In just 48 hours, PokerStars will debut its newest tournament series, the Turbo Championship of Online Poker. The 50-event all-turbo online festival of events kicks off Thursday at noon ET with a $200,000 guaranteed $22 no-limit hold'em turbo event.
While we were at the PCA last week, we sat down with several members of Team PokerStars Pro to get their thoughts on the upcoming series. Here's what they had to say.
What is your take on turbo tournaments in general?
Ana Marquez: I have been playing more of them recently, and have started to love them because of the action but also it frees you from being in front of the computer for long periods of time. I encourage everyone that has any fear of playing them to give them a chance. Re-think your strategy, on them and I'm sure you'll be as amazed as I am.
Elky: I like playing turbo tournaments, because they let you get into the action much faster, and without all the time commitment. My personal favorite is the Sunday Supersonic - so much money for so little time!
PokerStars is launching TCOOP. Obviously, it's like the regular COOPs, but all turbo events. How do you feel about that?
Jason Mercier: Thats pretty cool. The great thing about a Turbo COOP is you won't have to wonder if you are going to play all day and night. These tournaments are a great chance for you to win a ton of money in a short period of time.
Ivan Demidov: I don't really have time to play 15-hour sessions anymore, so turbo tournaments are the best way for me to participate in big tournaments. I like to play fast, and I love action, and that's what turbo tournaments are all about.
David Williams: Actually turbo tournaments fit my style much better, because you're forced to be more active. Turbo tournaments will be some of the most exciting tournaments out there, and to have a series comprised of solely turbo tournaments is a player's dream. Basically, you don't have to spend a full day for a big score.
Some people used to think turbos were only for the impatient beginner poker player.
Elky: Impatient maybe. Beginner not really. The average stack size is usually much smaller than in normal tournaments, which makes for 'all in and call' action a lot earlier than you might see in a regular tournament. If Turbo COOP was around when I was still grinding daily, I would have loved it. It's a refreshing change of pace to the normal grind.
Ana Marquez: That was me! I didn't used to play turbos because I thought there was a lot less skill involved. I recently started playing them and after a few games I realized that it isn't less skill it's just a different type of strategy.
Not to give anything away, but what would you consider to be the best strategy for TCOOP events?
Ivan Demidov: In turbo tournaments, you can't afford to wait. You have to be very aggressive early, and be willing to make big bluffs early. If a tight player can be profitable in regular structured tournaments, he or she will have to change their style to adapt to turbos, or they won't be successful.
David Williams: You have to go out there and go get those pots. It's important to not be too patient early and get grinded down. You can put yourself in a position where you simply can't win.
Jason Mercier: In turbos, I generally like to play a little tighter at the beginning so that when the blinds are higher, you make sure you have fold equity with your shoves.
Ana Marquez: Now that I have played more turbos, I'm changing my strategy to be more aggressive pre-flop, and play more standard after the flop. The key for me in any tournament is to start accumulating chips early enough so I don't have to put my stack at risk as often as you would if you wait for a hand; and if you get short, you must try to find the best spots to put in your chips all in.
Elky: When playing turbo tournaments, you can't wait for the perfect spot. You have to take into consideration the speed of the blinds, and you'll likely have to speculate much more. I'm more likely to call you down in a turbo tournament, so watch yourself when you're in my pots.