On Sunday of last week, the PokerStars tables came alive for the most exciting time of the year -- WCOOP. The epic series of events kicked off very early in the morning with Event 1, the $215 No-Limit Hold'em Six-Max. A great crowd of 7,500 came to seek their part of the $1.5 million prize pool, and thusly began the tenth annual World Championship of Online Poker.
As the starting day approached, Twitter also received a shot of new-found life, and the members of Team PokerStars Pro were particularly active in taking their thoughts to the world of social media. Spectators were railing their friends on various forms of social media, and the popular Radio WCOOP provided a great soundtrack to the ever-scrolling Twitter stream throughout the week.
The fans weren't the only ones on the sidelines, either. Team PokerStars Pro Jason Mercier cleared up any doubt on Saturday when he tweeted: "To everyone that is asking... No I will not be playing WCOOP this year. :/" Mercier instead partook in EPT Barcelona. Thanks for giving others a chance to win something Jason.
The rest of the lucky Team were gearing up for a long week, though. And with a good bit of excitement. Defending WSOP Main Event champ Jonathan Duhamel tweeted: "WCOOP starts in 14 hrs, damn I can't wait!! 10k event to start the series, that's pretty good!!! @PokerStars."
Fellow Canadian--and one of the best Twitter ambassadors--Pat Pezzin, was equally excited: "1 day to go untill #WCOOP starts on @PokerStars ! On tap tomorrow are Events 1-3, all NL & all 3 at least $1 Million Guaranteed prize pool!"
If it's excitement you're after, you should make sure you have Andre Akkari in your feed. Our Portuguese isn't that great, but we certainly got the gist of, "Amanhã começa o WCOOP, Vamooooooo Brasilllll!!!!!" And it seems "objetive: bracelete" is fairly self-explanatory as well.
The WCOOP comes as more of a mixed bag for some of the others, though. For starters, it comes with a change of sleep schedule for Lex "Raszi" Velduis: "Been a while since I woke up at 9 am. Going to train and then do as many chores and errands today as possible. #WCOOP all day tomorrow."
Viktor "Isildur1" Blom will be getting a bit less sleep, too: "hmm is it #wcoop time yet?? :) playing first 3 tomorrow I think then some nearly every day...maybe no sleep for a while for me zzzz."
"Let the Games Begin!"
Let's allow Pat Pezzin to officially open the ceremonies via Twitter. On Sunday morning, he announced: "Let the Games Begin! 2011 #WCOOP is under way on @PokerStars with over 5200 players in Event 1 $200NL 6 Max. Good luck to everyone playing."
Liv Boeree was getting her satellite on from a new flat in London: "WCOOP STARTS TODAY!!! Just woke up and trying to win a seat to today's High Roller."
We're not even sure how to preface Team PokerStars Online's Shane "Shaniac" Schleger's start-of-WCOOP tweet: "All excited n s**t like a kid on Christmas. #WCOOP."
And once again, Akkari's excitement can be understood in any language. He tweeted, "Simbora para o QG, vai comecar a festa! iiiiiitsss timeeee! WCOOP!!"
The first few days saw the airing of plenty of frustrations and bad-beat stories to the Twitter audiences. On the first break of the day, Duhamel tweeted about how good it felt to be playing online again, but the rosy feelings didn't last long. A short while later came these tweets: "Pretty quick bust from #WCOOP Event 1...got it in pre-flop with TT against a pretty good maniac but he had AA...feeling good for Event 2, 10k." And then: "Busted #WCOOP1 and #WCOOP3 at the exact same time...pretty bad feeling lol, got some others going, like the 1k Second Chance, not over yet!!" For what it's worth, Duhamel did finish fourth in that second chance, but we assume the, "hèrz;msogwjeŝzsdoijgn;zdjfgèDSPKGhçteàaejkj" tweet meant he wasn't thrilled about that result, either.
Duhamel continued to have a rough go of it the next few days, tweeting: "Wow already busted #WCOOP4 and #WCOOP5, nut vs 2nd nut in the shootout....I have the feeling I'm not playing my best game now, so tired..." the following morning. Later that day, he added, "#WCOOP6 : 1 buy-in, 16 rebuys later, still sitting here with the starting stack....should I've stayed in bed??" and "So sick, 1 buy in, 24 rebuys, 1 add-on, still sitting here with the starting stack...0 for 12 in all-ins bouyaaaaa #200$tourneythatcost5200$."
