WCOOP 2011: Another close call

wcoop2009-thumb.jpgIf you are a poker player living in any corner of the world I'm sure you are aware that PokerStars 2011 WCOOP is in full swing. In case you are not aware let me help you get into the loop. The WCOOP (World Championship of Online Poker) is the richest online poker tournament series in history. The series is three weeks of a full-packed schedule of 62 tournaments which started on September 4th and will end on September 25th with the $5200 No Limit Hold'em Main Event $5,000,000 guaranteed prize pool. The WCOOP line-up ranges in buy-ins from $100-$10,000 and as no fewer than 13 different disciplines of poker. No matter what your speciality or bankroll, you can probably find it on the 2011 WCOOP line-up.

I personally love everything about the WCOOP; all the different tournaments, the great structures, the huge guarantee prize pools and chasing both a bracelet and the overall leader board. The leader board has some great prizes attached to it which offers tremendous value in playing as many events as possible. The best part of all is I can dedicate myself to the series all from the comfort of my own home. I couldn't ask for anything more.

Last year I cashed in 8 WCOOP events with my best result being a 7th place finish in the $10K 8 Game High Roller. As much as I was content with my results especially since I showed a profit for the series I still was missing that bracelet title. So this year I was hoping to improve on last year's success and finally capture that elusive title. With the first half of the series completed; it's been again a little bittersweet. Having played 20 of the first 28 events, I have 3 cashes. The first was a min cash in Event 3($200 NL), the second a 25th place finish in Event 27 ($320 Badugi) and the other cash, was yet another close call, a 3rd place finish in Event 9 ($1050 NL) for a massive score of $117,555! That event as expected had a super tough and talented field that saw 65 of the 1237 entrants return for day 2. I came into day 2 with a below average chip stack but quickly doubled up and then some to put myself with the leaders for the rest of the day. I entered the final table second in chips to "extasyman". The final table was pretty deep stacked and we played 7 handed for over 90 minutes before eliminating any player. It was at this point of the tournament where I really felt I was going to win the event as I pulled close to 3 million in chips, a clear million ahead of 2nd place. It just wasn't meant to be; I say it was bittersweet because as much as I long for that title I also feel very fortunate to take down close to $120K for my efforts and guarantee myself a nice profit for the WCOOP series even if I don't cash in another event. The winner of the event was "extasyman" who actually played fearlessly and aggressively to take down the title.


Since my 3rd place finish last week I have come to realize just how big the WCOOP has become. While playing at the tables I can't tell you how many people have congratulated me on my finish in the observer chat. It is simply humbling and I thank everyone for their support.

All is not lost; with still another 30 plus events to go. I'm actually excited about the second half of the schedule. I feel great about my game and have added confidence after the close finish. I'm hungrier than ever for that bracelet, and frankly they are the events that I was eyeing since the schedule was first announced. Event 36 $530 Omaha 8/B on the 16th ,Event 56 $1050 Limit Hold'em on the 23rd, Event 59 $2100 HORSE on the 24th , Event 61 $10,300 8 Game on the 25th and obviously the grand daddy of the WCOOP the "The Main Event" $5200 NL also on September 25th.

To get caught up on the entire WCOOP news visit www.pokerstars.com/wcoop , where you will find news, videos, blogs, results, current leader board and schedule of events. Or you could do what I do and listen to Radio-WCOOP daily at 3:30 ET. This show is the nuts with hosts Joe Stapleton, Nick Wealthall and Matt Broughton. They are a blast plus they give away lots of free stuff and always have great guests on the show. On September 19th I'll be on the show as a guest. So tune into that show and send in your questions and I'll be more than happy to answer them. I will be posting WCOOP updates on Twitter on my @PatPezzin account.

As for my plans after WCOOP, I'll be heading to London for the EPT, and then I'm off to Brazil for the World Bocce Championships where I will be representing Canada! Go Canada Go!

See you at the tables!

Pat Pezzin
@PokerStars in WCOOP