Throughout the Spring Championship of Online Poker (SCOOP) 2020, we’ve been bringing you daily round-ups of all the latest winners and prizes, as well as interviews with many of the champs.
If you’ve been following the action, you’ve probably thought to yourself: “That seems pretty good. I think I’d like to win a SCOOP event and become a champion myself.”
Of course, as we all know, that’s easier said than done. Still, you can gain the upper hand on your opponents with a little work on your game, and who better to ask for advice than 2020 SCOOP champions?
We wondered, what common mistakes do players make in SCOOP events?
A common quality among the SCOOP champions we spoke with was an ability to adjust to the situation within the tournament at hand. That could mean remaining patient in big-field events with nice, slow structures, or adapting to the skill level of the players at your table.
For Charlie “Epiphany77” Carrel, who took down the 2017 SCOOP Main Event for $1.2 million then won another title this year in #70-H $530 NLHE PKO for $111,380, keeping a close eye on the behaviour of your tablemates and adjusting your play accordingly is crucial.
“People have started to get lost in game theory strategies,” Carrel says. “You’ll see people throwing their stacks away because the charts told them to when there are six people on their table just waiting to give them chips.”
One reason why players might be failing to adjust is that they’re playing too many tables, therefore missing valuable information.
“I don’t play a lot of tables when I play a big series like SCOOP,” says Kami “drkamikaze1” Chisholm, champion of #71-L $11 NLO8 Turbo for $7,574. “I know from experience that my ROI decreases dramatically for every table that I add, so I never play more than six at a time. The day I won my SCOOP title I only played two tournaments, the NLO8 low and medium, and I busted the medium very quickly.”
As you’d expect, SCOOP events often have enormous fields (after all, you’re not the only one who dreams of becoming a SCOOP champion). But they also have excellent structures, and this gives players more time to make moves.
“I would say the most common mistake players make is lacking patience,” says Austin “DaCus3” Marks, winner of 71-M: $109 NLO8, 6-Max, Turbo for $14,081.
“The structures are very good and forgiving but many people lack the discipline to remain patient for tournaments that take two days and 12-16 hours to complete.”
“In critical situations, players play too loose,” sats Odintoi “albert28” Florian, winner of 01-M: $22 NLHE, Phase Event for $84,876. “They don’t know how to fold when they have a weaker hand. In general, the human mind struggles to accept losses and they make calls to save face, but end up losing more than if they’d just folded.”
Preben “Prebz” Stokkan, who took down 62-H: $5,200 NLHE, PKO, High Roller for a massive $275,947 score, agrees. “There are some players who get a lot of chips and punt them off in bad spots,” he says.
But more commonly, he sees inexperienced players “playing far too tight and passive, especially in the late stages of tournaments.”
This is also the most common mistake seen by “Kjonesgg”, who was victorious in 01-L: $2.20 NLHE, Phase Event for $19,379. “Players simply don’t bluff enough and fold a lot of hands.”
Winning a SCOOP title is an incredible accomplishment, but as we said at the beginning of this article, it’s easier said than done.
Marcelo “Portaluppi.7” Crippa, winner of 69-M: $109 NLHE, Afternoon Deep Stack for $44,863, believes many players build up their expectations about one specific tournament or about making a Day 2.
“This can be very damaging to the remaining days of the series, as it will be very frustrating when things do not go as expected,” he says.
“Smaller fields means more cashes and more wins,” adds Chisholm, who won her title in NLO8. “The variance is huge for a big series like SCOOP. The fields are much smaller in the mixed games versus NLHE, not to mention they haven’t been solved to the extent that NLHE has, which creates much bigger edges for good players.”
“Players crush their bankrolls playing too big these very large fields.”
“The biggest mistake is not to have bankroll management” agrees Robert “4bet_me” Rohr, who took down 68-M: $109 NLHE, 6-Max, Turbo, Shootout for $20,736.
“But sometimes it is worth taking a shot.”