There are not many live poker tournaments to keep players hooked this month and now that the European Poker Tour Prague has ended, most are simply waiting for the Aussie Millions beginning January. Another important tournament that will start in early 2014 is PokerStars Caribbean Adventure, but then again, some are impatient and don’t want to wait until January to play in a major tournament.
The poker company presents them with an excellent alternative, as the WCOOP Challenge Series runs for three consecutive days, starting on Friday, December 20 and concluding on Sunday evening. What makes this tournament special is that it consists of a string of events that have buy-ins ranging from the affordable $109 to prohibitive limits that can go as high as $2100.
In a nutshell, all poker players who don’t mind trading live events for online tournaments will have something to look forward to this month. The prizes are significant and with the prize pool be in excess of $8 million, there is plenty of money to go around for those who make a deep run. The first tournament starts on Friday at noon and it represents a warm-up for the more expensive events scheduled for Saturday
These particular tournaments that go by the name of WCOOP Challenges 3 and WCOOP Challenges 4 have a buy-in of $700 and $1050. Both events have a prize pool of $1 million guaranteed, which is expected to be exceeded as a result of many players buying in. The same goes for the Sunday tournaments that precede the $2,100 Main Event which will start at 3 PM.
In this case, the prize pool exceeds $3 million and the winner will win a few hundred thousand dollars and also a commemorative chip that is worth more than $5000. Those who have nothing better to do this weekend and plan on spending some quality time at the poker tables, have no reason to look elsewhere.
PokerStars has posted the full schedule for the event so those interested should check it out here: http://www.pokerstarsblog.com/2013/wcoop-challenge-series-starts-friday-144547.html.
The UKIPT Nottingham Main Event is the most important poker tournaments in Europe this month and it began in the final days of November. Given the size of this tournament, Day 1 was divided in three days and hundreds of players had to play through successive rounds before making the final table.
This is a shorthanded tournament, which means that Day three ended when six players were left in the game and Clifton-Burraway is the chip leader. He has a significant advantage over the runner-up, being the only one to have crossed the 2 million chips threshold. With 2.2 million chips to his name, he has a good chance of making the heads-up, but the competition is fierce and Tony Salmon is the one that he should be most concerned of.
Tony has nearly 2,000,000 chips as well and played aggressive poker in the previous day, increasing his stack dramatically in the final hours of play. Former chip leader Tim Hong Wong barely made it to the final table and with less than half a million chips he is very likely to be the first sent to the rail. The reason for why his chances are slim is that blinds are rising quickly and he has few opportunities to double up.
At one point, he was regarded as the overwhelming favorite to finish the second day as chip leader, but he failed in the last five hands. Even more disappointed are Christopher Brammer and Richard Lawlor who were going strong throughout Day 3, but none of them made the final table and were eliminated before and during the bubble stage. They did their very best to survive the bubble, but they were dealt the kind of cards that make it impossible to fold pre-flop and shoved their chips in the middle.
Another player who put up quite a fight was Ben Mayhew who found himself twice on the brink of elimination, but didn’t give up. He greatly increased his stack at the expense of passive players and instead of taking a safe approach during the bubble stage he marched on. Ben Vinson is another player that should be taken seriously as the final table begins, as he was the one who caused the elimination of top players. Lawlor will probably remember the hand played against Vinson many days after the event concludes, as this was the one that sent him to the rail.