in the pot so I figured he shouldn't be in a tight range. He showed QJ of clubs... He was going either for a gutshot straight or for a flush. The very next card that hit was a ten and I lost. What can I say, I don't think I should have been in the hand in the first place so I got what I deserved... :P

The missplay

So there I am, with the chipleader of the tournament sitting at the other side of my table. I have 38BBs and get dealt a pair of pocket 77s in middle position. As expected, I min-raise against the chipleader's blind. Everyone folds and now it's up to him to talk. He re-raises me. I think about it a bit, the pot is 7700 and it's 3200 to call. I go with it. The board is 8-5-Q rainbow. He checks and I bet half the pot. That may sound weird, but that guy had been bluffing a lot and doing some strange plays. I thought my persistence would scare him away. The downside is, I've already invested 1/3 of my stack in this hand and I'm not even sure I'm ahead. He calls. Ooops! Okay, I'm probably behind here. The turn is a two and we both check. The pot is slightly bigger than my stack. The river is another five and this time he bets 8k. I know I'm most likely beat, but I have to give it a shot, I feel too committed. Guess what? He was holding pocket tens. No further comment, I misplayed this hand as much as humanly possible!

The suck-out

Okay, this is another epic one. I have ten big blinds and I catch ATo on UTG+1. The antes are huge, so there's a nice pot in the middle. Can't let go of this one. We're close to the bubble but we're not there yet. I really have to double up to make it into the money, and even then it's not guaranteed. But if I lose now, I walk away with nothing after so many hours of play... Finally, I shove... Nah, I'll spoil the surprise if I say more. Just watch the replay!

The exit

I'm on the big blind with 18BBs. We're already in the money and the chipleader of the table (same player I mentioned as chipleader before only now he's not 1rst of the tournament) raises 3x from the cut-off. I have A3o. Normally I would fold, but I've seen this guy min-raising 87o from UTG and bullying people around with his big stack and trash hands. An ace should be good against his range, so I shove over the top. Oooops, he called! It turns out, this particular time he wasn't bluffing or trying to steal anything. He was holding pocket Kings and raising for value! Unfortunately I never found my Ace (or the fifth card needed for a flush) so that was my last hand of the WBCOOP.


I placed 120th and got $9. I'm happy I got so deep in the tournament and even though what I won is far from the top prizes, it's still free money!

After I got eliminated I was feeling tired. I had been playing since I woke up and during those 6+ hours I forgot to have lunch. Thinking that it was probably better to go away from the computer a bit, I went to watch some TV and ordered a pizza. A couple of hours later, I went back to check what was going on in the main event and found twitter messages and the #WBCOOP hashtag bombarded with updates. The tournament had reached the final table and one of my twitter acquaintances, Tiger Cente, was actually in it! 

There were already a bunch of people railing for him and I joined the crowd. It was really fun to watch and cheer for him. Unfortunately I couldn't watch the whole thing until the end, I had to leave due to other obligations. When I got back, I was happy to find out that he took it down! Also, I had left the replayer open so even though it wasn't live, I saw how it all played out (only missed 22 hands). Here's a printscreen of the very last hand:


You can find Martin's blog here. Whenever they ask him what was his best Pokerstars moment from now on, I bet he'll have a new story to tell. There's nothing left to say except... Congratulations to Tiger Cente from India, WBCOOP 2013 Main Event Champion!!!

Monday, 11 March 2013

WBCOOP Event #30 NLHE

Hello!

The second event I played yesterday was the last one of the WBCOOP series, before the main event that is. It was your regular NLHE tournament. When it started, the first thing I noticed at my table was that pretty much everyone was sitting out. It was only me and the player on my left that were actually playing. Too bad that he was quite persistent and stealing the blinds from the rest of the sitting out players was not as easy as it sounds...

Anyway, little by little and with the changes of players at the table, we got a couple more people that were not sitting out. I decided to stop going crazy in an attempt to steal the dead money and play just a little bit more loose than my normal game.

I actually made it in the money in this one, which is great! That means that I was playing for quite some time and a lot of interesting hands came up. Since I can't describe them all here (I'd need to be blogging for a couple of days non-stop to do that), I'll pick my favorite three.

The first interesting hand was during the 7th level with the blinds at 125/250-a25. The player UTG immediately shoved. He had 15BBs. I was UTG+1 and was the one to talk next. My hand was AQo. Now normally, I don't mind calling an all-in of 15BBs with AQ. In this case however, there were 7 players left to talk after us. Some of them were deeper and maybe could call lighter thanks to their big stacks. Apart from that, the player sitting on the Big Blind only had 2,5BBs behind so he was almost certain to call. I hesitated. I had 22BBs but if I called 15BBs then I couldn't ever fold my remaining 7. So basically the choice was between shoving or folding. What would you do?

I shoved. Fortunately, nobody else called, not even the big blind that was super short. The opponent revealed a pair of 66s. I hit an ace on the flop, but the turn was a six so I lost a ton of chips. I was left with roughly 8BBs after that hand.

The second hand that really got my heart pumping was during the next level, with the blinds at 150/300-a25. My stack was slightly shorter than 12BBs and I got dealt pocket Tens on the cut-off. With a stack so short and a pot of 650 from the blinds and antes, if you get tens you know that you will eventually end up all-in one way or another. I saw players around the table folding, but it didn't get to me. A player two seats on my right shoved. He had a similar stack to mine, so that was understandable. He was feeling the pressure of the blinds going up and would happily go all-in with anything halfway decent. Still, my hand was very strong. I had to call. I took a deep breath and clicked the button. To my horror, I saw the player on my left shoving over the top. This one actually had a pretty decent stack. If he was shoving over two players, he should be holding a monster. I prepared for the worst! Everyone else folded.

My suspicions were unfortunately confirmed when the button revealed KK. The other player that shoved first had JJ. And I was behind both. I prepared to exit when I noticed the ten of hearts smiling at me from the board. I think I stopped breathing until both the turn and the river were revealed. None of them were relevant and I tripled up. I'm not sharing this hand cause there was awesome skill involved or something. I think all three of us played it fine and didn't really have any other option. I'm just sharing cause it was one of the sickest suckouts I've made! Epic!

