I figured it might be fun if I’ll do a small review of my SCOOP Main Event, the Limit Hold’em events. Let’s break it down!
The 20th of May was a big day for me. Online there are only 2 tourneys every year in which you can win a reasonable amount of money playing Limit Hold’em, SCOOP and WCOOP. The SCOOP even has 3 tourneys at the same time (low/medium/high) which creates a decent amount of value for experienced Limit players. The level of play in the low buy-in is never that high, the medium always gets a decent amount of runners due to the buy-in still being affordable for a tournament that only runs twice a year and the high buy-in attracts a lot of pro’s who play every SCOOP since they figure they can never be that far behind in a game as simple as Limit Hold’em or possibly they try to make a run for the SCOOP Leaderboard. That does mean that the type of “bad” players is very different between the different buy-ins, but there is value in these tourneys for sure. The variance is even higher in Limit then in No-Limit tourneys so you need a little run good but you need that anyway when you are competing in big tourneys with a relative small sample size of hands you get to play.
The 3 main tourneys started at 20:00 and during the day there were a pretty decent amount of satellites scheduled in which I presumed was a pretty decent amount of value. I decided to play as many as I could from 15:00 onwards and I think that in the end I played roughly 90% of the satellites that run towards the medium or high buy-in. The satellites offered were in many different formats, multi table SNG’s, single table SNG’s, Hypers, Turbo’s, Steps, basically anything you can think of. Every format had a different pay-out structure so I really had to pay attention if I was playing the bubble or not, the number of players at the table certainly didn’t provide sufficient information. Some satellites only awarded one ticket which resulted in heads-up play which is always difficult to handle when you are playing 8 different satellites at the same time. I probably missed some value in mixing to many different formats at the same time but there isn’t any other day in the year in which so many Limit Hold’em satellites run so I wasn’t able to practice beforehand to prepare myself a little better.
I was lucky to win 2 tickets to the $700 qualifier to the high buy-in but that satellite wasn’t really deep stacked and after only losing 1 big hand I was already out. Not winning a $700 satellite when most other satellites only award $215 means a heavy impact on your ROI so unfortunately I finished my batch of 50 satellites with a small loss. The level of play got better during the day when more Limit regulars started to play satellites so maybe next time I need to be a bit more selective but on the other hand winning the $700 satellite would have boosted my ROI to a pretty good level so in the end it’s all down to variance.
My table draw in the low was decent, 2 good players and 3 bad ones so plenty of value there. In the first hour I managed to run up my stack to 7.000, decent with the low blinds still around. It’s nearly impossible to bust within the first hour and I certainly wasn’t planning to do so. In the 2nd hour I managed to keep a healthy stack despite running into two bad river cards which cost me two decent sized pots. During the 2nd break I had 9.100 points which was above average. Unfortunately during the 3rd hour I couldn’t take down any decent pot and when I got JJ right after the 3rd break I hoped to get a chance to double up.
Poker Stars $24.55+$2.45 Limit Hold’em Tournament – t500/t1000 Limit – 6 players – View hand 2233781
DeucesCracked Poker Videos Hand History Converter
holdi12 (CO): t2380 4.76 BBs
puule (BTN): t18790 37.58 BBs
Mr. Ilves (SB): t7660 15.32 BBs
AAmaggie (BB): t23885 47.77 BBs
Hero (UTG): t6840 13.68 BBs
efeiner (MP): t18863 37.73 BBs
Pre Flop: (1.5 SB) Hero is UTG with J J
Hero raises, efeiner 3-bets, 3 folds, AAmaggie calls, Hero calls
Flop: (9.5 SB) 8 2 5 (3 players)
AAmaggie checks, Hero checks, efeiner bets, AAmaggie calls, Hero raises, efeiner calls, AAmaggie calls
Turn: (7.75 BB) 5 (3 players)
AAmaggie checks, Hero bets, efeiner calls, AAmaggie folds
River: (9.75 BB) 7 (2 players)
Hero bets, efeiner raises, Hero calls
Final Pot: 13.75 BB
Hero mucks J J
efeiner shows K A (a flush, Ace high)
efeiner wins 13.75 BB
Well that didn’t work out as planned and since I was the Big Blind in the next hand with only 1.340 points left I had to go all-in with 65o. No help on the board so it was the low buy-in which I busted first. Ultimately the winner was Koraseg, a good regular who took down $12.314 in a $27 tournament, pretty decent for a Limit tourney! Well known fellow Dutchie Paul “padjes” Berende took down 4th place winning $4.548.
In the 1st hour of the medium not much had happened but in the 2nd hour I could finally get some things going. The most notable however was the fun atmosphere at the table which doesn’t happen a lot online since most people don’t have a lot of time to chat. Since the Limit community is rather small most people know each other and I happened to have a table full of familiar faces. Even people jumped in from the rail and because I was only playing 3 tourneys it was easy to chat along which made it almost feel like a live tourney at some moments. The table wasn’t that easy and those players who weren’t familiar busted first and got replaced by other familiar faces. Luckily I was doing pretty well and after the 3rd hour I was constantly in the top100. With 35.000 points after the 4th hour I was really doing well and a couple of good players already busted at my table so it was time to start running over the table. The poker gods however had another plan and I either got unplayable hands or hands at the bottom of my range with flops which only cost more money. 5 marginal hands later and I busted in 107th place, 84 places got paid. Calvin “Cal42688” Anderson managed to win the tourney, taking home $23.634 which also was a pretty decent amount for a Limit tourney, luckily I was still in the high!
