WCOOP memories

wcoop2009-thumb.jpgMy memory of September 2010 is dominated by the transition I was going through: A long relationship was coming to an end, and I was moving into a new apartment that was still only half-furnished. More relevant, I was having a total poker-identity crisis, questioning whether or not I even wanted to continue my career path as a poker player. For most of 2010 after the WSOP, I was on hiatus from poker, only occasionally dabbling as I went through a fairly major life transition.

I actually had almost no memory of my whereabouts during the 2010 WCOOP until I looked up my results on a poker database, which reminded me that I did play a very minimal schedule of 8 WCOOP events (and actually cashed three of them).

As fate turns out, I am in another period of severe transition with the 2011 WCOOP coming up, as I prepare to leave my home in California to set up a new office in a new country. This time, though, I will be diving headlong into the WCOOP and looking to recapture the energy I remember from past series and probably playing about half of the 62 scheduled events.

At least I have one similar experience to rely on: I created a quickly-improvised poker work space for the 2010 SCOOP series, when I was traveling in Europe and decided to set up a grind station in a Paris sublet after the EPT Monte Carlo. I ordered a computer monitor and bought speakers and approximated a normal setup, with a steady supply of music, coffee and some cable TV. I didn't have great success in the SCOOP (it turns out that starting 15+ hour tournaments on GMT is not an easy adjustment for me from PST), but logistically it was smooth.


I expect my anxiety on this move to be quickly washed away once I fall into the rhythm of WCOOP, which is by far the closest facsimile to the WSOP that online poker has to offer. My memory from years past is of an all-consuming, but constantly refreshing feeling. It's a feeling that I get whenever I am playing a tournament series that I can fully dedicated myself to. There really aren't many tournaments series that fit the bill, either. It's different from SCOOP, too, which presents a whole other level of intensity with its tiered buyins.

The WCOOP definitely possesses a sort of "organic" feeling, where most of the buyins and game types represent the sort of tournaments that full-time tournament grinders look forward to playing throughout the year--mostly in the $200-$1,000 range with a few high roller events sprinkled in the mix--but with much larger prize pools.

Just writing about the upcoming WCOOP has helped lift some of the anxious feelings I have been dealing with. When September rolls around, there's nothing I would rather be doing than waking

Shane 'shaniac' Schleger
@PokerStars in WCOOP