Fast forward to the thirteenth level of blinds, 600/1200-a125 for the last hand of the post. I was UTG+1 and had managed to rebuild my stack up to 25,5BBs. I was dealt AQs and min-raised. Everyone folded until the SB who decided to re-raise me. He bet 7,2k and I called. The pot was now 16,7k and I wanted badly to add it to the 23,4k chips I had left behind. Fortunately luck was on my side this time. The flop was Q-6-Q. Unless he was holding a pair of pocket sixes, I was ahead. He bet first, 9,6k. I called. Turn: Jack of hearts. He bet 20,4k and I called my last 13,8k chips. He showed A3o. The river was a nine which was pretty much irrelevant cause he was drawing dead, and I won a huge pot with that  hand. What really baffles me is why he made that huge bet on the turn. I mean, sure he was holding an ace and thought that I shouldn't hit that board too often, but still... I don't know. I'm not skilled enough to judge his play and say if it was brilliant or a really bad one, but I really don't get it. Anyway, I was happy with getting most of his chips. :)


I lost quite a long time later when I shoved my 9BBs with ATo from the button. I actually shoved over the top of a raise from the cut-off, he had AJo but i didn't get lucky this time. Still, I made it to 22nd place and earned a $16,5 ticket. Quite a good score a think!

I hope you enjoyed this post... If you have any advice on my plays (or want to share anything else in general), please leave a comment. Coming up: WBCOOP's main event report!


Sunday, 10 March 2013

WBCOOP Event #29 NLHE [6-Max]

Hello!

Today after breakfast I went for my weekly massage! What better way to get prepared for a day at the virtual tables? When I finally got to the office I was feeling super light and relaxed. I registered at WBCOOP event 29 about half an hour after it started. It had 15 minutes blinds, so no big deal. Snail pace! :P


While I may not appreciate slow blinds all that much, I certainly liked having 5 opponents at my table. When I got my seat, I took a look around and noticed that 2 out of my 5 opponents were sitting out. More dead money to steal, I guess. After registration closed half an hour later, there were 619 players registered. Biggest event of the series so far! I suppose everyone's trying to use up their tickets...

Anyway, the first hand where I got a bit of value was QTo. The cut-off min-raised. Now, QTo is not the kind of hand I'm super happy to play with out of position but that guy had been playing way too many hands, so I figured my broadway was probably good against his range. I called and the flop came 6c-Ts-9s, giving me top pair. I checked, he bet half of the pot, I called. Turn: 3 of hearts. Irrelevant card and the action of the previous street repeated. Check, bet half the pot, call. The river was Q of hearts, improving my hand to two pair. Since he was so persistent, I made a really small bet comparing to the size of the pot, in hopes of inducing a bluff. Unfortunately it didn't work and he just called. He had J9o and I won a 1,2k pot which was nice.


The next hand was against the same player. This time, he raised 3x from UTG+1. That was a bit too much comparing to his usual min-raises, but I was holding pocket Kings so I happily re-raised him. He called. The flop was 8d-2s-9h. 950 chips in the pot, so I bet 450. What did the guy do? He shoved! Calling would put me all-in, he slightly had me covered. At that point I started running disaster scenarios in my head, cause I hadn't seen him raise 3x before so I was afraid that he might be holding aces. But I won't fold such a strong overpair on a rainbow board. I called... He had 67s, of hearts. The turn was K of hearts, leaving him with way too many outs. He could hit a straight or a flush on the river. Knowing my bad luck, I prepared for the worst... River: Jack of clubs. I won

Shortly after, I got moved to a new table. Too bad, cause I was starting to enjoy having two guys sitting out. It felt like a 4-Max table, a format I played the other day and enjoyed quite a bit. The person that had the biggest stack at my new table was from Portugal. He asked if I was André's girlfriend (I get that from time to time) and we got into a friendly chat. At some point during the conversation, I got KJo and min-raised from the button against the Portuguese's big blind. He called. The flop was J-2-8 rainbow. Hitting top pair with good kicker, I went on with my standard way of playing. Not much to think of, I wasn't letting go with that board so we went on with the conversation. He called every bet I made until the river. I was curious as to what he could have, and was quite surprised to see all the chips going his way. He had 82s and hit a two pair on the flop! It's funny how I thought I was ahead all through the hand and chatting casually only to discover that he had me beaten from the start. I'm telling you, friendliest way someone took my chips ever! :P

Still, even after losing that pot I had above the average stack and was doing ok. Until I got A3s on the button. Action was folded to me and that's a nice hand to min-raise with, so I did. The player on my left re-raised me and that was not the first time that he was pulling that move. Since it was starting to become a regular thing and I was holding a suited ace, I called. The flop came Ah-8s-2h. My opponent bet 1085 chips into a 1,8k pot. This was starting to become dangerous. I was holding an ace, but I had a total of 3,7k chips behind. If I called now, I would probably get committed to the hand anyway. Then again, I was holding two spade cards, so there was also the remote chance of a backdoor flush. And the truth is, that was a very aggressive opponent he couldn't have a hand every time he cbet the flop! I called. Turn: ten of diamonds. He bet 2k. I just had to call there, even though he was putting me all-in. Unfortunately, he had AQo. The river wasn't a 3 so he beat me at the kicker. And with that hand, I was out of the tournament.



Once again, I didn't make it into the money. Also, I didn't last longer than half an hour in the tourney. But it's no big deal anyway, I had fun playing this one! The last WBCOOP event is starting in half an hour.

Time to use my last ticket! Let's see if I can make this one count... See you at the WBCOOP tables!

WBCOOP Event #27 NLHE [Turbo]

Hi everyone!

Today we woke up super early. André got a phone call last week inviting him to the inauguration of a sports store. The store had already been there for quite some time, but they renovated the whole thing. And guess what - André got the invitation cause he is one of their top 20 customers!

Having made a significant contribution myself through my boyfriend's store card, I didn't know if we should be happy that we were obviously caring so much about our fitness or if we should worry about spending so much money on it that it took us all the way up to the top 20 of the list. Anyway, the event was at 9:00 a.m. and they would be offering breakfast. You may think everything is fine until this part of the story, but it's not.

One of the reasons I decided to play the #WBCOOP is because it wouldn't mess with my sleeping schedule. For grinding purposes, I wake up around 13:00 and go to sleep around 4:00. Sure, I don't get to enjoy many hours of sunlight but I profit from the great games running during those hours at Pokerstars. Not sure if you made the connection already, but us going to the breakfast store opening was more or less what it would be for a person that works on a 9-5 job to wake up and go to a party at 3 a.m.


Clearly not the best idea, but we decided to go. We got up at 8:00 after 4 hours of sleep. We went to the opening which was a bit of a disappointment. I'm not sure what I was expecting to see, but it was not really worth interrupting my sleep. Around an hour later, we got in the car to go back home. You can't press a button and  instantly go back to sleep no matter how tired you are, so we had to repeat our nighttime routine: hot beverage and one or two episodes from whatever series it is we're watching at the time.

