Tuesday, September 28, 2010

WCOOP 2010 Concludes

Was an intense 12 hours last-night-slash-this-morning watching and live blogging Day 2 of Event No. 62, the $5,200 buy-in, no-limit hold’em Main Event over at PokerStars. F-Train and I were on duty, and even with the short breaks we’re talking nonstop scribbling, editing, and publishing.

You can check out the live blog for a comprehensive account of how they went from 271 players down to just one, POTTERPOKER, who ended up taking a still-amazing-to-think-about $2,278,097.50 for winning the sucker. Took about 23 hours of playing time altogether over the two days, so that’s about a hundred grand per hour there.

Not a lot of energy left to write still more about what happened, but I will share a couple of quick thoughts. About the good and the not-so-good, I suppose. Will start with the latter.

It was pretty early yesterday -- within the first 45 minutes of play -- that we noticed one player suddenly break from the pack and surge into the chip lead. He’d already gotten close to the 1,000,000-chip mark, then won a big pot with pocket eights versus an opponent’s A-A to move up to almost 1.38 million, which at the time was a good bit ahead of the rest of the 185 players still in it. Indeed, he was the only one over a million at that point.

When reporting on these online tourneys, we operate similarly to the way we follow live events. In other words, with that many players still left, we track notables while also keeping an eye on the leaders. The logistics are different, of course, but the “storytelling” goals are not.

So I started tracking our new chip leader, and was fairly amazed to watch as it took less than hour for him to lose all of those chips and go out in 140th place.

There were three big hands I saw, all pretty darned reckless. The first came less than 15 minutes after having amassed that big stack, a hand in which he lost about 750,000 -- a lot of it on a pretty thin semi-bluff on the turn. He’d lose about 400,000 more on a similar hand shortly thereafter, jamming with two overs and a gutshot and getting called by a player with just second pair who obviously suspected he was light (and perhaps tilty).

He’d build back to over 400,000 -- which was still above average at the time -- but got all of that in the middle on the turn again, this time drawing as close to dead as might be possible. The board was 2-2-A-2, his opponent had an ace, and he had K-J, so I guess the case deuce would’ve brought him a chop.

When this player had gotten to 1.38 million or so, the blinds were 3,000/6,000 (with 30-minute levels). That’s about 230 big blinds. So that rapid exit was some not-so-good, I think it’s safe to say. Now for the good.

WCOOPOnce they were down to three tables or so, the quality of play appeared to increase considerably. I say “appeared” as a kind of double-disclaimer, as I don’t want to suggest I am the best judge of such things, nor can anyone know with 100% certainty how folks are playing without seeing hole cards, anyway. There were a couple of hands where players seemed to have made a misstep here and there, but for the most part, these guys all looked like they had a more-than-good idea of what the hell they were doing.

Probably the most interesting hand of the night came with 17 players left and involved the eventual winner, POTTERPOKER, Bryn Kenney, and two other players. (Kenney, incidentally, finished 28th at this year’s WSOP Main Event.) A good example, I thought, of the relatively more shrewd decision-making we were watching toward the end.

With the blinds up to 30,000/60,000, a player in early position raised to 123,113, and POTTERPOKER, sitting to that player’s left, called. A late position player also called, then Kenney reraised to 420,000 from the blinds. Looked like a squeeze, and it did force the original raiser to fold.

POTTERPOKER then reraised again, however, to 720,500. That forced out the other caller, and sent Kenney into the tank. Kenney finally made his decision and shoved all in for about 2.6 million. POTTERPOKER quickly called, showing pocket queens to Kenney’s pocket tens. The board didn’t help Kenney, and he was out. An intriguing hand all around, I thought.

That hand put POTTERPOKER close to the chip lead, I believe, and by the time they reached the final table he was well out in front. He’d been very aggressive at the final table bubble to extend his lead, then after running well for a short stretch once they got to nine had built what was essentially an insurmountable lead.

A lot of interesting poker, then. And for the highest stakes ever for an online tournament!

Speaking of high-stakes, interesting poker, I plan to look in today to see how that WSOPE Main Event plays out. Though perhaps it will be slightly less interesting now that both Phil Ivey and Viktor Blom (a.k.a., the man thought to be “Isildur1”) have been eliminated.

That delayed live stream (over on ESPN3) has proven to be a bit of a disappointment, insofar as it isn’t available to all (or most, seemingly). Might be just as well for me, though. I could probably stand to step away from the computer for a day or five.

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Anonymous Anonymous said...

We were talking about the WCOOP Main Event at the WSOPE Main Event final table yesterday and agreed it was amazing that the WCOOP ME had a larger guarantee than the entire 2010 WSOPE events prizepools combined!

Imaging saying that to a poker players five years ago, they would have laughed you out of town!

9/29/2010 9:42 AM  

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