Ready for SCOOP

I am back now from the World Series of Poker Asia Pacific. Poker went well for me there, highlighted by a final table in the first event (the "accumulator") where I finished fourth. It was a lot of fun being in Australia, too, where it was my first time ever visiting.

My plan now is to rest for a while before going back on the EPT and then gearing up for the WSOP this summer in Las Vegas. During this down time I plan to play some golf as well as some hockey, too. I play in a regular indoor hockey game every week with the same guys, and I also sometimes play with other teams, too, as a replacement. I play center, so I'm kind of in the middle of everything and even get to score some goals now and then.

I'm also planning to play in a lot of the Spring Championship of Online Poker events in May. I'm actually kind of new to SCOOP and the other tourney series on PokerStars. When I won the WSOP Main Event in 2010, I had mostly been a cash player before that, and so hadn't really played a lot of online tourneys up to that point. My main game was six-handed no-limit hold'em, but then afterwards I have definitely been playing more tournaments.

jonathan_duhamel_ept9_deauville_high_roller_day2_44.jpg

SCOOP actually presents a great opportunity for all players to practice for the WSOP that comes right after, especially cash game players who maybe don't play tournaments all of the time but are planning to play some at the Series. It's an especially good warm-up for all of the mixed games and non-hold'em events. There are a lot of tourneys at the WSOP featuring games that you don't usually find, and all of those games -- stud, razz, Omaha eight-or-better, and so on -- are on the SCOOP schedule, too.

Recently I've been playing a lot of mixed games on Stars, trying to practice up both for SCOOP and the WSOP. Omaha eight-or-better is probably the one that is giving me the most trouble at the moment, but I like it and also all of the stud games and pot-limit Omaha, too. Really I'm just trying to focus on playing all of the games that will be at the World Series.

Indeed, while I usually stick with no-limit hold'em I'm probably going to be concentrating more on everything else during SCOOP this time in order to get some practice at the other games. So look for me at those tables once the tourneys start in May!

Jonathan Duhamel is a member of Team PokerStars Pro