When we woke up, it was already 16:00. Fortunately, the only #WBCOOP event I would be playing for the day would start at 23:00 which gave me plenty of time. I came to the office and ate a meal (not sure if it classifies as lunch, dinner or something else entirely). My original plan was to study or grind a bit before Event 27, but I was too tired to do anything.

Eventually, I decided that it would be a bad idea to play the event while feeling tired and sleepy, so I decided to take a nap. Good thing we have a small couch for that sort of emergencies.

I woke up feeling much better. Although not at 100%, I was ready to play! Event #27, here I go! I made a hot tea (had already gotten my second coffee before going to sleep), grabbed some donuts and sat in front of the computer. No long session could scare me, I was fully prepared!



I picked up a nice stack early on. It was your regular story of set vs top two pair. This seems to be happening to me a lot these days. Fortunately I was on the right side of the cards this time, so I got a nice boost early on with this one.

Then for a while I kept getting bad hands so my game was limited to fold-fold-fold. Very exciting. Till I got... A shiny pair of Jacks! Everyone folded to me and I min-raised from the button. The big blind re-raised and I called. I'm not really bothering to talk about specific amounts of bets cause the bottom line is, we ended up all-in on the flop. The flop was 9s-2h-3h, a very good board for me. He checked, I bet half the flop, he doubled it and I shoved my overpair right then and there. What did he show? A6o. He was soooooo much behind! But of course in order to win in poker you always need a bit of luck. The ace hit on the river (it always has to be the very last card, right?) and I was out of the hand. And the tournament.

Too bad this was short-lived, I was really looking forward to playing at turbo speed... But oh, well! That's poker!


338th place and miles away from the money. Total cashes so far: 3 out of 8. Not such a great score, especially since I didn't make any deep runs. Tomorrow I'll be using my last two tickets: events #29 NLHE [6-Max] and #30 NLHE. The 6-Max should be more fun. I hope I manage to cash in both, I'll be very happy with 50% cashes!

That's all for now, see you tomorrow with another update!

Saturday, 9 March 2013

WBCOOP Event #23 NLHE Big Antes

Hello!

These past days I live and breathe WBCOOP. My daily routine can be resumed in the following way: I wake up, get a coffee, wait for André to finish his daily training and then we come to the office. I start playing my WBCOOP events, have lunch somewhere along the way and keep playing until they're over. Then, I dedicate my time to my favorite part: blogging! I thought there would be some time in all that for my normal hyper grinding, but I was mistaken. I'm 100% devoted to the WBCOOP.

Dinner in front of the computer. Blogging is serious business, no dinner breaks allowed.

In this post, we'll be discussing event #23 NLHE Big Antes. Once again, I had never tried out this format before the WBCOOP. At least this one has simply got a different structure so there was no need for me to go study rules... The tournament gathered a total of 509 players, so I knew it would be some time before it reached the bubble. I decided to be prudent and play my strong hands only, avoiding complicated situations.

I really like it when I make plans to do one thing and then I go ahead and do something completely different! Don't ask me why, I don't have an answer. But I can tell you that I was all but prudent in this tourney! 

The first hand worth of mention is a JTo that I got dealt while on the SB. Action was folded to the button who called. Since I only had to put half a blind and I had the antes looking at me with lust from the middle of the table, I called. The flop came 8c-Td-Ts. I was pretty sure I had the best hand but I checked and so did the big blind. The player on the button bet 160 chips into a pot of 192. I called and the big blind folded. The turn was a 4 of hearts. The button bet again, 200. I called. The river was 4 of diamonds, giving me a full house. I bet small, 200 chips in the hopes of being re-raised since my opponent seemed so eager to put money in. To my disappointment, he just called. He had 58s and I won the hand.

Then I got a tricky one. Pocket Queens. I min-raised from UTG+1 and got a call from a player in middle position and the big blind. The flop was Qs-3h-4c. Nothing sweeter than hitting your set against two opponents! The big blind checked and I bet half the pot. I got called by the MP player but the big blind folded. Turn: 7 of clubs. I bet half the pot again and he called. It was the river that made things complicated: J of clubs. He could have hit a backdoor flush. Then again, I was holding the Queen of clubs so that decreased the chances of him having two cards of the same suit (clubs). I bet half the pot again, but this time he shoved. Was I willing to risk pretty much all my chips on this play? I was. I called and was relieved when he showed QJ of hearts. I guess I was lucky that he hit a top pair with good kicker on the flop and decided to stick around until the shove with the two pair. Too bad for him I was always ahead on this one.

Later on, I got some of my own medicine where a similar hand played out. Only this time, I was the one holding the top two pair willing to risk all my chips, while my opponent was successfully set mining with his little pair of pocket twos. Well that mine definitely blew up in my face!

Realizing that the mining business obviously paid off, I put another bomb with my pocket 77s. That brought me some of my lost chips back.

In the meantime and while I was waiting for good hands to show up, I started noticing that I was never able to steal the blinds. That was kind of frustrating, cause as you can imagine, in a big antes tournament there's added value to the art of stealing the blinds. Unfortunately for me, the player seated on my left must have had a faulty software cause he had no fold button. Whenever I tried to steal something, he would either re-raise me or call and never get off the hand. At some point, after getting to the river of a hand against him I was forced to fold, but I took some time to do it. While I was thinking and the clock was ticking on my side, he sent me a devil smiley in the chat! You know, the one that had a red face, two little horns and a look that says "I'm owning you badly"? I folded that one, but I was decided to get revenge!

I got my opportunity with this hand some minutes later. On a board of Ac-Qc-2s, I was sure that I was beating him with the queen of diamonds I had in my hand. I didn't care about the flush draw. I didn't care about the 5 of clubs on the turn that could be making his flush. I didn't care about the second Ace on the turn. I stayed in the hand, betting until the end. He showed KTo OWNED! Hahahahahahahaha! (Evil laugh!)


Anyway, I won a few nice pots after that but nothing crazy. I maintained myself slightly above the average stack for the most part, and with the small incoming pots I managed to get up to 55th place with around 160 players still left in the tournament. Things were going well.

And then someone turned the doomswitch on. I got ATo and I decided to raise it from middle position. Nothing wrong with that, you're probably thinking, only I had the chipleader of the table on my left. We hadn't been seating next to each other for long, so I didn't really know what to expect of him. He re-raised me, but I only had to call 360 to claim a 1236 chips pot and I was holding a decent hand, so I went with it. Flop: 9h - Ah - 3d. Okay, so I had top pair. Not bad! I checked and he bet half the pot, an expected continuation to his pre-flop raise. I called. Turn: Ks. I checked and he bet two thirds of the pot. That's when I started thinking, okay, this is getting out of hand. But I couldn't let go of my top pair for some reason. I called again. By the time the river was reavealed (7c) the pot was 7,3k and I had 6,6k chips behind. I had invested more than a third of my stack there, so I didn't want to fold. Since I'd probably call a shove, I figured I'd better shove it first. And that's what I did. He called and showed AKs. Well played sir... But not on my part.

