As usual, the structure for the main event was excellent. 20K in starting chips, 30 minute levels with Stars new and improved more gradual blind structure and reasonable-sized antes. The tournament would last at least 20 hours. I started slow but eventually began to pick up some medium-sized pots to increase my stack. I then won two fairly big coinflips, winning from both sides of an AK vs QQ confrontation to increase my stack to 120K, almost twice average. From there things went downhill though and I dropped as low as 50. I managed to win some small pots to get back close to 90K as we entered the money. I blinded back down to around 60K but then shoved with AK and doubled through AJs. After that I won another coinflip with AK against two tens to break the 10 times starting stack barrier for the first time in all of the WCOOP, and my 220K stack was approximately average. Unfortunately it was downhill from there, I lost a few pots in a row and started having to play push/fold poker again. Eventually I moved in with 77 and got called my KingDan's 99 and that was that. I probably didn't have to push that hand but I don't really think it was a mistake. Oh well, I got $9K for 121st.
I also final tabled a $50 rebuy on Cake but busted 7th for $2200, but I've never laughed so hard in a poker tournament. There was a stretch of about 5 consecutive hands I played (and won) towards the end where people made terrible/hilarious plays continuously. Things such as making a pot sized bet of 22K on the flop and folding to raise with 9K behind. Or betting 9K into a 45K pot as a bluff on the river with a busted flush draw, forcing me to call and win with 88 on a AcQc79A board when I'd all but given up when my flop bet got called. I also had a big stack in the UB 200K Gntd. but I donked it off on the first hand after the bubble burst because I'd been raising every hand on the bubble and I thought some guy was just sick of me raising when he actually had KK. Oops.
Anyways I made a decent profit on the day, and now that WCOOP is over I will probably be playing a lot less for a while, though anything is a lot less comapred to the hours I was putting in the last 2 weeks. Even when I took Saturday off it was to go play in a fun little live team tournament in Kitchener with my friends from back in my $20 home game days. I played 3 7-player single table tourneys and managed to put up a strong 7th, 7th, 6th performance, likely making most of the room contemplate going pro at least briefly figuring if the biggest donkey in the room can do it.... I did however manage to grind out my heads up match which ended up making the difference between the top 2 teams. At least I got to crush some dreams despite my team being well behind.
In other news I got my new desktop and monitor from Dell, to go with the new desk and chair I bought earlier in the week. All-in-all I'm pretty happy with my new workspace, it beats the hell out of staring at my laptop screen like I had been for the last 6 months.
Oh yeah I also wanted to write something in response to a comment to my last post re: sponsorship. Regarding specific people, I believe thayer was offered a sponsorship deal after he final tabled WPT Mandalay Bay but he ended up turning it down because it was a very poor contract. Junglen says he's talking to a few of the major online sites right now and seems to be close to having something worked out. He's not someone I talk to a lot, but PearlJammer was recently signed by Full Tilt after some big online scores and several solid live results. And of course Steve has been on Team Pokerstars for a while now. Basically, it's not just about being the best player though, it's more about how much advertising you can get them and if you'll be a positive ambassador for the site. Remember, they're marketing to the average Joe watching poker on TV who might occasionally try making a desposit online, not the hardcore player/fan. They already have your money.
With that in mind, live results are obviously important. They want people who have been on TV so the public might have some idea who they are, and who figure to be on TV more often in the future. Obviously a big part of this is being a good player since you figure to make more final tables, but also people who are going to attract the cameras in other ways. The "personalities" like Humberto, Rainkhan, etc... are loud painful examples of this, and also basically any attractive fermale player who plays a lot of tournaments, even if they're not very good. With respect to people like Humberto and Khan, it's unfortunate that what makes for good TV is often nearly the opposite of what is considered proper etiquette at a poker table. Negreanu really mixes being entertaining while playing respectful serious high-level poker better than anyone else. It's kind of unfortunate that most online players like myself have never really had to learn some of these skills since with so many games going online trying to keep a joking friendly atmosphere so the live ones keep coming back really isn't an important skill for the online pro. And of course when we play live we're generally just trying to focus on the game and make sure not to give away any information during hands.
So what does this mean for me? I'm a quiet online pro with no big live results and no one in the mainstream poker media has any idea who I am. Most obviously this means I've got to get some live results. Make a televised final table and try to come accross well in all the interviews and other coverage that come along with that would be ideal, and hopefully put up another deep finish or two around the same time so people see I'm out there all the time putting up results. Of course this is coming from a guy who has never made the money in a $10K event, that seems like an awful lot to ask. On the other hand, other than for potential sponsorship purposes I could basically care less whether anyone has any idea who I am. Hell it's probably very advantageous for me to remain an unknown in these live tournaments. As long as I keep making good money and have fun doing it anything else is just a bonus.