Well managed to get my biggest cash ever in the WBCOOP Main Event so I figured I should be blogging about it I will analyze the big money hands including many I played well, I few hands I wish I could do over, a couple of clutch calls and a few interesting situations.

Bit of a gruelling tournament as it took over 10 hours. Tried to do a 4 split but there was no checkbox to split and the moderators were not being helpful at all. This was not a turbo tournament so we could afford to wait for hands. It may look like I got an insane amount of nice pocket pairs but I think we played 1000 hands by the time the tourney was done and I actually won't list all of the high pocket pairs I had since some received zero play from my opponents or weren't interesting at all. Warning there will be a lot of hands covered, hope you find it interesting!

Big Hand #1: So I had a nice start getting   in UT+1 on my 5th hand. Already we've noticed there is a crazy player who lost 4/10 of his 10,000 chip stack on the first hand with A2off vs AJoff. So I make a 2.5x raise. And of course crazy player pushes all in. I make the easy call and he shows 93off. Wish every tournament had a start like that, up to 16K!

Somehow I proceed to whittle that stack down from 16K to 7K over the course of a great many # of hands. None of my draws were coming in, wasn't flopping trips, etc. Many of continuation bets were being called and I had to shut down on the turn when I hadn't hit. Sometimes opponents were pushing all in on me and I was unable to call.

Poor Hand #1:   in the BB. Blinds are 50/100. Get two limpers from UTG and UTG+3. I reraise to 500 the UTG player folds and the UTG+3 player calls. Flop comes  . I made a standard continuation about 1/2 half pot and the villain calls. Turn comes  . This is where I should give up the hand. I check and the villain bets 500 into a 2572 pot. It is such a small bet that it tempts me to call. Weak bets at this level often mean weak hands and I should've read it for that. But I've also seen players make weak bets with things like AK which still beats me. I should probably give it up but I call. River comes   and we both check. The villain shows   suited. I don't particularly like his preflop call of my reraise to 5x. But he did hit 2nd pair and I should've read him for having a 7 or 8 and saved myself 500 chips.

Big Hand #2:   in the BB. Blinds are 75/150 and the Hijack makes it 330 and the Cutoff comes along. I figure I'm priced in enough to see the flop. Flop comes  , bingo!. Figure I might have to slowplay to get any value so I check. Hijack makes it 747 into a pot of 1245. Cutoff raises to 1895! I'm wondering if they both have the higher flushes but it seems unlikely. I take a few seconds to think and decide I have to go with it and shove my remaining 7K stack. Both call! Hijack turns over   for middle set, and Cutoff has   for the nut flush draw. I have 42% equity and the turn and river come   for the triple up to 22K.

Big Hand #3: Few hands later with   in UTG+3. Blinds are 75/150 and I raise to 333. Small blind reraises me to 999. I think sometimes I'd lay this down but this time I was stubborn and called for some reason. Flop comes  . The villain bets around 1.4k in a 2.3k pot and I call with the open ended straight draw, two overs and the backdoor flush draw. Turn comes   giving me the straight. Villain ships his last 2750 into the 5k pot and I call hoping he didn't make the flush. He turns over   and he was a clear favourite preflop and on the flop. River comes   as I fade the flush and knock him/her out.

Big Hand #4: Few hands later with   in the SB. Blinds are 100/200 and we get two limpers from UTG+2 and the Hijack. I usually like to reraise 3x + 1x for each limper. So I make it a little bigger and raise to 1111. Get called in both spots which is a little surprising. Flop comes   which is a nice flop for me, hopefully somebody has a Q. I bet 2222 into a 3758 pot. UTG+2 folds and the Hijack raises to 4600 leaving 9170 behind. I decide to put him to the test and reraise all in. He folds quickly and shows A10off I believe. Very strange bluff on his part, I guess he thought I was weak on my continuation bet but he should've realized how strong my preflop reraise was. Up to 34K in chips now, over 3 times my starting stack.

