WCOOP 2010: It's life-changing prize money
by Thierry van den Berg
When I think about the PokerStars World Championships of Online Poker, I think about the biggest online tournaments of the year and life-changing prize money. Every player can, with a bit of luck, win a large amount of money and the WCOOP will change the life of many people.
For the pro's it's different. Players like me invest large amounts in the WCOOP and we have to make at least one final table to break even. Amateurs, on the other hand, are extremely happy when they make a final table because the money is so huge.
That's the beauty of the WCOOP; pros and amateurs competing together to win the biggest prizes in online poker. The first prize is often more than $100,000 and sometimes more than a $250,000. On the other hand, WCOOP one of toughest series of the year because the fields are so big. More often than not you have no idea who you are playing against but when you get deeper in a tournament the edge of the pros is pretty big. And that's because of our preparations.
WCOOP tournaments will run easily for more than 12 hours and every players needs to be focused the whole time. Everybody gets tired after a 12-hour session and it's just how you handle the pressure while you're exhausted. For amateurs it's tougher to play sessions that long because they simply aren't used to the amount of pressure and the huge prizes. Also, they are more tired than us pros and that's where we have the biggest edge in the WCOOP. That's also one of the reasons that you see a lot of pros at the final tables.
I always try to start fresh at a big tournament. Obviously my goal is to win a tournament and I think you have more chance to win a big tournament when you live a healthy lifestyle. Before I played in the World Series of Poker I already changed my lifestyle. I work out regularly and I make sure I don't eat too much fast food or other food that contains too much fat. I also eat a lot of vegetables. Besides food it's also important to get enough sleep during a tournament series.
I stayed at Palms Place for the last two years during the WSOP and it's perfect for poker players like me. You can get enough rest and you are not living in a casino the whole day. It helps you to focus more on your game and my healthy lifestyle is one of the reasons I have cashed three times in a row in the WSOP Main Event.
For the WCOOP I also try to change my rhythm a little bit. I sleep in the morning or afternoon and I play at night because the WCOOP is mostly during the night. With this rhythm I narrow the edge on the American players who have a big advantage because of the better time zone.
Personally I can't wait 'till the WCOOP starts. I have a couple of nice cashes in the NLHE tournaments and my biggest result is a 2nd place in the $320 single rebuy WCOOP 2nd chance in 2008. I really want to break my personal record and I am ready to put a win on my resume. I still don't have a bracelet around my arm and after a WSOP bracelet, the WCOOP bracelet is the goal of every poker player.
The best tournaments in my eyes are the two-day tournaments. You start with a lot of the chips and the blind structure is so good that it will give us lots of play during the whole tournament. I always feel good in these deepstack tournaments and I am really looking forward to playing in those events. During SCOOP I made Day 2 of the $2,100 NLHE event but unfortunately I came short in 36th place.
Last but not least I want to recommend the satellites to the WCOOP main events. A satellite is ideal because most of the time you can enter a Main Event for less money than the regular buy-in. I played a lot of satellites for bigger events in the past and the money you save with satellites is the first money you win. Satellites are running now and you can find them in the PokerStars Lobby under Events >>WCOOP, or by visiting the official WCOOP site.
Good luck, and I hope to see you at the tables.