The tournament was over for me and I couldn't stop thinking about how I played that last hand. I felt like I gave away all my chips in a spot where I didn't have to, but then again I'm not sure exactly at what part I played it wrong. Maybe... From the beginning till the end? Lol...If you have any suggestions, please enlighten me in the comments.



I finished in 161rst place and out of the money. I feel like I could have easily won a ticket on this one considering how it was going... But oh well! My total WBCOOP score so far is 3 cashes out of 7 tournaments for a total of $33 in tickets! Not bad, but I'll be sincere: the fun I'm getting while playing this WBCOOP series is worth more than those 33 dollars! :)

Next stop... Event #27 NLHE Turbo! Stay tuned!

Friday, 8 March 2013

WBCOOP Event #21 NLHE Shootout Turbo [10-Max]

Hello everyone!

So, after playing WBCOOP events #19 and #20, I also registered at event #21! Playing all three tournaments of the day, now that's WBCOOP frenzy!

This one, as clearly stated by the title, is a shootout event. You don't know what that is? Don't worry, neither did I. As my boyfriend explained, in shootout tournaments you need to win all the chips at the table you're playing and only then you get to advance to the next table. Of course, the next table will be filled with other winners such as yourself and all of the stacks will be reset back to the initial stack. The blinds also go back to level 1.

Even though the concept sounds pretty nice, I knew from the beginning that I probably wouldn't like this tournament for a simple reason: it involves heads-up play. I've mentioned before that heads up is where I'm worst at. I feel like that's a part of poker where you have to play the player, not so much the cards. If you can figure out your opponent and read him like an open book, then you're pretty much set to win. And I'm not so good at finding what other people's playing patterns are. That's why every time I hear that someone is a heads-up pro, I can't help but feel respect for the person!

Anyway, there I was at my first table. The first thing I noticed was that there were only 4 of us and all the other seats were empty. Since it was a 10-Max event, I thought I had the extreme luck of being at the only table that wasn't filled with 10 players and therefore could get an easier pass to the next round. Awesome! Soon, I realized my mistake cause I was following other people's tweets at the WBCOOP hash-tag on twitter, and everyone was talking about how their table only had 4 players. I guess there was nothing special about my table after all... :( At the same time, someone at my table asked in the chat how the shootout worked and if only one of us would make it. That helped me feel less like a shootout newbie I guess.

The first interesting hand came up when I got a pair of pocket Kings. I min-raised from the cut-off. The player on the big blind was a bit shorter than the rest of us, but still he had a nice stack of 74 big blinds. He re-raised me and we kept re-raising each other until he was all-in preflop. He had AKo and didn't manage to break my kings. That was how I eliminated the first player.

For quite some time, the three of us that were still alive would only play small pots. Sometimes we'd steal the blinds, some other times we'd min-raise and play the flop with cbets but nothing really interesting happened and there weren't any big pots. In the meantime, however, the blinds were going up. With 18BBs, I min-raised my A7o from the button. The chipleader of the table that was sitting on the SB, folded. The BB shoved but his stack was only 9,5BBs so I called. He had K8o and since none of us connected with the board I won the hand eliminating him as well. It was finally time for my "favorite" part: heads up!

We wished each other good luck and continued playing. There were a couple of times during the hands-up play where I was sure I'd win but he sucked-out on me. There were also some times that I was getting short and I thought I'd lose. I ended up winning with pocket Queens while he was holding pocket nines. Excuse me for not elaborating how it all played out, but I don't think my heads-up knowledge is enough to make it interesting! Maybe in the future, after I read a couple of books on the subject I'll be able to get a better grasp of it. For now, I'm just happy for having luck on my side.

By the time all other tables had finished, we were already in the money so that was nice! At the beginning of the next round however, I found myself against 9 opponents. 10-Max indeed! Things were about to get tougher. There was one player who was playing in a really crazy way, shoving his huge stack (which was more than the starting 150BBs) into practically anyone non-stop. Ah, and pre-flop I forgot to mention! At some point someone woke up with a hand and called him. He showed a really bad hand like 29s or something like that. From that moment on, we all knew that we could call him a lot lighter, but that didn't stop him. He continued shoving like crazy, and I called him for 145BBs with ATo. He showed Q9o and doubled me up.

That was cool, but that's probably where my luck left me. We all struggled for a while and with the blinds going up we reached a point where we were all playing with stacks from 10 to 20 BBs (except the chipleader who had 25BBs). Of course that's the kind of game that's more like what I'm used to play but as I said, my luck was long gone. I got a break with a pair of sixes where I got called by a player with 44s and pretty much eliminated him, but nothing much happened after that. I somehow reached 3-handed play, but by that time I only had 4BBs left. I shoved my 86s from the button and got called by the big blind who had 89o. And that was the end of it.


I finished 19th, which may sound like a nice result at first but it's really not that great. Due to the structure of the tournament, it paid the same from 11th to 100th place. Only the final table players would get a better prize. To be honest, this was probably my least favorite tournament of this series mostly because of the heads-up situation that I described earlier. Still, I got a free $11 SCOOP ticket which is nice! Plus, I had a total 3 out of 6 WBCOOP cashes which is a pretty nice score for someone who doesn't usually play MTTs.

Next update will be on event #23 Big Antes! Coming soon...


WBCOOP Event #20 PLHE Turbo

Hello everyone!

I have been eyeing this event for some time now. To be honest, it presented quite a big challenge for me because... I didn't know the rules of Pot Limit Poker! (Not that I do now but anyway!)

So I did what any ignorant person would do. I sat down in front of my computer one day before the event and googled up the rules. I was surprised at how confusing every explanation would be. I tried a couple of different sites, from Pokerstars' page to Wikipedia  None of them seemed to explain it well enough for me to get it, which resulted in me getting more frustrated.

Yet, all the different sites seemed to agree in one thing: the betting size is indeed complicated and is often confusing for players. Actually, this was the first time I've seen articles warning new players to stay off of a format. In one particular site, after the whole explanation and examples of betting rounds, they had a warning in big capital letters:

NOT A RECOMMENDED GAME FOR BEGINNERS

Of course, I'm the kind of person that if you tell me not to do something then I'll do it and vice versa. So that's how I decided to play this event. In my opinion, that site that had the big warning was actually the best one in terms of explaining the rules (if you want you can find it here). It was the only case I found that would give an example of with blinds of 1/2 and would start the hand from scratch. Other sites would start "Let's assume that the pot from previous betting rounds is X..." and then they would have weird sizes of blinds. Which doesn't make sense, why would you wanna make a complicated situation even more complicated? You're trying to explain something, duuuuh!