Big Hand #5:   in the SB again many hands later, deja vu. Blinds are now 125/250 and antes have kicked in. UTG+4 raises to 625. I reraise to 1888. Villain reraises to 4750. Now here I thought for a while. I think shipping it is fine, I'm only worried about AA. My girlfriend was urging me to be cautious for some reason and I decide to see the flop first. Flop comes  , pretty safe flop for me. I bet 5555 into the 10K pot. The villain reraises all in for 17K and I happily call. He shows   for the nut flush draw. Had something like that not come I may not have gotten action so shipping preflop probably would've been better. Turn and river come   and I fade the diamond for the big gain and a nice knockout. In retrospect I think shipping it would've been slightly better as I wouldn't have gotten action on that board if there were no diamonds. I had his/her hand domianted and I think he/she would've gone for it preflop with how aggressive they were playing it. Although I might be wrong and they may have been able to make a big laydown preflop. Up to a nice 55K stack.

Big Hand #6:   in UTG+3. Blinds are still 125/250 and my nice run of high pocket pairs continues. I raise to 555. SB raises all in to 2869. Pretty easy call against a short stack in my opinion. He's just over 10BB so he should be shoving somewhat light. He turns over a typical shove hand in that situation with  . I feel pretty nice until the flop which is  . He's got two pair and has me crushed. Turn comes   giving me any K for a straight and any heart for the flush. Of course since I'm running good now the river comes   to make me the straight. Someone at the table types "unreal" and I knock out the short stack.

Poor Hand #2:   UTG+2. Blinds are 250/500. I raise to 1111 and get a caller in the Hijack right behind me and the BB comes along too. Flop comes  . Normally I continuation bet these types of flops in a heads up pot even when I didn't hit top pair but because it is 3 way I get scard and chicken out. We all check. Turn comes  . We all check again and obviously no one has the flush in my opinion. River comes  . BB checks, I check and the Hijack bets 3500 into a 4063 pot. I should've read this as two pair or trips, or maybe A with a better kicker. BB folds and I get stubborn and call. He turns over   for trips. I hate my play in this hand. I think I needed to continuation bet for ~40% of the flop. I don't think the player with 55 can call and I probably pick up the pot right there. I also don't like my call on the river because of the bet sizing. Almost a full size pot bet. It could be a bluff but it turns out it was a large value bet. Really regretted not continuation betting, would've been my one attempt to pick up that pot and I think it would've worked.

Poor Hand #3:   in the Cutoff. Blinds are 300/600. UTG+2 opens for 1200. I think folding was probably the right play here. I like playing this hand better if there was another caller already. But for some reason I call. SB raises to 3333 and the UTG+2 player calls. I figure I'm priced in now and call as well but I think folding there would've been better considering the SB was playing very tight. Flop comes   and the SB bets 9,999 into a 11,159 pot. Smells like a large overpair to me that fears the straight and flush possibilities. We fold and the player flashes  .

So at this point I'm not really tilted but I'm beating myself up for the last two bad misplays. I'm down about 8000 chips because of them but still at 50K and doing well overall.

Interesting Spot #1:   in the Hijack. Blinds are still 300/600. I open raise to 1333. The Cutoff shoves all in for 28,217. He's a bit of a crazy player and I think I could be ahead of a worse A. But do I really wanna flip for half my stack if he's got a pair? I decide to play it safe and fold. But this hand would continue to haunt me later as I run into this player again later in the tourney when he's one of the chip leaders and giving me awkward stiuations like this on a regular basis. I think calling could've been okay and I might've knocked him out.

Big Hand #7:   in the SB. Blinds are 400/800. Cutoff raises to 2000. Thinking he could be on a steal I decide to 3 bet to 6,666 and they call. Flop comes  . I continuation bet with initiative 8.888 into a 15K pot and they fold. I like the 3 bet there as it gave me initiative. The flop came nice with no A or K and allowed me to take the pot down.

