Time to change online structures?
I'm writing in the midst of playing this year's WCOOP. It's been a grind, with many long days at the computer.
The structures for most of the WCOOP events are so deep it makes the series unlike any other as far as online poker is concerned. They are so slowly structured in fact-- with many featuring 20 and 30 minute levels, and lasting two days if you make a good run--that they can be very challenging if you have any obligations other than poker to worry about.
In Europe most WCOOP days last deep into the night and don't end until the sun has come up. I've gone far in a couple of tournaments and made some Day 2s, and it was just exhausting. It really is an endurance test.
It's a little bit of a Catch-22. I know a lot of poker players really like the way the tourneys allow for so much play, and so they love the long levels and slowly increasing limits. But many of the same players also find the events pretty arduous to get through, and for those who do get to final tables and/or win it's quite an accomplishment.
I think they could perhaps have shorter levels on Day 1, then longer levels on Day 2, like on the EPT, if they wanted to tweak the structure that is. They are good as they are, but I think it would be even better, and people in general would be happier with this kind of structure.
In any case, the WCOOP definitely provides a kind of ultimate test for online tournament poker players, and it's no surprise that it's grown as big as it has. For an online series, it rivals a lot of the bigger live events and series these days.
Speaking of which, I did make a quick trip to EPT Barcelona and am looking forward to getting back onto the tour for the upcoming events. I like playing online, but after all of these long days during the WCOOP I can say I'm more than ready to get back to a live event again!
Johnny Lodden is a member of Team PokerStars Pro.