Anyway, even that was not enough for me to be crystal clear about the rules. You may think, okay, you're going to play online, the software is going to calculate the betting sizes so you have nothing to worry about. It's true that the betting sizes would be calculated for me, but I didn't want to play a tournament without really understanding what was going on.

I got into a long conversation with my boyfriend about how much you could raise and when. We never seemed to agree and we would even change our opinions as the conversation went on (well, that latest part was mostly me!). Also, we opened up some cash PLHE games and watched how people played which didn't help as much as I had hoped.

At some point, I got how the raises worked but I wasn't 100% sure about the re-raises. In any case, I was tired with the subject so I decided to leave it to that and have a surprise factor when I'd play the tournament. You know like "Ooooooooh, my opponent raised more than I thought he could, awesome, I have to fold now!" 

Event 20 started around twenty minutes after I busted from event 19. "Okay", I thought, I'm only playing this thing so I can concentrate and give it my full attention! We started with 150BBs. I didn't play any hands in the beginning. I think I stole the blinds once or twice but that was about it.

Then I get QJs during the second level. Interesting hand. I was on the big blind. The blinds were 15/30. Since I hadn't been involved in any hands earlier, I had the initial stack pretty much intact. Both players from UTG and UTG+1 limped. There was another limp from the button. The small blind was sitting out so his hand was folded and action came to me. Since that was my first hand in a format I didn't really comprehend, I decided to play safe and check behind. So far so good. The flop came 4d-9d-9s. I was holding the queen and Jack of diamonds so I was on the flush draw! I decided to bet half of the pot, 60 chips. I got called by the player on my left while everyone else folded. Turn: 3 of hearts. Doesn't really change much. The pot was 255, I bet 120 chips. My opponent raised to 240, I called. And then came the magnificent river: 8 of diamonds. I had made a flush! The pot was 735 and I decided to bet more or less half of it, 360 chips. My opponent raised to 900! "Oh my god", I thought, "I got it, I got it! I'm gonna get this guy's chips!". Since he had been quite persistent from the flop, my guess was that he had a nine and was going crazy with his three-of-a-kind. A9 would be a very possible holding.

Of course I couldn't restrain myself to just calling. I had to raise again. The software suggested a raise to 2349. I didn't know how that was calculated and I didn't care. I even forgot to push the betting bar towards the end, that was not the maximum amount I could bet but I was too excited to notice! The opponent called... And showed pocket 33s! He had a full house!


But how could that be?!?!? That was totally unexpected. I spent more time studying the rules of the game than the time I spent actually playing the tournament. The next hands are pretty irrelevant. With 321 chips left behind, it was expected for me to lose soon. I busted in the first 10 minutes of the tournament with pocket 44s when I shoved my 3BBs from UTG.


What can I say? Not really what I had expected for this tourney! I felt a bit guttered, not so much because I didn't make it in the money, but mostly because I lost so early that I didn't have the chance to try out this format.


I finished 281rst which I'm pretty sure is my worst result at the WBCOOP series. On the bright side, checking back on the tournament later I found out that a follower of my blog and old hyper-turbo player "Rainmy" took it down along with the first prize, a $109 SCOOP entry. Way to go Rainmy, congrats!

That's all for now guys, keep checking back for my update on WBCOOP event 21!

WBCOOP Event #19 FLHE


Hello!

So, picking up from where I left off in my last post, I was kind of indecisive about what to choose between events #19 and #20. The first one is FLHE with 6 players per table while the second is PLHE with 9 players per table. None of those two formats are familiar to me, so it was a hard dilemma.


I decided to take a look at the rest of the WBCOOP schedule to see if there was some other tournament that I could maybe take off of my list. My eyes fell on two words: Deep Stacks. Event #25 apparently starts 250 deep. That's deep-stacked alright! To my hyper-turbo ears that didn't sound so awesome. I opened the lobby of the tournament and saw that it has 20 (!!!) minutes blinds. Meaning grab a coffee and brace yourself with a lot of patience if you decide to play it! Naaah, both event #19 and #20 sounded better than the deep stacks so my dilemma was over right there.

André and his daily training made me run a bit later today than I would have liked, so I only registered at event #19 around 10 minutes before late registration was over. It was kind of close! This was my first time playing a Fixed Limit tourney so I didn't know what to expect. Yesterday, André suggested that I don't play this one cause I'd get bored.

Well, he wasn't right about this one. I didn't get bored, on the contrary, I found this format pretty interesting. Having only 6 players at the table helped a bit since you got to play more often. Also, I think that fixed bets completely changed the dynamics of what is considered a good hand and what isn't. Being used to No Limit Holdem, I found myself completely clueless on how to play so I was watching what the other players at my table were doing. I don't know how many of them were decent players and how many were as ignorant as I was, but I had to work with what little information was there.

If I had to describe this format in a few words, that would be "Call your stack away!". The way the bets are sized, I was constantly getting the feeling that I was getting really good odds to call, even if I had no connection with the board and was only counting on a high card. I may be very wrong about this one, but that's the overall feeling I got from playing this tournament.

The first hand where I really got involved in a pot was when I got dealt A9s at UTG+1. The blinds were 50/100. I raised and got one call from the button, then the SB raised to 300. I called and so did the button. The flop was 6d-3h-4s. I was holding clubs so no chance for a flush. The SB bet 100 into a 1k pot. I had nothing apart from ace high, but it was so cheap to call that I went with it. The button also stayed in the hand. Turn comes Qc. The SB bet 200 chips, this time in a 1,3k pot. Yeah, I was playing with ace high against two players but it still seemed too cheap to call. That's when the button decided to leave the hand which is probably something I should have done as well. The river was Q of diamonds and the SB bet again. 200 into a pot of 1,7k. I got myself this far so I thought, I'm not really going to leave such a bit pot for just 200 chips after a card that changes nothing, right? I called and the SB showed queens - he had made four of a kind. I lost a total of 800 chips on that play so I can't say that my first contact with fixed limit was brilliant. On the contrary of the previous events' positive spirit, my opponent with the quads was not feeling satisfied enough with his win, so he had to mock me a bit on top of it. "A9? Hahahahahaha! What a fish!". As if I ever said that I'm the best player in fixed limit...!

