My Second WCOOP Sunday

This was actually the third Sunday of the WCOOP, but since I didn’t get to Montreal until Tuesday of the first week, it was my second. It was also my thirteenth day without a break, which would have been a lot for me at any point in my career but especially now when I’m routinely going weeks on end barely playing at all. I’m sure that contributed to making it my most frustrating day of the series.

The day started nicely enough. It was overcast again, but not raining, so I repeated my Sunday morning ritual of taking coffee, pastry, and Kindle to the nearby park. Once again, a swarm of squirrels cut short my entertainment.

The first WCOOP tournament started at 11, but I wanted to be fresh for the $2K, so I waited until the last minute to late register. That didn’t give me too many big blinds to work with. I managed to get AKo all-in preflop against T9s for 22 BBs, but it didn’t hold up.

None of the other Sunday tournaments I played was going too well either, due to some combination of bad luck and poor play. I lasted a couple hours in the $2K without doing terribly much. It was a tough table, though probably not beyond the pale for a $2K, and the guy on my left was 3-betting me a lot. Finally I lost my cool and shipped a few too many BBs with TT into his QQ.

I managed a min-cash in the Sunday $500, but otherwise the day was a complete whiff. For the first time all series I was not just disappointed but upset about how the day had gone. I decided I needed to make a few changes to how I’d been playing, in particular the way I dealt with 3- and 4-bets.

It seems to me that light 3- and 4-betting, which has been rampant in even small stakes cash games for years now, has finally become widespread among tournament players. Of course the best players have been doing it for a while, but weaker players tended either not to do it or to do it badly. For the first time I was seeing hundreds of players I didn’t recognize 3-betting a wide variety of hands in decent spots with decent sizing. I’m not saying they were getting it perfectly right, but it was enough to render worse than useless my default assumptions about how to play against unknowns in a large-field MTT.

I also decided that I needed a day off, and I intended to take one on Monday, but the weather was lousy and I was eager to try out some of the adaptations I’d been thinking about the previous night, so I ended up playing after all. As I’ve already reported here, that turned out pretty well.