Other tweets of frustration
Veldhuis: "Took a small break. Went on monkey tilt playing PLO. Was steaming so hard I didn't even look at #WCOOP Stud. Played every hand like Stud hi"
Daniel Negreanu: "@DNChips busted #WCOOP1 KQ all in vs JJ and didn't hit. Hanging in there in the high roller with just 1690 blinds 50-100. Annoyed I goofed." and "Out of #WCOOP3 got it in 81% fav after flop Ac6c vs Kc7c flop 8c5h4c. Made the money, but King on river crushed dreams of a deeper run."
Daleroxxu: "Got 88 vs 77 all in pre vs 'OLD TIME GIN' for 35K pot and he hit the 7 on the turn *PUUUUKE* :( :( :( :( #WCOOP-1 down to 15K fml." The next day, Philip took another bad one: "**PUKE** Sick beat to bust #WCOOP-04 PLO. Got it in on flop with boat for 135BB pot needing to fade 3 outs."
Shaniac was shaking off the rust on both his poker game and his stand-up comedy routine: "Just folded JJ preflop--CAN ANYONE TELL ME IF THAT IS CORRECT? #Rust. #Kinda."
And then there's Akkari with one for his fans: "Que coisa feia que aconteceu agora no WCOOP, quem viu? Meu Deusssss!"
Twitter is a fine place for a poker player to air their grievances, but it was refreshing to see members of the PokerStars family finding some good news to tweet about. Liv Boeree got off to a hot start right in Event 1, tweeting: "This could be a very good day for Boerphee... I'm 32/135 left in WCOOP 1 and @KevinMacPhee is chip leader of the 10k High roller WCOOP2!" MacPhee went on to finish third in that High Roller for $235,000, and Boeree gave us her update at the end of the night: "Reached the end of the day with 600k, lost a huge one at the end with AA vs...5 3. Only 37 left out of 7,500 though! #onetime". It didn't pan out in the end. Boeree's final tweet of the event: "Finished 18th lost a big flip with 88 vs AK :("
The Canadians were running hot. Event 9 was a $1,050 No-Limit Hold'em event, and we were following along with Pat Pezzin as he charged toward the bracelet. Forty-nine players survived to make Day 2, and Pezzin was quickly sitting at the final table second in chips. We should let him tell you about it himself:
"Good start on @PokerStars of day 2 of #wcoop 9 1k nl . Im 12th out of 49 left with 260k and avg 190k"
"final table of #wcoop 9 1k nl , starting in 2nd in chips with $216k to the winner plus the wcoop title #onetime"
"7 left in #WCOOP9 1K NL still 2nd in chips even though i doubled up AQ with Kings #whenwillitend"
"6 left in #WCOOP9 1K NL Im chipleader #onetime"
"So close , finished 3rd in #WCOOP9 but $117K has me smiling."
Congratulations came quickly from Duhamel, who did finally manage a cash and a "#todayisabetterdaythanyesterday" in his first-ever five-card draw event. He tweeted: "Good Job @PatPezzin in #WCOOP9 !! Nice 3rd place!! Him and @RealKidPoker are crushing this #WCOOP so far! Good job Team Pro Canada !"
Speaking of Kid Poker, Negreanu has had the award-winning first week of the WCOOP. He cashed in Event 8, busting thusly: "@DNChips SICK! Out of #WCOOP8 72nd place 3rd straight day in money. Got AA cracked then KQJT7 spades lost to same guys full house." Negreanu's cash streak continued for another two days as he racked up scores in Events 11 and 14 to go five-for-five in days with cashes.
And in the Canadian transplant category, Shane Schleger had himself a fine first week, as well. Shaniac made the second rounds of both six-max shootouts, Event 5 and its second-chance baby brother. He would go on make the third round of the big one, but he didn't intend to stop there. "Heads up with a healthy lead to make my first ever #WCOOP final table!" was good news, but it came with some unfortunate foreshadowing. "Eeks lost the lead, serves me right for tweeting about it I guess. #WCOOP." The bad news continued a short while later: "Holy s***, one of the worst HU losses of my poker career. AJ>AK for 26k/30K in play. J on turn. Woulda been a nice way to start. #WCOOP."
Other good news tweets
Team PokerStars Online's Randy 'nanonoko' Lew: "Found Canadian McDonalds! Thai supreme chicken sandwich??? What the??"
nanonoko: "Just played a session online! My hands are tired from all of the clicking and trackpad usage but i'll get use to it!"
Negreanu: "Poker is flourishing all over the globe 10,107 entries in the $215 PokerStars tournament."
Negreanu: "I'm the best suitcase packer in the world. Seriously. If there were tournaments I'd win everyone... as long as there was no luck involved."
Negreanu: "Weird spot. Just played a guy a 5k HU match on Stars but he never showed up. I sent it back, he must have had log in issues. #rightthingtodo"
And, of course, Akkari: "VAMOOOOOO BRASILLLLLLL!!!!!!!"