Next hand I get   and reraise a limper and the limper goes away.

Big Hand #8:   right after the 9's and 10's, getting hit over the head with the deck! UTG+1 limps for 800 and I reraise to 3,333. They call and the flop comes  . They check and I continuation bet for 4,444 into 8,766 and they call. Turn comes  . They check and I continue to barrel with 9,999 into 17,654 and they call. Turn comes  . I'm not too scared of the runner-runner flush. They check and I put them all in for ~16K into a 37.6K pot. They call and turn over  . Prime example of why you don't wanna play AJ to a preflop reraise. My Q kicker wins me a huge pot and I'm now up to 96K!

Poor Hand #4:   in BB. Blinds are 700/1400. Button raises to 3500. I thought about 3 betting and probably should have. Chicken out and call. Flop comes  . I check to them and let them continuation bet for 4,200 into a 9,275 pot. I call with top pair and 2nd nut flush draw. Turn comes . Now here is where I should take the lead and put them to the test. Instead I check again and they check behind. Turn comes  . I bet 9,999 into the 17,675 pot feeling pretty confident and get reraised to 19,998. Uh-oh, probably two pair or the straight. I call and they turn over   for the straight. So yeah two mistakes in this hand. I should've 3 bet preflop and then taken the lead and it would have been impossible for them to call on the flop. Or if I took the line I did I really needed to bet again on the turn and they probaby would've folded. Cost me almost 30K, almost 1/3 of my stack for playing it too passively

Big Hand #9:   on the button. Blinds are still 700/1400. Everyone folds to me and I raise to 3,333. Both the blinds call. Flop comes  . They both check and continuation bet 6,666 into the 11.5K pot. SB folds and the BB calls. Turn comes   to give me trips, how convenient! They check and I bet 13,333 into the 24.9k pot and they raise to 26,666. Now here is where I should've just shoved my last 30K in case a scare card comes on the river. It seems unlikely they'd fold after reraising. But sometimes we feel the need to slowplay trips a little and I just call. The river comes  . BB checks and I shove my last 30k into a 78k pot and they fold. I think I missed some value by not reraising on the turn. Shucks. On the bright side I'm up to 108K.

Big Hand #10:  . Ah my ol' favourite this tourney. Blinds are 1250/2500. Everyone folds to my button and I raise to 5,555 and get called by the SB. Flop comes  . SB shoves all in for 14.3K into a 16.2K pot. Sometimes he's got a J there but he's also shoving with QQ, 99, etc in my opinion. I don't take too long to think and call. He turns over   and I'm dominating. Turn and river come   to give me the full boat and the knockout. Up to 120K.

Big Hand #11:   in the Cutoff. Blinds are 1500/3000. Everyone folds to me and I raise to 6,666. The Button calls. Flop comes  , pretty nice flop. I continuation bet 11,111 into 21.2K pot and the Button raises to 24K (they have 200K behind). Not totally sure what they are doing this with, 2 pair? I call. Turn comes   giving me trips I bet 33,333 into a 69K pot and they call. River comes  . I move all in for 48.5k into a 136K pot. They call me down and turn over  . Wow. Their raise on the flop is pretty suspect. The call on the turn with a flush down and the pair of 8's is more understandable. Calling my small all in on the river doesn't seem very good either. I think my opponent played this hand quite poorly and I doubled up because of it. Up to 233K.

Strange Hand #1:   UTG+1. Second pair of jacks I've had in the last 3 hands. I raise to 6,666, the button calls and the SB 3 bets to 22.5K. Now a bit of history on this guy. I had seen him open raise 9,5 offsuit at another table and really didn't respect their raises or reraises. I decide to call and the Button folds. Flop comes  . Not a great flop for my hand as opponents often have an A when reraising. But strangle enough the villain checks and I check behind. The turn comes   and the villain bets 30k in 57.6K. I decide to call being an unbeliever still after the strange lack of continuation bet. The turn comes   and the villain checks and I check behind. The villain turns over  ! They flopped two pair, slowplayed it and then didn't value bet on the river when the club flush came in. The Button who had folded preflop proceeds to question them for 3 betting with A4off and I tell them I saw the person open raise 95off. Good information, that player's table image is now horrible and no one will give them respect for raises or 3 bets.