Two minutes later, I found myself on a 8c-Kh-2d board holding KQ of clubs and facing 3 opponents. We all checked and the turn was 7 of clubs. This time I bet, 200 in an 800 pot. The only person that called me was the guy with the quads from the previous hand. The river was the ten of hearts so I missed the flush, but I was holding top pair with a good kicker. I bet and he called. Guess what he had? A8o. Funny though how in a similar situation he called me a fish, but then he went on to do the same. "I suppose you also find A8o funny", I wrote in the chat after the hand was over. Of course he did not reply.

I also played the next hand against the same player. I had three of a kind with aces, but luckily for him he didn't stay around till the end of the hand.

Afterwards there were some more speculative hands like 87s from the button. The way I saw people playing at the table and calling with nothing, I figured being on a flush draw is good and can get you a nice pot when you hit. Not sure if I should have called the big blind's pre-flop raise on this one, but I hit the straight so it turned out fine.

A nice example of me not being able to fold my hand and calling my chips away is this hand. Fortunately, as it happened quite a lot of times today, I was saved by the river. The fact that the opponent folded at my river bet even though he was the one betting the previous two streets is indicative that maybe I was right to stay in the hand with my jack high anyway.

Of course, my strategy of sticking around did not always have a happy ending, especially since I was not being aggressive when I didn't connect with the board, but would always call other people's bets (cause they were so cheap, remember? :P ). You can check how this hand back fired... Maybe if I had been more aggressive betting first then I could have thrown him off the hand at the turn or something... Dunno!

The hand that took me all the way up to 10th place though was this one. Nothing like hitting a set of sixes while playing against two people!

I got another nice boost of chips when I hit a set and I was once again playing against two opponents... That helped me go a bit higher up in the rankings! Then later on, I got involved in a hand where I hit another flush (again with 78s), only the opponent was holding three of a kind! Thinking that he had the best hand, he re-raised, I re-raised him back and then he called. Must have been pretty disappointed to see that I wasn't bluffing the flush.

Later on I made a full house with my pocket twos and got chips from an opponent that was holding A7o. He thought that his A would be enough to win on a board with three kings but he was wrong, which added a 6k pot to my stack!

Then there was a big messy pot... It was soooooo messy that I won't even bother to describe it, it's probably better if you just check it out on the replayer. Don't even ask me what happened there, it's all foggy! :P I ended up losing the main pot, but got the side pot which was big enough to make me get out of the hand with more chips than when it started.

The last good hand for me was a KQo. We were playing on a board of 9h-Qs-5c and my opponent was holding a 5. I guess when the second queen came on the turn, he thought it even less likely that I'm holding a Queen so he invested quite a lot in that hand... Which fortunately for me he ended up losing. I think that was the part of the tournament when I had the highest place, around 5th out of 56 or something like that.

From that moment on, it all went downhill. First, it started with a message that I had reached my limit for the Boom! hands of the day: 20. I was like "whaaaaat?", I didn't even know that boom replayer only allowed 20 hands per day! If I did, I would have been a lot more prudent about the hands I boomed instead of booming everything that I found somewhat interesting. I realized then how much I was relying on that feature for my blogging adventures. If it weren't for Boom! I wouldn't remember all of the stuff that happened, that's not humanly possible. Anyway, no matter if it's for blogging purposes or if you just want to review the hand later or save it to talk about it with friends, Boom! replayer is awesome cause it's part of Pokerstars' client. It's super easy, takes a split second and you don't need to copy paste hand histories here and there. I really hope they increase the 20 hands limit in the future, cause at the moment that's the only negative thing about it!

Anyway, back to the tournament. From now on you'll excuse me, but with no Boom! hands and no notes of any kind, we'll have to go on with my memory and a couple of screenshots. The first ouch! moment came when I got ATo. On the flop I had top pair top kicker and even though I don't remember how exactly the hand played out, I ended up losing a pretty big pot cause my opponent was holding pocket aces.


I struggled a bit afterwards, not really getting in any big pots but not being able to win any small ones either. My nice stack was going away and pretty fast with the blinds getting bigger and bigger.

I busted with AKo which seemed like a good hand at first, but I wasn't so happy about it when both of my opponents revealed a pair.


I finished 33rd and got a $16,5 SCOOP ticket entry. This is my second cash out of the 5 tournaments I've played. Pretty good score!


Overall, I liked this event and found the format very interesting. I'm happy I chose to play it after all! And finishing 33rd - my highest finish in the series so far- is pretty awesome considering I started playing not knowing a single thing about this format!

See you soon with another WBCOOP update!

Wednesday, 6 March 2013

WBCOOP Event #15 NLHE Turbo [6-Max]

Hi again!

This is my third post today! Well, technically it's after midnight but I haven't gone to sleep so it counts as the same day for me! Blogging fever or what? :P

In this post I'll comment on WBCOOP event #15, a NLHE Turbo tournament that ended too soon. Hence the small post! This was a 6-Max event and the blinds were going up every 5 minutes. For an MTT tournament, this is as close as it gets to what I normally play (and by that I mean hyper-turbo satellites). So you can understand why I was looking forward to play this event...

We started fairly deep with 150 big blinds. My table seemed to be pretty passive with little action and a lot of folding going on. Again, people seemed to be friendlier than in regular tournaments. I'm starting to get convinced that it's a blogger thing! :)

There are only two hands worth of mentioning in this tourney. The first one, was during the 3rd level of blinds. I was UTG and was dealt A9o. I raised 2,5x and got called from the player on my left and the big blind. The flop was 9s-4c-Ac and that's when the mess started. The big blind checked and I bet half of the pot. The player on my left called, so far so good. Then the big blind raised to 450 chips (the pot up until that point was 850). Feeling confident with my two-pair, I called. The player on my left re-raised to 1k. That was practically an all-in for him since he only had 123 chips behind. The big blind called. Dunno if you are still following what I'm saying, but that was a lot of mess right there. My hand was strong, so I decided to do what I know best so as to clean a mess: shove. The big blind folded and I was left against one player. Guess what he had? A set of fours! :( Event tough this hand ended up to be a cooler for me (there was no way that I would get off two-pair there), the other player was shorter than me so I got to keep half of my stack.

After that I got to steal some blinds and win some small pots here and there which brought me back to the starting stack of 3k chips. In the meantime, of course, the blinds had gone up so things were getting tougher. The hand that defined my fate at that tournament though was a QJs from UTG+1. At that point my 3k chips translated into roughly 12BBs. No reason to get all cute in these situations, just shove it and hope for the best! I got called from the player on my left (again!) and the player from the small blind. They showed AQo and 99s respectively. I was behind both. Then the flop cards were revealed: 4d-Td-Js, putting me in a better position than the other two players. Turn: 2 of diamonds. All of us were holding a diamond. I was holding the  Jack, the player on my left had the Queen and the last one had the nine (duh, pair of nines!). I could lose to any ace, king, or queen that would put the player with AQo ahead, but now I also had to worry about the diamond cards. River: 5 of diamonds. And the tournament pretty much ended there for me.

