Thursday, September 03, 2009

WCOOP It Up: World Championship of Online Poker Series Starts Today on PokerStars

WCOOP on PokerStarsSundays come once a week. FTOPS only happens slightly less frequently. But the WCOOP -- that is, the World Championship of Online Poker on PokerStars -- is special. And today it returns.

45 events! Quite a jump from the 33 that were offered last year. This is the eighth year Stars has run the WCOOP, and by now a bona fide tradition has been built up around the series. Stars has even created a special website -- wcoop.com -- for various record-keeping and passing along other WCOOP-related info.

Had hopes of perhaps participating this time around, as I did play in that “PokerStars WCOOP Journalist Event” yesterday afternoon. Was a pretty decent shot at a WCOOP seat, in that only 135 had been invited and 27 tickets were being given away.

Did pretty well for the first hour, nearly doubling my stack without ever having to show hands. (Or making hands, for that matter.) But the blinds rose rapidly, and suddenly the average stack -- which I was just below -- became about eight BBs or so.

That’s when a short stack who’d shoved all in three or four times did so again, and I picked up AsQs and decided it was time to gamble. Damned if he didn’t have A-K this time. The flop teasingly came A-Q-4, but a king followed on the turn and I was down to less than three big blinds. Was out soon thereafter in 57th or something.

So I’ll be on the rail, reporting on a few of the events along the way, then live blogging the Main Event at the end. Head over to the PokerStars blog where I’ll be filing reports along with my buds California Jen, Change100, Drizztdj, and Otis.

Get your PokerStars account today!By the way, I dunno if you guys ever happen to read the PokerStars blog, but it is a terrific one. Very entertaining and talented folks writing over there. Really, if you read their reports from the various circuit events they cover -- the ones either sponsored by PokerStars or at which Stars pros are playing -- you find some of the best poker writing around. Have to say I am always glad whenever I get the chance to help contribute over there.

Given my other obligations, most of my railing and reporting from the WCOOP will be happening on the weekends, so my first recap won’t come ’til tomorrow. Here’s the full schedule (all times ET; prize pool guarantees in parentheses):
  • Event 1 -- Thu., 9/3, 14:30, $215 6-max. NLHE ($1,250,000)
  • Event 2 -- Thu., 9/3, 16:30, $215 Razz ($200,000)
  • Event 3 -- Fri., 9/4, 14:30, $215 6-max. PLO ($500,000)
  • Event 4 -- Fri., 9/4, 16:30, $215 NL 2-7 Draw w/rebuys ($200,000)
  • Event 5 -- Fri., 9/4, 20:00, $109 8-Game (5-min lvls) ($50,000)
  • Event 6 -- Sat., 9/5, 12:45, $109 NLHE ($1,000,000)
  • Event 7 -- Sat., 9/5, 14:30, $215 PL 5-Card Draw ($200,000)
  • Event 8 -- Sat., 9/5, 16:30, $215 LHE ($400,000)
  • Event 9 -- Sun., 9/6, 12:45, $215 NLHE ($1,000,000)
  • Event 10 -- Sun., 9/6, 14:30, $10,300 NLHE ($2,000,000)
  • Event 11 -- Sun., 9/6, 16:30, $530 NLHE (2-day) ($3,000,000)
  • Event 12 -- Mon., 9/7, 14:30, $215 4-max. NLHE ($500,000)
  • Event 13 -- Mon., 9/7, 16:30, $320 7-Card Stud ($150,000)
  • Event 14 -- Tue., 9/8, 14:30, $320 6-max. Mixed HE ($300,000)
  • Event 15 -- Tue., 9/8, 16:30, $320 Limit Badugi ($100,000)
  • Event 16 -- Tue., 9/8, 20:00, $1,050 NLHE ($500,000)
  • Event 17 -- Wed., 9/9, 14:30, $530 NLHE Trip. Shoot. ($500,000)
  • Event 18 -- Wed., 9/9, 16:30, $320 8-Game ($300,000)
  • Event 19 -- Thu., 9/10, 14:30, $320 6-max. PLO (1R1A) ($400,000)
  • Event 20 -- Thu., 9/10, 16:30, $320 Limit 2-7 TD ($100,000)
  • Event 21 -- Fri., 9/11, 14:30, $215 NLHE w/rebuys ($1,250,000)
  • Event 22 -- Fri., 9/11, 16:30, $530 Limit O/8 ($400,000)
  • Event 23 -- Fri., 9/11, 20:00, $320 NLHE (10-min lvls) ($300,000)
  • Event 24 -- Sat., 9/12, 14:30, $530 Heads-Up NLHE ($1,000,000)
  • Event 25 -- Sat., 9/12, 16:30, $320 H.O.R.S.E. ($400,000)
  • Event 26 -- Sun., 9/13, 12:45, $215 NLHE ($1,000,000)
  • Event 27 -- Sun., 9/13, 14:30, $25,500 Heads-Up NLHE
  • Event 28 -- Sun., 9/13, 16:30, $1,050 NLHE (2-day) ($3,000,000)
  • Event 29 -- Mon., 9/14, 14:30, $320 PLHE/PLO ($400,000)
  • Event 30 -- Mon., 9/14, 16:30, $320 NLHE (2x Chnce) ($600,000)
  • Event 31 -- Tue., 9/15, 14:30, $320 6-max. PLO w/rbys ($700,000)
  • Event 32 -- Tue., 9/15, 16:30, $530 7-Card Stud Hi/Lo ($200,000)
  • Event 33 -- Tue., 9/15, 20:00, $1,050 NLHE ($500,000)
  • Event 34 -- Wed., 9/16, 14:30, $215 NLHE (big antes) ($500,000)
  • Event 35 -- Wed., 9/16, 16:30, $320 PLO/8 ($500,000)
  • Event 36 -- Thu., 9/17, 14:30, $530 6-max. NLHE w/rbys ($1,000,000)
  • Event 37 -- Thu., 9/17, 16:30, $2,100 6-max. PLO ($600,000)
  • Event 38 -- Fri., 9/18, 14:30, $530 NLHE (1R1A) ($1,000,000)
  • Event 39 -- Fri., 9/18, 16:30, $1,050 6-max. LHE ($400,000)
  • Event 40 -- Fri., 9/18, 20:00, $215 NL O/8 (10-min lvls) ($200,000)
  • Event 41 -- Sat., 9/19, 14:30, $530 Heads-Up PLO ($250,000)
  • Event 42 -- Sat., 9/19, 16:30, $2,100 8-Game ($350,000)
  • Event 43 -- Sun., 9/20, 12:45, $215 NLHE ($1,000,000)
  • Event 44 -- Sun., 9/20, 14:30, $10,300 H.O.R.S.E. ($1,000,000)
  • Event 45 -- Sun., 9/20, 16:30 $5,200 NLHE (2-day) ($10,000,000)
  • Some interesting-looking events in the mix, such as the turbo-styled 8-game event (No. 5), the four-handed NLHE (No. 12), Badugi (No. 15), and the NLHE tourney with “big antes” (No. 34). That no-limit PLO/8 event with ten-minute levels (No. 40) looks pretty nutty, too.

    You might note also how PokerStars has added variety to the starting times throughout, making it a lot more feasible for folks who aren’t in North America to join in the fun.

    Good luck to those playing WCOOP events this year. And if somehow you don’t have a PokerStars account already, go get you one.

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