WCOOP is over. It was a fantastic series with huge fields and pricepools. Pokerstars states their series was the biggest ever online and the third biggest this year live & online combined! Wow. While we did not play the main event we took action the PLO $500 and the LHE $1000 events on friday and saturday. Results were frustrating, again.
Friday we had a family meeting scheduled at 6 pm and had a few hours drive so I packed my laptop because Katja was planned to play the $500 omaha pot-limit tournament. I did not liked to play as my omaha skills are far from sharp but Katja is playing omaha only since weeks and studying everything in our not-to-small poker library about the game. We got her registered before we even left home in case we would be late turning on the laptop. As things go, the family dinner was great but late. I remembered Katja twice about the tournament before finally at 9 picking up the laptop and firing up pokerstars. Katja stepped by for a second, apologized and said she would not be able to play as she can't leave her family alone right now "to play poker", I gotta play. Sigh. Ok, I didn't refuse as I am an action junkie also as you might know already :-).
Ahh as a sidenote to this let me tell you that I played the $5000 Limit Omaha High/Low WSOP event in 2004 - having NEVER played omaha high/low before. I was up some bucks and the following days event was that event and being busted out of the day's event I was looking for action so I said to Katja and my friends: "I am gonna play the 5k omaha h/l event tomorrow. Anybody knows how to play?". After laughing their butts of everybody told me that I am crazy and that they have no clue about that game. I decided to jump right in, bought into a $500 omaha h/l satellite and sent Katja buying a book. When she returned to my satellite table 5 players were already busted (2 by me) and I had finally time to ask her: "Honey, please browse the book quickly and tell me for what starting hands to look for!". The table's remaining players watched in disbelieve and I guess they thought I am making a play or joke on them. Whatever, I got 2nd in that satellite, refusing a deal myself (outch). I took the book and went to the pool. I also studied it about 4 hours at night, barley getting annother 5 hours sleep before the tournament started. I was ready!
The tournament had about 90 players as I remember it now and I got a table with Layne Flack to my right and Alan Cunningham two to my left along with some other well-known pro players. I played tight and conversative but having trouble figuring out who has what on every showdown. I guess nobody noticed anything except that I was paying quite a lot of attention, lol. Layne Flack in seat #1 was playing like crazy, going to war about every hand withsome notable in seat #10 and joking about it. He played the reckless style he is famous for. That is, until he played against me! Within 10 minutes I played two major hands against him, both times winning high and low. The second busted him out of the tournament. It was about the third or fourth level and the field was still big. I had chips now. I missed some good opportunties by playing way to tight (yes, me, playing to tight, good old days). When the field was down to about 50 players I had what I figured average chips, 9000. I lost a very big pot (typical amateur mistake, going for high only with full-house and loosing to quads) when I busted Allan Cunningham with AA23 double suited, making high and low again. That was feeling very nice as Allan had kicked me out from my only WSOP final table so far in the 2001's 5k stud event in 9th place. Not really even with Allan but I liked it anyway! Sadly, that was the last pot I won, after that I either got cold decked or misplayed my hands so I lasted until about 30 players were left. But good result given the circumstances and competition I guess.
Back to the WCOOP's omaha event. Katja left me alone and I played - for 5 minutes. In the second orbit I found AAJT with JT of hearts in the BB. One player in MP raised, all folded, I re-raised, he called. Flop came T62, with 62 of hearts. I made a pot-sized bet, he raised. I thought about trip tens but decided I got to take that risk as he would play AA and KK the same way. I re-raised, he called. Turn is the A of hearts! I made my flush and had a strong backdraw to a full-house. I went all-in, he called, having me covered by 10 chips. Cards were opened - he had KK83, with K3 of - hearts! The river was a 4 of hearts, not helping me. Out after a few minutes. Not funny. Katja looked at me when I returned to the dinner but I shrugged my shoulders. What could I say? We had an argument about the whole thing later that night which was not funny, but solved the next day (puhhh). My actual holding was never discussed so I guess Katja reads about it here also for the first time.
Saturday was the Limit Holdem $1000 event, but earlier I played the $300 NLHE tournament. Nothing for me when my money went in holding AKs against AJo but could not hold up. The big limit event had three stages for me: 1 hour desperation, 3 hour domination and 30 minutes doom. I got low on chips early, made a nice comeback, was in the top 20 for some hours and then everything went wrong in just a few keyhands just when the blinds started to make a difference. The result reflects nothing but those catastrophic hands, 415th out of 686.