I had only 66 chips left behind, got immediately moved to another table, was obligatorily all-in in the next hand with K4o and lost to someone that flopped a set.


Not what I had hopped for in this turbo tournament, but it's ok. Didn't really have luck on my side on this one, let's hope I'll do better in the rest of them!

I'll skip all of tomorrow's events, so it'll be my WBCOOP day off... Event #16 is Triple Stud which I'd have to read the basic rules in order to play so never mind, #17 is NLHE Heads-Up and heads-up is that part of the game where I think I suck the most, and #18 PLO Turbo is Omaha which I haven't played in years...

Nah, I'll gather forces for Thursday. I had event #20 on my schedule which is PLHE Turbo. Now I'm actually wondering if I should play event #19 FLHE [6-Max] instead. What do you guys think?

Anyway, that's all for now. See you soon for more WBCOOP fun!

Tuesday, 5 March 2013

WBCOOP Event #13 NLHE [4-Max]


Hello again!

In this post I'll be talking about the second WBCOOP event I played, #13 NLHE [4-Max]. I had to wait for  André to finish his daily training before coming to the office (two people one car!), so I only got to open Pokerstars client at 15.45 - the tournament had already been running for 45 minutes. For this one there was late registration still open so no harm done. Actually, it was even better cause I started playing at the 4th level with just 30BB. I play better short than deep, so that was great for me.

This was the first time I participated in a 4-Max event. Overall, I prefer tables with less people but 4 sounded too few... When I asked André about the structure, all he said was basically "You need to be aggressive". Which makes sense. At a table with 10 players, the blinds hit you far less often than at a table with 4. Playing 4-max you no longer have the luxury of waiting for the best hands to play and fold your way through the tournament. You need to play a lot more. That's fine by me, I think it makes the tournament far less boring. And since I thought it would keep me quite busy, I dedicated my full attention to it and didn't play my regular satellites.

When it started, I was very skeptical about this kind of tourney. It turns out, I loved it! It was lots of fun! As soon as I got seated, one of my opponents typed in the chat "Supernova? Really?". That started a conversation about various poker topics, which was a surprising change! It's pretty much out of the question to start a casual chat at my regular games cause with a hyper turbo speed and only a few seconds to act, everyone is pretty much running like crazy (me included). I was thinking that I got lucky to be at a super nice table (two players from Russia and one from Ukraine), but when I opened other tables of the tourney I noticed that there was a lot of chatting going on.

Not only that, but players were actually cheering for their opponents and supporting each other. Of course I wasn't omnipresent and couldn't see every dialogue that was going on, but the overall feeling that I got was very very positive! Could it be that since it's only bloggers playing these series we all have chatting as a second nature so talking with opponents comes really easy?

Anyway, let's talk about what happened in the actual tournament. I'm obviously only going to mention just the hands that are somewhat interesting, skipping all the blind steals or hands where opponents folded early.

First interesting situation was when I got a pair of nines at the cut-off or UTG, whatever you wanna call it in this case it's the same (lol!) and min-raised. I got a call from the SB but then the BB shoved. I'm not the one to fold nines to a 12BB shove, so I called. The SB folded and when cards were revealed my opponent showed 88. My nines held up so that one went well!

Next cool hand was an all-time favorite: pocket aces on the button. I min-raised  and got called by the big blind. The flop came 3c-5s-As giving me a set. I bet half of the pot and the other player called. The turn was 3 of diamonds, improving my hand to a full house. This time it was my opponent that bet first, 450 chips in a pot of 1,2k. I did find the bet size a bit odd and thought of re-raising but I didn't want to push him off the hand so I just called. The river was Queen of diamonds which did not change much. He bet 450 chips into a 2,1k pot. This time I re-raised to 1350 chips. Not sure if I should have bet more. I really have no notion of how much money I could get out of the guy at that point. I don't think that he was playing with 24 that would give him a straight. Maybe he was holding a set? The only hand that could beat me was four of a kind, but in that case I couldn't justify his tiny bets on the turn and river. Anyway, he called and showed A7o. Which in retrospect, makes sense the way he played. Could I have gotten more value out of my hand? I don't know. You can check out the hand here and tell me if you would have played it differently.

Later, I got dealt AKo. That's a pretty easy hand to play. If the board hits me, I stack off. If it doesn't, I fold.  Pretty straightforward. I was in checking mode and so was my opponent until the river when an ace hit. Then I bet half of the pot, he called and showed A7o (again!). Not a super sophisticated hand, but I won a 2k pot which was nice.

Then came the KJs when I was on the big blind. The blinds had gone up one level and the button (same player as in the hands before) raised 3 times. I contemplated a bit whether I wanted to call or not. I decided to go with it. I'm not very sure how to play that kind of hand, but the flop made my job easy by giving me a straight. I checked and waited for him to bet first. This time he went big betting 1k into a 1,3k pot. I was obviously more than happy to call and the turn was another favorable card giving me a flush draw. Not that I really needed the flush cause I was holding the nuts, but anyway. We both checked (should I have bet there? I dunno) and the river gave me a flush with king high. This time I did bet, but the opponent chose to fold. I guess the flush card was really scary for him. Which made me wonder again if I should have bet the turn. This hand is a good example of how lost I feel with flops. Once upon a time (when I was playing 9max sngs) I was better in these situations but the hyper-turbos have erased whatever knowledge I had! :P

If there's one thing I can't complain in this tourney, that's lack of good hands. After a while I got a pair of pocket Queens. I raised and got called by all three players at my table! The flop was 3d-5d-4s. It is a somewhat coordinated board that could be problematic later on, but for now I had an overpair and I was pretty happy with it. The big blind made a strong bet of 1k (the pot was 1,6k) and I was the only one to call. The turn was 9s, opening another flush possibility. This time my opponent checked and I bet half the pot. If he was on a flush draw, I wouldn't give him a free card. He folded and I got that pot.

