For those that didn’t know, yesterday, as part of Pokerstars birthday celebrations, there was a $5,000,000 tournament [guaranteed] that finally ended up with a near $12,000,000 prize pot. First place also carried with it a brand spanking new Lamborghini as well, valued at ? I know of a couple of players who were prepared to fork out the $230 buy in, but as yet am not sure how well they fared. I am 99% confident that one player lost his net connection in the run up to the game and it looks like he didn’t make it to the starting line.
There was somewhere in the region of 60,000 players who began the tournament and that is a huge field for an online game.
I was hoping to rail early on, which I did and saw a player I know sitting with 21,000 chip stack and looking ok. In field of this size, every chip counts and to progress when the blinds start getting big, you need a decent stack. I think there were somewhere in the region of 7,000 places payed with the first of those getting their buy in back plus some additional dollars. The top spot payed $1.8 million plus the car and second place was circa $1.2 million.
It was obviously going to be a very long game. I railed until about midnight, then hit the sack, the little one is always due on a Monday morning around 8am, so its advisable to get a decent nights sleep, especially when we know she is staying with us Monday night and all day Tuesday. Its rewarding, but very tiring and we also had her for a few hours on Sunday afternoon so mom and dad could view some more houses and have a couple of viewings of their house as well. So trying to stay up half the night is not a very smart idea when all that is going on.
Anyway, this morning the little one arrives as per usual and we have our breakfast and play a bit until her other grandma picks her up about 10.30am and takes her for the day, until 5.30pm ish. When the little one left, I decided to see who had won the tournament on PokerStars and was amazed to see 5 runners still playing, something like 13 hours later. So I stayed with it and watched until the HU battle which was a cagey affair. I am not sure what I expected at this level, but I was surprised by some of the plays I saw. However, it was good to see a player from the UK take on a player from the USA HU for the title. The player from the USA had almost a 3:1 chip lead and was a big favourite to take the game. The final hand came down to the UK player shoving all in [150 million chips] with 77 only to be called by the big stack from the USA with 99. The 99 held and there you have the winner, some 14 hours after the game began. But I am sure that the money and the car were well worth the effort.
Its something every poker player dreams of. To be sat at the final table of a major event and take down a huge prize. It’s what we all play for really.
I did a search on the player from the UK on two different sites and the stats didn’t really indicate an outstanding player. That in itself was surprising, but he can obviously play a bit. You need to be a good player to get through a field of that size, but you also need you share of good luck as well. Anyone who tells you otherwise is a liar. You cannot win any event like that without a decent amount of luck along the way. You will have times when your JJ holds against QQ. I saw a couple of hands when railing that the best hand lost and that often happens at a game. AA wins 80% of the time, but if it’s not your day, then the 20% of times it loses will probably hit you and there’s nothing anyone can do about it. Variance happens, get used to it.
But with a game that only has a set amount of plays open to any one player, its hard to make plays that are sheer bluffs or against what usually happens. To find a players range of hands he is prepared to play, doesn’t take all that long if you know what to look for. Once you have some idea of that range, you can adjust your own game to take advantage of what you know. But, you wont get it right 100% of the time because a decent player will throw in a bluff, they will check raise you and squeeze you, they will 3 and 4bet you with air one hand, then 20 hands later with AA. So, with a limited amount of responses you can make, you have to hope to get it more right than wrong in a game like that and ride your luck.
It was enjoyable to watch. It was good to see it won by someone other than a top pro player and there were some playing. I know of four PokerStars pro’s who were playing and you can bet there were plenty more. Towards the end, a few comments popped into the chat box from a couple of pro’s who had hung around to rail.
So next time to want or yearn to earn yourself some major money, maybe step up to the felt and invest in some poker and see where it takes you, so long as you know how to play, who knows, it might just be your day. Someone has got to win the money, why not you, or me?