This was definitely the highlight of the SCOOP for me. My Main Event! The field wasn’t as tough as last year, as expected many “Pro’s” who played about any SCOOP tourney also played this one. 131 players signed up and I think about 50% of them were Limit regulars, which means it had a pretty decent value for a $2.100 buy-in. The 1st hour was uneventful but during the 2nd hour I was able to almost double my start stack. After 4 hours of play I had over 16.000 points which was pretty decent at that time and I was pretty happy with both my table and my game. This was at the same moment as when I was still doing good in the medium as well so I had a lot of confidence making the money in both of them. As said during the 5th hour I busted the medium but I was still doing good in the high and since I was only playing 1 table now I could fully focus on “the big one”. At the end of the 6th hour when we were pretty close to the money already I played the following hand:
Poker Stars $2000+$100 Limit Hold’em Tournament – t500/t1000 Limit – 6 players – View hand 2233802
DeucesCracked Poker Videos Hand History Converter
john_baird_1 (BTN): t22331 44.66 BBs
blanconegro (SB): t30535 61.07 BBs
SixZeros (BB): t3495 6.99 BBs
Hero (UTG): t23818 47.64 BBs
72bestcard (MP): t26255 52.51 BBs
B00mslang (CO): t24689 49.38 BBs
Pre Flop: (1.5 SB) Hero is UTG with Q Q
Hero raises, 3 folds, blanconegro 3-bets, 1 fold, Hero calls
Flop: (7 SB) J 3 2 (2 players)
blanconegro bets, Hero calls
Turn: (4.5 BB) 9 (2 players)
blanconegro bets, Hero raises, blanconegro calls
River: (8.5 BB) 5 (2 players)
blanconegro checks, Hero bets, blanconegro raises, Hero calls
Final Pot: 12.5 BB
blanconegro shows A K (a flush, Ace high)
Hero mucks Q Q
blanconegro wins 12.5 BB
As you can see this hand is almost identical as the one in the low with the exception that I was in position in this hand which made me raise the turn instead of check/raising the flop. The hand is pretty standard but winning this one would have given me a really healthy stack meaning I could easily navigate myself to the money. I had work to do again and this worked out pretty good at first despite the fact my new table had 3 High Stakes Limit regulars who I consider better then myself. After going up and down I open 3 times but 3 times I don’t hit anything on the flop and following those 3 hands I’m not able to play a hand post-flop for 9 orbits! This had nothing to do with me playing tight, I just didn’t get a single opportunity to play a hand. Meanwhile we were down to 20 players with 18 paid and the other tables were stalling a bit since the bubble was worth $3.406. 3/4 other players had about the same stacksize as I did and winning 1 big pot would probably be enough but as long as that didn’t happen I had to try and keep my stack at the same level, not bleeding too much chips every round by paying the blinds. I open 76o on the BTN and flop nothing, I defend T9s in the big blind but again nothing and after 10 orbits of not picking up a single good hand my A3s on the cutoff looked really sweet:
Poker Stars $2000+$100 Limit Hold’em Tournament – t800/t1600 Limit – 5 players – View hand 2233808
DeucesCracked Poker Videos Hand History Converter
Shhh00kem (UTG): t46428 58.03 BBs
Hero (CO): t7618 9.52 BBs
GripDsNutz (BTN): t34677 43.35 BBs
facel3ssvoid (SB): t13516 16.89 BBs
Sasuke234 (BB): t54688 68.36 BBs
Pre Flop: (1.5 SB) Hero is CO with A 3
1 fold, Hero raises, GripDsNutz 3-bets, 2 folds, Hero calls
Flop: (7.5 SB) 4 2 J (2 players)
Hero checks, GripDsNutz bets, Hero raises, GripDsNutz calls
Turn: (5.75 BB) Q (2 players)
Hero bets, GripDsNutz calls
River: (7.75 BB) A (2 players)
Hero bets, GripDsNutz raises, Hero calls all in
Final Pot: 10.273 BB
Hero shows A 3 (a pair of Aces – lower kicker)
GripDsNutz shows A T (a pair of Aces)
GripDsNutz wins 10.273 BB
I hoped that my semi-bluf on the flop looked pretty strong since committing so many chips close to the bubble must mean I had something. I almost jumped up hitting the river but instead of hitting the jackpot I had to call with my half a bet left and busted in 20th place just 2 places short of the money. Out, no $68.120 even worse, nothing at all. As a cashgame player I really can’t ever get used to the feeling of busting tourneys this deep. 7 hours of play for nothing and my “Main Event” was over. Looking at the remaining players less than 50% were Limit regulars, I really had hoped for more but those last 10 orbits were really killing. The structure of the tourney was really good, meaning there was a lot of room for post-flop play but you still need to pick up a hand every now and then. After a pretty long heads-up it was Jarcon86 who took it down.
Now I can only wait till the WCOOP since I’m skipping the WSOP this year. I was pretty close to booking a ticket after I busted because I really love playing “big” Limit tourneys. Last WCOOP I finished 11th so I hope to do better this year!