Like many who play on PokerStars, “19_Kumite_79” of Norway is a part-time player with a full-time job, meaning he plays when he can but generally has other commitments to fulfill as well.
“I do manage to get a lot of online hours in, anyway,” he laughed when speaking to PokerStars Blog this past weekend.
For such players, even just being able to play poker means being having to be both persistent and patient. 19_Kumite_79 demonstrated both of those qualities — and got in a lot of hours at the tables — last week during WCOOP Event #27-L.
The $11 buy-in no-limit hold’em event drew a whopping 7,825 entries and ultimately took about 15 hours to complete over two days (if I’m counting correctly).
19_Kumite_79 played all 15 of them, because he made it all of the way to the very last hand of the event which he won, earning himself a handsome $10,807.66 first prize as a reward for such prodigious effort.
He thinks it is probably the biggest cash of his poker “career” (as it were). “This was definitely the biggest field tournament I’ve ever won, and also my first two-day tournament. And I’m pretty sure it’s my biggest cash as well. I’m really happy with the win.”
Back at the start, it didn’t look as though 19_Kumite_79 was going to last long at all in the freezeout after he got knocked back on his heels early.
“The first day started really badly, actually. I had an awful start. I was struggling, and I was close to dusting. I had like four big blinds left,” he recalls.
“But I managed to win a couple of triple-ups and that got me back up to 100K or so, and from there it went steady. I never really looked back from there. I increased my stack until the day was ending. I think I finished Day 1 with 2.8 million, so I had like 50-60 big blinds with 115 runners left to play — quite a good finish to the first day and a good way to start Day 2 off.”
Day 2 began much more smoothly, and soon 19_Kumite_79 was up around 4-5 million and in a great position to pick his targets.
“I got some cards and found some very nice spots,” he says. “I tried to fight with the people I had covered and not the ones who had the same stack size as me. I played it quite safe quite a few times, actually.”
By the time he reached the final table he was in the middle of the pack, but the stacks were still deep, allowing 19_Kumite_79 to remain patient.
“It wasn’t stressful. I had time to pick my spots, so it wasn’t like I was all-in or folding.”
A rough patch again knocked 19_Kumite_79 back down to a short stack.”I had a few pots where I got unlucky, then I really had to get my head together,” he says. But like he did at the beginning of the tournament, he was persistent.
He turned it around, built back up again, then found himself locked in a long heads-up battle with “00_Blackout” of Brazil that ended up lasting over an hour.
“He was tough and I was really struggling at times,” 19_Kumite_79 says. “I was trying to small play him, trying to see some flops and turns and rivers and to navigate from there. But I was getting pretty bad cards and he always managed to get something from the boards, so I never got him off.”
Eventually both players got worn down, 19_Kumite_79, believes, evidenced in part by the hands with which they ultimately got all their chips in the middle — A-5 for 19_Kumite_79 and A-3 for 00_Blackout.
“The flop came like J-2-4, and I hit my 3 on the river to make a straight, so that was a nice way to end it,” he reports.
19_Kumite_79 says he plans to play more WCOOP events this year when he can. “There are tough fields,” he says, “but great structures so I’m pretty happy to play them.”
Indeed, as 19_Kumite_79’s Event #27-L shows, it’s possible to negotiate your way through the tough fields and long events, as long as you can muster up some persistence and patience.
CHECK OUT MORE WCOOP WINNER INTERVIEWS
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