Big Hand #12:   in the BB. Well I had a big hand earlier with 7's Blinds are 2500/5000. Everyone folds to the SB who raises to 12K. I just call. Flop comes  . Bit of a scary flop and it scares the SB enough that they don't continuation bet. I check behind. Turn comes  , deja vu! As long as he wasn't slowplaying a flush I'm good. They check again which makes me convinced they don't have the flush and I bet 15,555 into a 29K pot andthey call. Turn comes a nice safe  . Didn't want to see a heart. They check again I bet 33,333 into a 60K pot. They call and turn over  . Guess they thought I was bluffing. Don't really like their calls on the turn or river on that kind of board. I could have a weak K, a better J or the trips I did have. Up from 200K to 268K.

Big Hand #13:   in the BB. I've since moved tables again. Blinds are 3000/6000. UTG raises to 15K and I decide to 3 bet to 44,444 and they call. Flop comes  . Nice flop! I continuation with 55,555 into 98k and they call. Turn comes  . I barrel again for 111,111 into a 209K pot and they fold. I'm up to 389K.

Poor Hand #5:   UTG+1. Blinds are 3500/7000 and I raise to 15,555 the person right behind me  calls. Flop comes  and I make a standard continuation bet of 24,444 into 48K. They reraise me all in to 61K. I've played enough low stakes to know that reraises are very rarely bluffs and since I have nothing I should just fold. For some reason I'm stubborn and call the extra 35K into a 134K pot. Opponent turns over   for the trips and ends up turning the   for quads. I wish I would respect reraises more often, it costs me unnecessarily a lot of the time. Down to 288K.

Next hand I get  , raise and get two callers. Everyone folds to my continuation bet on a   board.

Huge Call #1 (Big Hand #14) :   in the SB. Blinds are 4K/8K. I have 266K and the BB has 598K. Everyone folds to me and I raise to 16,666 and the BB shoves his whole stack at me. My first instinct is to instacall but my girlfriend is there to caution me against making rash moves. After thinking for a whole I still feel like he's shoving on me a bit weak because he doesn't believe my SB steal attempt. So I do make the big call for my tournament life. They flip over   and have them dominated Flop comes   and I'm high fiving my girlfriend. Turn is a   and we're praying no Q on the river. River comes   and I double up to 539K with the higher two pair. I don't like the villain's 3 bet shove. I think a 3 bet is actually fine there with A10off but he should make a smaller 3 bet in the 33K-50K range and then fold to my shove.

No big fluctuations for a while. we're fairly deep in the money at this point I believe and people are playing fairly tight, fairly standard.

Big Hand #15:   UTG. Blinds are 7K/14K. I raise to 29,999 and the SB calls. Flop comes  . Ugly flop for my hand. I've got the gutshot straight but you never wanna see the A with pocket Q's. The villain checks  I decide I still have to represent the A and I make a continuation bet of 44,444 into an 85K pot and the villain calls. Turn comes , they check it and I check behind. River comes   and we both check again. Villain turns over  . I was surprised to see it and surprised they called my flop bet with 3 over cards staring them down. What kind of hands am I raising UTG that don't hit that flop or have them beat already? Up to 646K

No big fluctuations while we play shorthanded as we're whittling down to the final table. I manage to steal enough blinds and antes to stay pretty level and I enter the final table with 563K. There are 3 stacks shorter than me.


