WCOOP 2013: Liv Boeree’s Diary

With an EPT San Remo win and PokerStars Sunday Warm-Up title, Team PokerStars Pro Liv Boeree has tasted victory both live and online. But what does the UK’s golden girl make of the World Championship of Online Poker?

Liv Boeree: The World Championship of Online Poker has definitely cemented itself as the premier online tournament series and is comparable to established events such as the WSOP. Nowhere else online is there such a comprehensive mix of games, disciplines and buy-ins that enables players of all abilities, backgrounds and bankrolls a chance to prove their skills. Many people dream of winning major titles and huge prize money, but don’t have the freedom to travel to major live events like the European Poker Tour or the WSOP. WCOOP offers them the chance to win a prestigious title from their own home.

Not going out

I mostly grinded home alone in London this WCOOP. I didn’t make any specific plans other than to keep a very quiet social life… a few of my non-poker friends have been wondering what has happened to me!

I have to say, though, I do struggle with the time zone and am envious of my poker friends who are based out of the East Coast. However, I’ve always been a night owl and hearing the relative quiet of the city around me, grinding peacefully away, can be a pleasant experience. Plus, if the sun starts coming up, then you know it’s been a good night! When it comes to food and drink, I try and have a well-stocked fridge for those essential five-minute snack breaks.

Early success

I got off to a great start by coming fifth in the six-max shootout [Event 5] – that was a fun tournament for sure. I had to win three tables to get to the final table and it was a good experience for me as it involved a lot of deep-stacked, short-handed play, including two very lengthy heads-up matches, which is something I rarely get to play in normal multi-table tournaments.

Arguably the most exciting hand was heads-up on round three where was relatively short. I four-bet shoved with top pair on a J-7-4 flop, which had two spades, and got called by Q-7. It wasn’t the standard play, but against this opponent it was the way to go. Fortunately I held, doubled up, and went on to win. The standard of the field was very mixed. There were some excellent players but also some who were very inexperienced short-handed, which is where the real fun is to be had!

Obviously, I was disappointed to get so close and miss out on the bracelet, but I was extremely proud of getting that far only to get coolered five-handed. It was a morale (and bankroll) booster at the start of the series, which is definitely the best time to get a score! It’s also made me keen to play more deep-stacked shootout formats. 

Satellite slump

I played quite a few satellites to some of the bigger events, but sadly, I got absolutely killed in them! I bubbled five $10k SCOOP main event seats back in the spring, and this WCOOP hasn’t been much better. I just can’t seem to win the 80/20 hands when it matters! But that’s variance, and the satellites are still great value. [Liv did win a WCOOP $5,200 main event seat, which she turned into $26,662 by coming 52nd]

Mixing it up

I mostly stick to hold’em although I’ve dabbled in a couple of other variants this WCOOP, most notably the Courchevel Hi/ Lo. I registered for it on a whim and realised I had no idea what the rules were – I found the one card sitting face-up in the middle of the table preflop hilarious! After a quick Google, the rules became apparent, and it was fun to try and come up with some on-the-spot strategy. Sadly, it didn’t work out well as I only lasted an hour. Still, you live and learn! This WCOOP I haven’t had a whole lot of time to work on my mixed games so I’ve not played any. That being said, they are obviously a better shot to win a bracelet than the huge no-limit hold’em fields.

Fame game

I’d definitely say I get more action because of the Red Spade and Team Pro status on PokerStars. At least, my chat box does. I’ve had all sorts of weird and wonderful requests and misspellings of my name in the chat box – if only I could reveal them all here! Obviously there are a few players that sit back and avoid tangling, but the majority like to get involved, which can create great action. At the higher stakes, though, it tends not to matter, as those players aren’t fazed by a Red Spade.

World ambitions?

Doing well in the WCOOP is always high up on my list of priorities for the year, but this year it’s been more of a learning experience than usual as I’ve been getting back to work on my game during August. It wouldn’t be fair of me to say it’s as high on my agenda as being, say, the first double EPT winner, but a WCOOP title would still mean a tremendous amount to me.

There are so many hundreds of thousands of people taking part in the WCOOP now that it has a momentum and uniqueness of its own. I hosted the final table of the $10k High Roller, and there’s now a counter on each final table showing how many viewers there are. At one point there were over 8,000! Surely that speaks for itself as to how successful the series has become.

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