The Spring Championship of Online Poker (SCOOP) is just around the corner and will kick-off on April 30. There’s $85,000,000 in guaranteed prize money during the series so you can expect that this will be arguably the most hotly contested online poker series of the year.
Keeping that in mind, we wanted to get inside the mind of a Pro poker player to see how they prepare for such a huge series. We caught up with four PokerStars Team Pro’s and put a few questions to them asking what they do to prepare.
Team Pro Online members (clockwise): Fintan ‘easywithaces’ Hand, Ben ‘Spraggy’ Spragg, Felix ‘xflixx’ Schneiders, Lex ‘L. Veldhuis’ Veldhuis
1. SCOOP is coming up on April 30th with more than $85M guaranteed during the Series. How will you be preparing for the series, and what percentage of the $85M will you be taking home?
Felix ‘xflixx’ Schneiders: “For this year’s SCOOP I will be preparing with a light schedule of all the events that I love the most – which will primarily be PKOs and afternoon events. I will stream all of them and, since I’m giving away plenty of tickets for the $109 main event, our plan is to flood the final table with GRND community members! As my sponsor gave me a nice 6 year Twitch anniversary present by putting me in the $1050 mainevent too, my plan is to make the first six-digit score of my career! So let’s stay humble and say 0.12% of the $85.000.000 is mine!”
Fintan ‘EasyWithAces’ Hand: “I’ll try get out once a day for a walk with the dog to clear my head. I will eat as cleanly as I can, and I’m lucky enough to have H who will take care of that! I’ve also started journalling, which will hopefully put me in a good head space for the long days.”
Ben ‘Spraggy’ Spragg: “Limited preparation required for me. I keep my body in the top 1% of a physical fitness year round. Healthy body, healthy mind. $85m is an absurd amount to play for – just a small piece of the pie will keep me happy.”
Lex ‘L. Veldhuis’ Veldhuis: “What I’ve really learned from last few editions is that’s it important for me not to do too much the week before. It’s really important to charge the batteries! This year I planned to do absolutely nothing, except for some studying here and there. Therefore I’m convinced I’m going to win 2% of the $85 million out there.”
2. Will you be playing many of the events, and what events are you most looking forward to playing?
Felix ‘xflixx’ Schneiders: “I will be playing only a select few events distributed over the days, with breaks. I am most looking forward to the Sunday Special events – like the Kickoff, Warmup, and Million – as well as the Progressive Knockout events, as those are my favorite formats.”
Fintan ‘EasyWithAces’ Hand: “I’ll be playing the majority of the Hold’em events and I’ll mix in some other games too. I can’t wait for the main and some of the higher buy-in game I’ll be playing this year.”
Ben ‘Spraggy’ Spragg: “I’m gonna fire as much as I can, as much as time and mental and physical well being will allow. The Big Sundays being the most exciting.”
Lex ‘L. Veldhuis’ Veldhuis: ”I will usually play the first two Hold’em and PLO events of the day, most of the High ones in those too. For the early Mixed Game events, I might play some small ones for variety on stream and to try something different, which is what SCOOP is perfect for! I’m looking forward the most to the Sunday SCOOP’s because they get absolutely massive. They’re the biggest tournaments online and every year it’s a thrill to compete in them. Apart from that, the Bounty Builders, which are just perfect for streaming, and coincidentally my favorite format.
3. At PokerStars School, we will have many new players who are playing SCOOP for the first time. Do you remember the first time you played SCOOP, and what advice would you give to these players?
Felix ‘xflixx’ Schneiders: “My best piece of advice is ”be patient”. With huge fields and many new, inexperienced players or ones that just play for fun and gamble around, you need to play solid poker and this starts by selecting good starting hands preflop. Don’t rush or force things. You need to be there at the end of the tournament to win it so prepare for hours and days of GRNDing!”
Fintan ‘EasyWithAces’ Hand: “Enjoy it! It’s easy to get fixated on trying to get a trophy. Don’t get me wrong, I’d love one, but this is the biggest SCOOP ever with the largest prize pools. It only comes around once a year so have some fun and hopefully it ends up becoming a profitable few weeks too.”
Ben ‘Spraggy’ Spragg: “First time I played a proper SCOOP was only a few years ago since I was a cash game player before. My advice is to not underestimate it – series like this come at you fast! Play satellites to try and ease the burden on your bankroll, don’t just try and spam everything from the get-go if your mental game or your bankroll can’t handle it. The cliche remains; it’s a marathon, not a sprint.”
Lex ‘L. Veldhuis’ Veldhuis: ”One of the first times I played SCOOP, I wanted to play it all! I was already playing pretty high stakes and I had a huge FOMO in terms of titles and deep runs. I started playing some of the bigger mixed games too and got absolutely crushed. My advice is, if you want to try something different then play the low ones, mainly stick to your game and don’t go outside of your bankroll too much. If you $5-$20 tournaments, you can’t just start playing $215 tournaments every day. Try some satellites, or be comforted with the fact there will be another COOP and you can use this as motivation to improve and move up stakes before the next one.
4. Knocking out a fellow Twitch streamer always seems to create a buzz, which streamer would you most like to bust?
Felix ‘xflixx’ Schneiders: “I would like to take out Lex to make him go “mimimi” on stream like a beaker. Spraggy cause he always bluffs me on stream and Fintan cause I need revenge on that clip he tweeted of him busting me once.”
Fintan ‘EasyWithAces’ Hand: “Lex, first hand of the $10k if we both satty in. The clip would be gold and it’d have the potential to be my new sub sound.”
Ben ‘Spraggy’ Spragg: “Xflixx. He’s too nice.”
Lex ‘L. Veldhuis’ Veldhuis: My go-to answer here would pretty much always be Spraggy. However, I have to say that busting during SCOOP or during a big run in events like this is so painful, especially if you add in everything from the stream, that I don’t wish that on anyone. Maybe I’m getting softer with old age. Ahh no fuck it, I’d love to bust Spraggy.
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