Sunday was the big event which we decided to not play. When the event finally got underway I regretted this - I mean nearly 1,500 players and over 3,7 million pricepool! Wrong decision. When I woke up early the next morning to leave for Stuttgart only 200 players remainded - ActionJeff and crazyplayer (Barry Greenstein) being in the top 10! With mixed feelings and envy I travelled ("How do these guys do it, again and again?") to Stuttgart, honestly being relieved when none of the two made the final table (sorry guys). When I watched the top three later making a deal leaving over 500k to each of them I was very envious again - damn, why not me? As Frank said calmly: "Well, you didn't play...". Arghhh.
On Tuesday I played some hours $100/200 limit holdem on stars and like surfers would say "I got washed". I played my A game all the time, was very patient but could not win with my good hands. I got outdrawn by legitimite and miracle draws and my big hands got busted also. In one of those hands I raised with AQs in middle position and got one caller, "broksi" (3 times WPT winner Gus Hansen) in the BB. Flop came AQ3 giving me two pair and Gus bets out after a little while. I raised to $200 and he re-raised again. I was thinking about calling only like I would in 30/60 to raise on the turn but decided to play my good hand strongly so I made it four bets. That worked out as he checked to me on a 7 turn. I bet, he raised. Ughh. I smelled danger right away. I thought: Gus Hansen in the BB, sitting on a $23,000 stack and playing a conversative game for at least 2-3 hours so is most likly not any steal, he got a hand. What could it be? Given the way he played (betting out on the flop and re-raising there) he must have hit something. Now he is check-raising me on the turn. I thought: A7? A3? Q7? Maybe, maybe AQ for the same hand? AA? QQ? Bahhh no!, I am seeing ghosts here, he would have tried to trap me with those holdings. 77? No way he raised me preflop with that as I showed strength already by braising in MP. So my hand must be good! Yippppi, reraise on the turn to $600! Bad news, Gus capped and I called. He bets the blank river and I call, curious and expecting to lose. Right, he shows 33, the only hand I have not thought of. Here shows a very important poker concept: don't slowplay your trips against week opponents (and I have no doubt he would describe me as exactly that, a weak opponent, lol). I myself stopped that long ago and play those hands strongly in limit cash games (tournaments are another story) until I have very good reasons to do otherwise. We see that he was right in his analysis about me as being weak - certainly nobody would have folded that hand heads-up against the BB in the loose game that was but I could have surly saved $400 on the turn (I guess my cap on the flop was ok).
That was the only hand where I lost because I was beat from the start on. When you lose a $3,500 pot holding AA on a A26-T4 rainbow board against 35 you can't do much, neihter with AK on a A68-2Q board against AQ. It hurts when you get no hands for hours (paying $150 a round in blinds) and get your good hands cracked that way but one can't do to much against it. After about 5 hours I quited a 5k loser and called it a day, ready to come back the next day.
The very next morning (in fact, only about 6 hours later) the 100/200 looked to shorthanded to me so I decided to play some 30/60 while waiting. BAD DECISION! One player took $2,000 from me in no time, "visagold". Let me bore you with some details: the very first hand this morning I took my seat after the button and posted a extra-blind to get a hand. J8 of hearts. "visagold" was to my right, so he was in middle-late position. Two players called the blind as did "visagold". I checked and the button folded. We saw a flop 6 handed. A88. Wow! Everybody checked to me and I bet out 30. All fold to "visagold" who raised. I re-raised, he called. Turn is a 5, he bets, I raise, he re-raised and I just call fearing he got the case 8 with a better kicker or AA. River comes offsuit 3. He bets, I call, ready to see A8 and lose. He proudly shows 38 offsuit for a rivered full house! I was still tired and it was my first hand that morning but I tell you, that went thru me like a lightning bolt! Right about 5 hands later he cracked my AA with J7o (making two pair on the turn) and 10 minutes later he rivered a straight against my two pair. A cold shower could not have done a better job.
The days evening I went out with a friend so I could not play the PLHE WCOOP event #04 but Katja did. She got far 339th out of 2,345 players, missing the money. The next day I played the WCOOP event #05 NLHE with rebuys but got a ugly beat right after 10 minutes holding AK on a AT9 flop, going all-in, getting called by A6 and seeing a 6 right on the turn. I did not make any rebuy there, it was just not my day. Next day I played the daily $109+Rebuys where I was in for $409 total. When only 12 players remained I got 77 on the button and attacked the blinds with my just below average stack. The chipleader in the SB re-raised for protection, showing AQo. An ace showed up right away and I was out. Many discussions with Katja and some friends sweating me online. Katja: you should have waited with your decent stack to make the money (about $1,000) and THEN attack. Me: I don't play to make the money, I play to win and that hand on the button combined with the fold equity I had was a sure all-in, at least when you carry a nickname "50outs" as you could also get lucky in case you are really beat there. My friends agreed with me but I myself have doubts left - I mean, $1,000, hold it or not.