Interesting Spot #2:   in the Cutoff. Blinds are 10K/20K. Everyone folds to me and I raise to 44,444. The SB reraises to 100K. I should seriously consider folding but it is also quite weak. However 56k isn't insignificant at this point. I decide to call and see the flop. Flop comes   giving me an underpair and an open ender. SB bets 182K into the 242.5K pot. Wow, decision time! I ponder for a while. The pay jumps are quite big now and I really don't want to go out in 9th. I have 413K behind still so I have to put almost half my chips into the pot to see the turn. I decide to fold and wait for a better spot. Which makes my decision to call the preflop reraise look like a bad idea since the flop really couldn't have come that much better unless I flopped trips. Disappointed to have to fold such a nice draw after putting 1/5 of my stack in.

Huge Call #2 (Big Hand #16) :   UTG +2. Blinds are still 10K/20K. UTG +1 opens to 48.6K and I decide to flat call. With 20BB I suppose I could shove in that spot. Tricky spot but I think I prefer the flat call. To make it much trickier the Hijack decides to put in the squeeze play and 3 bets us to 145K. Everyone folds including the first raiser and I'm left with a tough decision. In retrospect I really shouldn't flat call because it means I'm putting almost 1/3 of my stack in. That said if the flop comes A or K I really would prefer not to continue. I decide to flat call putting myself in a really awkward situation of having put ~150K of my 400K stack in. We're still 9 handed and I don't wanna go out! Flop comes  . Should I donk all in? The pot is 391K and I have 260K behind. I check like a scaredy cat. Villain puts me all in and puts me to the test. They are obviously doing this with overpairs. But given how passive I've played it I think they are also continuation betting with AK and perhaps even AQ in this situation. If I fold I'm down to 13BB and I'm scared of getting run over and blinded out. If my girlfriend was watching this hand she might've convinced me fold preflop or at this time. But somehow I muster the courage to call convincing myself this guy could be taking this line with AK and knowing that I'm probably beat at least 50% of the time. The villain turns over  . Turn and river come   and I double up!

In retrospect I think I probably should've folded preflop to the reraise and waited for a better spot. Once I put myself in that tricky situation I'm still not sure the check/call line was correct. None the less the table congratulates me on my big call and I'm in good shape to not finish 9th!

We lose 2 players fairly quickly and I'm guaranteed some nice moolah One shoves  with 8BB and is called by  . The other makes an all in 3 bet with   and is called by the original raiser with   who rivers the J. 

I get blinded down pretty badly and fall back down to the 400k range before another player drops out and now we're 6 handed. He shoves all in for less than 4 BB with   and gets called by   

Big Hand #17:   on the Button. Blinds are 15K/30K now and I have about 14BB left. The UTG player open raises to 75K and I decide I have to go with my pocket 9's so I shove all in for 416K. The UTG player calls and turns over  ! Phew Board comes   and I double up to 899K.

Interesting Spot #3:   in Hijack. Same blinds and I open to 66,666 and the Cutoff comes along. Board comes  . Kind of ugly but I do have the 2nd nut flush draw. I continuation bet 111,111 into a 200K pot and the villain calls. Turn comes  . I check and the villain bets 90k into 423K pot. Kind of fishy and doesn't really scream strength. I decide I have to call with K high and the 2nd nut flush draw. River comes  . I check and the villain bets 195K into the 603K pot. I have 576K behind and only have K high. I fold. What is really interesting about this hand is that they decide to show their cards,  ! So we would've chopped, argh. I still don't think I can make that call and it shows you the power of aggression and position. Also interesting is that if a club had come we would've gotten it all in and I would've been out!

Q's vs 10's knocks out another player and we're down to the final five.

