This event was on my "maybe" list when I first saw the WCOOP schedule, but when the time came I decided to play.
For those of you who don't know what a "shootout" is, the way it works is you start with a table of players and they play until just one is left. Then that player moves on to the next round where everyone at the second table is a winner from the first round and so on.
In this case we started with 1296 players split into 216 table of six. The 216 players who won their first table were then put at 36 tables. The 36 winners of those second round tables were put at six tables and the winner of those tables came together at the final table.
We started with 5,000 chips, 20 minute levels and blinds of 25/50. I caught my first big break when I got dealt K7 suited in the big blind and called the small blind's raise. It turned out that he had K6 and the flop came down K 7 6! It's pretty hard to screw a hand like this and when the dust cleared I had 12,300 chips.
A little while later I took AQ up against A8 and despite an 8 on the flop I took down the pot and had a commanding lead of 17,000 chips to my opponent's stacks of 9,000 and 4,000.
By this time the blinds were all the way up to 40/80! There was zero blind pressure and I did my best to stay patient and wait for really good spots to get my chips in.
By the time we got to heads up I had a 21,000 to 9,000 chip advantage and it didn't take long for me to stick it to my opponent.
On the 175th hand of round 1 I raised to 240 with A2, my opponent reraised to 560 and I just called. The flop came down 2 2 7 - BINGO! I was expecting my opponent to bet and I wasn't sure if I should put in a raise on the flop or wait for the turn. To my surprise he checked and I decided to check behind him. The turn was the ten of spades putting two spades on the board and again my opponent checked.
I thought there was a chance he had a hand like KK and was really slow playing it hard (if that is a thing you can do hard). If I was going to have any chance of getting his whole stack I needed to bet now and build the pot. I made a pot sized bet and to my delight my opponent moved all in! When he turned over his hand he showed KQ of spades meaning he had 7 outs, but he missed and I was on to round 2!
Winning my first table was worth $637. At the second table the only thing that mattered was winning since 6th place though 2nd place all paid the same amount. 1st place however was worth just north of $2,700 plus the chance to play at another table where winning would be worth at least $9,600.
At my second table I got off to another great start. Again we started with the same structure - 6 players with 5,000 chips and blinds of 25/50. Early on I took A9 up against AK, the flop came down A 9 7, and I doubled up. A little later I took down a player who made a huge all in raise with K2 on a king high flop. I almost folded, but decided to call with my KQ. After winning that one I had 13,000 chips.
At my peak I had 15,000 chips against stacks of 13,000 and 2,000. But the guy with 2,000 made a comeback and I slipped big time.
The critical hand came after we'd been playing 3 handed for over 100 hands. I was in the small blind with 55 and the button raised to 300. I made it 900 to go and he moved all in for 5,500. I had about 7,500 when the hand started so I'd be left with 2,000 if I called and lost. Normally I'd fold 55 in a heartbeat here, but this was the 4th consecutive time that this guy hand moved all in on me when I reraised him. I'd folded the previous three times and I felt like it was time to take a stand.
When the cards got turned over he had KT and flopped a king. My last 2,000 chips went out the door two hands later when I got them in with AT against AK.
I'm happy to have an early cash under my belt, but I really felt like I was on my way to winning the second round. I just didn't quite get the job done.
$637 is better than a kick in the nuts as they say. Back in action tomorrow with $320 ante up!