I have been as guilty as anyone for building up the WCOOP, and for good reason. For many of our high-stakes role models, it is a HUGE deal. It was also for me, but more for the fundamental tests and schedule influences rather than the WCOOP tourneys themselves.
In low+ mid stakes though, the WCOOP itself (WCOOP hold 'em tourneys) still makes up a small part of our daily schedule. I probably played on average 4/5 tourneys a day in the WCOOP, all with crazy high variance. Sure there were more I could have played, but I reached my limit for max tables in many cases and had deep runs that I prioritised on occasion. Deep runs are hard to come by in the WCOOP at these stakes because of the variance, so if you're like me and had a relatively underwhelming series, don't worry - it's meant to be like that. What it does do though is make you turn up and test how hard you can grind the schedule.
That for me is the real value of the WCOOP. It offers an insight into how hard you have to work at high stakes. It's 3-4 weeks of relentless, consistent high performance without break. That is tough at any stakes. Can you turn up no matter the results, and be disciplined enough to stick to playing no matter how bad your day is or how tired you are? There's also a 1 day break in the week at most.
So the series I'm writing about is not the WCOOP tourneys I played in, but the 4 week period of intense grinding that is based around the WCOOP schedule. Lots of other sites had some juicy events and schedules too, which is exactly why these weeks are so valuable. The traffic on poker sites is way higher, the daily guarantees of everything around the WCOOP increase, and there are some seriously +EV situations to grind our way into IF we turn up.
So, my results were mixed overall. Here's a breakdown of my series over that 3-4 weeks:
-Strategical performance when playing 4/5
-Mental game performance on the tables: 5/5
-Frequency of playing 2/5
-Length of sessions 4/5
-Routine and consistency off the tables 3/5
-Prep for WCOOP 2/5
Overall series rating: 3/5
So lots of positives and lots to improve. Firstly I would say if you can do these marathon 4-week events in person with other committed players, do it. That's true for poker in general, but these events are tough and very isolating. I missed out on my social life a lot and felt the motivation to play fall when I knew I wouldn't see anyone anytime soon. Willpower can only go so far. Ideally, I will try to do at least some of every big series with other people in person from now, so HMU anyone who might fancy this. :)
I would have prepared a little better, mainly by taking time off, studying and relaxing. It came a bit earlier than expected, so planning these events in advance is important for your schedule.
However, despite the average WCOOP results, the rest of the player pool was lighter. I had scores on GG, Party and Stars elsewhere, getting very close to a WCOOP bracelet win (3rd in $33 PSKO, 5k entries). Also lots of good results all over the place, so a very profitable 4 weeks overall. My sessions were longer, I pushed the registering of tourneys and worked hard off the tables to keep my energy levels high. This meant sleeping well, reading in my downtime and going to the gym/ running. Definitely making progress overall.
So, I think the best chance of completing an intense event like this is to plan your life in the series beforehand and have a team of people around you, preferably in person. Otherwise, you're swimming against the tide of your own thoughts, which is hard to manage alone. Meditation, good sleep, exercise and relaxing properly (no tech) can help a tonne too, but you need to set routines and accountability, and there's no better way to do this imo than to physically have someone there working the same job and hours as you.
Good luck to everyone this Autumn, and please connect with me about anything in poker/ life - it's really worth it for me and is hugely appreciated. I love talking to you guys, and it still surprises that loads of you lovely people are getting to the end of these blogs. Much love <3