During the next level, things got a little bit more complicated. I got AJo and min-raised from the cutoff. The player on the SB (the one that had contributed most into the growth of my stack) re-raised me. Now that was a rather unusual move on his behalf so it raised some red flags. I considered the option of folding, but I had to put 750 chips to claim a pot of 2,1k. Now that I'm reviewing the play, calling would probably have been the best option. However, I got more into the psychological aspect of the thing (women, haha!) and thought that since I was dominating the player post flop in most hands we both got involved in (could be by chance, I'm not saying I'm better than him or anything) he was probably re-raising me to force me to fold. So what did I do? I shoved my AJo right there! The guy had pocket kings and owned me badly, I never saw the ace or the third jack that would win me the pot. But it's ok, lesson learnt! Next time maybe I'll play a bit more rationally instead of getting carried away and trying to discover how frustrated my opponents must be for losing against me! :P

The funny part is that one of the players at the table (the one I was chatting with earlier) was supportive of me losing and wrote "Ah, what a pity" and stuff like that. Really nice people, I'm telling you. I've never seen that in poker tourneys. Maintaining the positive spirit I congratulated my opponent on his win with the kings. I've had a lot of people calling me names when the situation is the opposite and I'm the one winning so I know for a fact it's not nice. Treat others as you want to be treated, that's what I think.

We were getting a lot closer to the money, so I opened up a couple of tables with the people that had the smallest stacks to keep an eye on what was happening. I got a few chips with a full house that didn't make it to showdown and shortly after we reached the bubble.

Again, I was surprised by the fact that the rest of the players at the table of the bubble guy were cheering up for him up until he left the table. Anyway, after the bubble burst and I was guaranteed to be in the prizes I was less worried about the way I played. I got dealt KQo and had 14BB on the SB. Action was folded to me and I decided to shove instead of raise. Maybe it was the hyper-turbo player inside me shoving and if I was more used to playing flops I would have raised instead, but I believe it was a profitable play anyway. I got called by the big blind who had a pair of sevens. I didn't hit any of my outs so that was the end of the tourney for me.


Of course, not everything can be perfect so there were a couple of railing trolls who up until then must have been watching in silence, but when I lost they rushed to type stuff like "OMG that's a Supernova playing! What a horrible play! Shoving KQo!" and other insightful comments of that sort. As people correctly say, haters gonna hate. I can't really bother!

I managed to make it into the money so that means that I'll be playing the WBCOOP main event! I'm very happy about that! This tournament was a lot of fun.

Coming up next... Event #15!

See you there!

WBCOOP Event #8 NLHE


Hi everyone!

I wasn't sure about how to make the updates on the WBCOOP tournaments, but I've decided to split them up into one post per tournament instead of doing collective ones. Knowing me and my love for loooooooong posts that could be disastrous so better stick to one at a time! 

So let's talk about WBCOOP event #8. It took place last Sunday and it was my first event of this series. Fortunately for me, I put the "Boom" hand replayer feature of Pokerstars to good use and kept all of the interesting hands I wanted to talk about, otherwise I wouldn't remember half of it! :P I'll be posting all the hands through links instead of putting the replayer here cause otherwise it's going to be a mess of chip sounds whenever you load my blog. For some reason the replayer starts automatically playing a hand when you load the page which is not so cool. From what I heard they're trying to fix this.

Anyway, back to the subject. This was your regular good old No Limit Hold'Em tourney. A starting stack of 200BB, 15 minutes blinds on the clock and we were set to start! Do I need to explain how lost I feel playing that deep? Jumping from my 10BB starting stack to 200BB I felt so filthy rich I didn't know what to do with all those chips! What do I have to say for the 15 minutes blinds? I guess that's the regular pace for a tournament of that kind but to me it looks like... Snail pace! I mean really, from my usual 3 minutes blinds I was now playing 15! 

Yet even though the structure of this event was not exactly my favorite, I was super excited to be playing my first WBCOOP tourney! When the registration period was over, there was a total of 570 players registered which made this event the biggest one of the WBCOOP 2013 so far. Not so easy to make it in the money considering these tournaments pay the top 100 players more or less and in less popular games like Badugi you only need to beat half the field to get a prize, but I guess that's a disadvantage of choosing the most popular game.

I found myself getting a lot of small-medium pairs and since I was getting the right odds for set-mining I called a lot of raises early on. Unfortunately I never seemed to be able to hit a set, which ended up in me slowly giving away some of my chips. You can find an example of that situation here.

The first interesting hand I got was AKo. The player UTG raised 3x and got called by the player after him. Holding such a nice hand, I was more than happy to call as well. Two more people got in the hand after me creating a nice pot of 2k chips when the blinds were 60/120. All the excitement for me ended on the flop that came 8s-8d-6s. Not the kind of flop I'd like to play against 4 players so I just folded. You can check out the hand here.

Next interesting moment was shortly after, with AJo on the SB. There was a min-raise from the cut-off which I called. The board came 8h-6s-7s so I basically chickened out and decided to check/fold. Since my opponent had similar views about the hand, we checked down until the river that was an ace. I decided to bet and he folded. Chips coming my way!

After the blinds went up one level, I found myself holding pocket Kings. This time it was the button raising. The 8c-Ks-Js flop was definitively favorable giving me a set. I checked, my opponent c-bet and I just called. The turn was the 8 of hearts, giving me a full house! The other player bet again, half of the pot and I called. The river was Jack of hearts improving my full house from Kings full of eights to Kings full of Jacks. This time I was the first one betting, but I bet small comparing to the size of the pot. I was afraid he wouldn't pay me if I bet big. He ended up having a pair of pocket threes, which I think was quite optimistic on his behalf. Still, I can't help but feel that I misplayed the hand, possibly not getting as much profit out of it as I should have.

The final hand of the tournament for me came during the 8th level. At that point I had 36 big blinds and was UTG+1. Pair of Kings again! I decided to min-raise and got re-raised by a guy two seats to my left. Then, the player at the SB decided to shove (he had more or less my stack)! Okay, I'm not much of an expert here and 36BB is a respectable stack but if there's a hand you want to end up all-in with preflop that's aces and kings. The guy on my left did worry me a bit cause he was still left to act after me, but I figured, he's going to chicken out after seeing two people all-in. I called. To my surprise, the player on my left also called! Guess what he was holding... Aces! The small blind revealed a pair of eights, which was kind of irrelevant. The aces held up and I was eliminated from the tournament.



I finished 297th, far from the money. But didn't really worry about it, that was only my first tourney of the WBCOOP series so I had plenty of time to win an entry to the main event!

Yesterday I wanted to play event #11, a mix of NLHE and PLO. I thought it was a very interesting kind of tournament, unlike anything I've played before and it seemed like fun. Unfortunately, Monday is my only free day of the week and other things came up so I didn't make it. That means that I'll play all the other tournaments left in the list I posted in my previous post, cause they match exactly the number of tickets I have left.

Since this is not my regular kind of post, I'd appreciate any feedback about it. I'm not sure if you guys like this presentation of hands and tournament review, but if you have any suggestions please leave it in the comments below. Also, since I'm not an expert on flops any advice on how I played the above hands is welcome.

See you at the next WBCOOP event!

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