Anyway, in the meantime the WCOOP event 06 had started, limit holdem. I had a bad start but came back big time and was in the top 20 during the middle stages of the tournament. Then, 1-2-3 I lost a few big hands in a row (like AQ on KQ6-Q-3 board against 66) and went out in 265th place out of 1,781, missing the money by less than 90 spots.
Saturday Katja played the $500 WCOOP event #07, pot limit holdem, her specialty. 1,185 players entered and she played a very tight game. I was sweating her (after busting out of the $300 NLHE on draw that does not came). She got far as 175th spot there, 99 in the money. It was all over for her when she got moved to a new table, getting nothing (not even by my standards) for 90 minutes and then low-chip'd getting it in on AJ only to find the BB with AK and no miracle.
Sunday we did'nt play the $1,000 NLHE but I played mondays $300 WCOOP #07 7stud event. Not having played any stud recently I could not really fight there and hand a early exit (and because friend Henry Nowakosky "nofearhenry" sucked out on me 2 times!). My buddy Frank played the same event and got busted holding full-house 9's in 5 cards against quad 8's in 5 cards when only 150 players were left. Outch.
Today's triple shoutout I wont play, Katja neither, so I guess we will get back in action only later - Katja will play the Omaha PL event #13 and I play the #14, another limit event.
Another week full of poker is over. Since the small money I made in stars sunday $215 tourney I played about 25k hands, mostly 30/60 and tournaments. In mondays $100+R I played and made the money (6th for $2500). I did need no rebuys and made only the add-on. In fact it was a combined success, as the battery on my laptop was empty when there were still 18 players left and Katja had to take over the tournament. With about 30 players I was short stacked and promised Katja to either bust or leave her an average stack to play with and fortunatly I was able to win a few pots.
I played about 40-50 more tournaments but made nothing great in those. I was able to qualify me for 300 FPP for the 3,000 FPP Baden EPT satellite and for $26 (buyin and add-on) for the Baden EPT $380 satellite but in both of them did not make the final qualifier. In the cash qualifier it was close, being 17th with 5 getting a seat and having top pair/top kicker on the flop but a flush got there on the turn and that was it to me.
The results are OK for the time invested but not really great. Would I not have played all those tournaments then I would be a 10k winner, roughly.
On sunday I double-played the WCOOP's first event, a $500+30 NLHE event with $800,000 guaranteed. More than 3,000 players entered but I had no chance. I lost a mega-pot to bust out holding AJs in the BB: there was small raise preflop which I called to see a flop of JJQ. Other played bets pot-size, I call. Turn is a 4, he bets, I move in. He has me covered and calls. I show, he show's 33. Wow. River 3. Ugh. I would be in the top 10 as I had almost 6000 chips at this time. Not nice.
Katja finally has enough of online limit holdem. She always hated it but gave it another try in the last weeks, mostly 5/10. Now she picked up PLO and her results are *much* better. I wonder how long it takes for her to play thru the limits and reach the $2,000 buyin tables. I watched those and her some time and she really has all whats needed to win there (mostly patience and dicipline) and when she keeps up the good results from the last time her roll be big enough pretty soon :)
Katja also made 2nd place in two PLHE tournaments with a lot of players this week. Very nice!
This week is full of WCOOP events at stars but I will play only from thurday on. Todays event is already sold out, tomorrow evening I will be playing pool, dart and table soccer for serious stakes with a friend. So my next event will be thursdays NLHE with rebuys and then every day including monday.
I started to play some 100-200 again and won a little amount, time to get my game sharp there again in case we go to EPT/Stud championship in Baden which has some higher limit sidegames going, 100-200, 200/400 and maybe 300/600 (all euros). We are still not sure about going there this year, it will be a very expensive week - 4,000eur EPT NLHE, 3,000eur stud championship, >3k travel expenses and the needed money for the cash games (big big PLO games going there!, min. 3,000eur buyin), all this for us two makes me believe without about 50k we dont need to go there. Unfortuantly, I somehow seem to have forgotten this money in Vegas last time we went there... if we go depends a lot on how this month will go for us, in case we make something noteable either in cash games or WCOOP events we would most surly go there as the event is very nice, the action is incredible and the food is the best.