Friday, September 05, 2008

PokerStars’ WCOOP Kicks Off Today

PokerStars' World Championship of Online Poker begins todayThe seventh annual World Championship of Online Poker begins today over on PokerStars and will run through September 22. Whereas Full Tilt Poker runs its special FTOPS tourneys so frequently they don’t seem that special, PokerStars only hosts the WCOOP once a year.

A total of 33 events will take place over the next two-and-a-half weeks, with the cumulative guaranteed prize pool being $30 million. The first event begins at 2:30 p.m. Eastern time today, a $200+$15 short-handed no-limit hold’em event. Then later today a pot-limit five-card draw event kicks off. According to the WCOOP stats page, there have been 88 tournaments total during the first six years of the WCOOP. Last year there were 23, so the series has grown again (significantly) with the addition of 10 more tourneys.

Looking down the schedule, one sees tourneys for every variant of poker offered on Stars -- pot-limit Omaha, Omaha/8, razz, stud, H.O.R.S.E., deuce-to-seven draw, and all the varieties of hold’em. There’s even an “8-game mixed” event like they had at this year’s WSOP (the one I campaigned to call S.P.L.E.N.D.O.R.) in which players will play the same eight games -- 2-7 triple draw, hold’em, Omaha/8, razz, stud, stud/8, no-limit hold’em, and pot-limit Omaha.

I’ve been following the WCOOP thread over in the MTT forum on 2+2 where posters are discussing the series and posting questions for a Stars rep who appears to be answering them all in rapid fashion. Many are commenting on the structures, which are for the most part quite unique when compared to other online tourneys.

For fun, I went over to Arnold Snyder’s Poker Tournament Formula website where one can find a downloadable Excel sheet that makes it fairly easy to determine a given tournament’s “patience factor” and thus “skill level,” a rubric created by Snyder and explained in his Poker Tournament Formula books. I plugged in the starting stacks and blinds/antes schedules for today’s WCOOP Event No. 1 and compared them to the typical Sunday Million tourney on Stars.

According to Snyder’s rubric, the “patience factor” for today’s WCOOP event (30.25) is more than double that of the typical Sunday Million tourney (14.48). One big reason for the difference is the fact that the levels in the WCOOP event will last 30 minutes as opposed to just 15 minutes per level in the Sunday Million. The starting stack for today’s event is smaller (just 3,000 as opposed to 10,000), but in addition to the levels lasting longer the blind/ante increases are slower, too.

That patience factor actually makes both “skill level 6” tourneys for Snyder, since he rates any online tournament with a patience factor over 12.5 as a 6, a rating he reserves for tournaments whose structures tend to reward skill and minimize luck (and thus are best reserved for highly-skilled players and avoided by novices).

Most of the posters on the 2+2 thread like the structures, although some are offering suggestions regarding particular events. However, a couple were complaining about how darn long the WCOOP events tend to go. Responding to those comments, accomplished online and live player Dani “Ansky” Stern chimed in earlier this week.

“Man, every year people complain that the structure is too long,” says Ansky, “and EVERY year the numbers get bigger and bigger and its always the best tournaments of the year. keep up the amazing structure, ITS ****ING ONCE A YEAR, GET OVER IT.” According to Ansky, the “WCOOP sets the standard in quality MTT structures online, please for the love of god do not scale it back to the standard pushbot fests that every other tournament is.”

PokerStars is going to be providing some extra coverage of the WCOOP events this year, including some live blogging à la what PokerNews does for the WSOP. You can find that coverage over on the PokerStars blog. And they’ve recruited yr humble gumshoe to help out some with that, so I’ll have a front row seat for a lot of the action.

It is likely, then, that I won’t be playing a lot of poker over the next two-and-a-half weeks, although I will be showing up on Saturday for the PokerListings Run Good Challenge. I wrote a little something about that earlier in the week.

Yesterday Spaceman offered an overview of the series and what it entails, so if yr curious head over there for more. Hopefully I don’t embarrass myself too greatly. Have been reading a lot about no-limit hold’em tourneys (such as the Snyder books), but haven’t been playing them hardly at all. Actually, just looking at the structure for tomorrow’s tourney (and using the spreadsheet), I see the “patience factor” there is 7.56, making for a skill level of 4. That means a little more luck should be involved -- good news for me!

Should be fun, especially given that I’ll be playing against a number of cool cats whom I got to meet and hang out with over the summer in Vegas. Best of luck to all!

And the rest of youse have yrselves a good weekend, too.

Labels: , ,


Blogger Hammer Player a.k.a Hoyazo said...

Are you enjoying the Snyder books as much as I have / am?

9/05/2008 11:14 AM  
Blogger Short-Stacked Shamus said...

They are terrific, imo. Lots of smart ideas/concepts, plus I very much like the accessible way he presents them. Also appreciate his willingness to mix it up w/Sklansky, Malmuth, et al. (esp. in the second book). Definitely recommend to dedicated MTTers.

9/05/2008 12:05 PM  
Blogger Waldo's Wild Kingdom said...

you make me want to pick these up, but I swore off poker books until I finish the 3 sitting on my nightstand.

9/05/2008 5:10 PM  
Anonymous Poker Stars Review said...

I am looking foward to the WCOOP on PokerStars this year. I have cashed in previous years and hoping this time will be a win.

9/05/2008 5:31 PM  
Blogger Short-Stacked Shamus said...

Am realizing this tourney I'll be playing tomorrow might start as six-handed, which would actually change the "patience factor" considerably. If I understand Snyder correctly, I should multiply the patience factor by 0.6 if we're talking six-handed (and not ten-handed).

That would drop the "patience factor" down below 5, and thus lower the tourney's "skill level" down to 2, what Snyder calls a "very fast tournament" in which luck plays an even greater role (esp. if players aren't up on speed play strategies).

9/05/2008 10:27 PM  

Post a Comment

<< Home

Newer Posts
Older Posts

Copyright © 2006-2016 Hard-Boiled Poker.
All Rights Reserved.