Big Suckout #1 (Big Hand #18) :   on the button. Blinds are 17.5K/35K and I'm down to 477. I decide it's okay to shove my 4's from the button after everyone folds. The SB calls me with   unlucky for me but an autocall for them in that situation I think. Flop comes   and I'm on life support! My girlfriend and I are praying for a 4. Turn comes   and I'm down to a single out since the   would give the villain a flush. Lo and behold the river comes the miraculous   and I apologize to my opponent for the 1 out suckout. Double up to 1 million chips

Chipstacks are fluctuating quite a bit as the blinds are pretty crazy and winning antes and blinds is making a big difference. I fluctuate all the way down to 500K and back up to 900k then back down to 400k

Poor Hand #6:   in the Cutoff. Blinds are 20k/40k and I'm less than 20BB with 715K. I decide to make my standard open to 88,888. In retrospect I don't like it at all. I'm so likely to be called by a mediocre A and then I'm in huge trouble if the flop comes A or K. I should be shoving the hand at this point to protect my equity. Anyways I get a caller and the flop comes  . I feel I have to represent the A even though a lot of A's are in his flat calling range there. I bet 133,333 into the 263K pot and the villain reraises all in. I feel like I have to fold, he likely has an A or trip J's.  Then I am sick to my stomach as I lose so much with a hand that could've at least stolen the valuable blinds and antes had I shoved preflop. Of course maybe the opponent calls and I would've lost that hand anyway. I still think the preflop shove there is preferable to protect from calls from weak A's and hands like KQ.

Big Hand #19:   in the BB. Everyone folds to the SB who 3x's to 120K. I decide shoving my remaining 442K is too strong and might fold him out of the flop. This is the perfect time to slowplay A's in my opinion. I'm usually against slowplaying them but we are 5 handed and in a blind vs blind matchup. I flatcall and the flop comes  . The opponent bets huge, 240K into the 265K pot. I decide I can now reraise all in for 362K since he will be priced in to call anyways. He makes the call and turns over  . He gets an   for a minor sweat but the river is a blank and I double up. The table congratulates me for the nice hand.

Anxious moments as the short stack keep shoving to stay alive. I'm praying for a hand to call them with and finally get one.

Big Hand #20:   on the Button. Blinds are 25K/50K and the short stack shoves for 438K. I reshove for my 730K and we're heads up to knock the shorstack out. Flop comes  ! I see the A first and am momentarily dismayed until I notice I hit trips. They don't hit a miracle and I knock them out.

We play for a while shorthanded and then decide to chop however there is no checkbox to split the prizes. I think its very early AM for my opponents from Eastern Europe/Russia and they may have been playing all night whereas I've been playing all day. We try and call a moderator and Rachelle is useless by telling us to use the checkbox and then peaceing out immediately. We sit out for probably 5-10 mins at least waiting for another moderator before deciding to resume play.

Big Hand #21:  . SB raises me and i call. Flops comes Q high. We bet all the way and he turns over Q6off and I double up.

The shortest stack shoves with   and is called by  . Kings on the flop and turn seal the deal and we're down to 3.

Intersting Spot #4:  . I raise from the SB and the BB calls. Flop comes   and I continuation bet and the BB calls. Turn comes   and we both check. River comes  . Pretty sure I was good so I bet and get called. Villain turns over   for two pair. Whacky hand.

Big Hand #22:   in the BB. With 40K/80K blinds the Button raises to 200K and I 3-bet all in for 1.4 million. He calls with  . Flop comes  . He's ahead with the Q but I've got a 1/3 chance to hit my flush.   comes on the river to keep me alive and double me to 2.88 million.

Big Hand #23:   in the BB. The guy to my right has been very active with all-ins lately. He bets all-in for 1.88 million and I decide my AJs will play well against the range he has been shoving with. He turns over   and I have him dominated! Flop comes  , very unfortunate giving him the open ender. He turns the   and I'm drawing dead to his straight! Ouch

At this point I'm fairly crippled with ~6-7BB. I end up losing when I shove 87s into the BB's K9s and don't suck out.

Finish 3rd for $485 Would've made more from the 4 way split if the moderators had been more competant. Daleroxxu helps the final two players figure out a split which is a bit of an annoyance to the 3rd and 4th place finishers.

Overall a great experience, thanks Pokerstars!