Friday, February 22, 2013

Roland GTX: Best Moment on Pokerstars

Roland GTX
I've been a regular at Pokerstars since 2008 and
 this is my third year taking part in the WBCOOP.
I have always gotten a kick out of landing at a table with big name players whether it be spacegravy, Boku87 or a Pokerstars Pro like Johnny Lodden. I vividly remember being struck by fear and awe back in 2009 when Shaun Deeb got seated next to me in a tourney . I was thrilled to death having that guy at my table, but scared to death to even consider playing a hand postflop against him. To be quite honest, I did my best to stay out of any hand that he decided to play - LOL!

No, I can’t boast that I stacked one of these players. They are all scary good and I was just another bug to be crushed.  But, watching players of this caliber grind, seeing the hard work they put into their game and the skill they bring to the table has always been a great source of inspiration. Moreover, I do have something in common with them.

We all play poker for the love of the game...for the thrill of running deep. We all play with a desire of making a final table... with the dream of winning.

Playing with the pros has given me some great memories, but my best moment playing on Pokerstars was when I experienced the dream for myself.

Last August I registered for a $5.40 turbo Knockout tourney. There were 2960 entrants and a 12K prize pool.

I had an average stack size throughout the early stages of the tourney. With about 300 players remaining I finally won a big hand becoming chip leader at my table - nice! I was ready to put my big stack to good use and I got dealt some big hands. Unfortunately, I lost the chips pretty quickly when my AKs bricked against pocket pairs twice in a matter of minutes. This was looking to be another ”almost” deep run. I was disappointed, but managed to keep my focus.

I stayed alive by apparently picking good stealing spots. Not getting called kept me in the game, but it kept my stack short as well. With 50 players remaining I was in 46th place, short stacked, and very desperate. I got dealt AK again and moved all in from early position. The table chip leader 3-bet trying to isolate me but the big blind joined the action making an all in call. Both opponents had pocket pairs. I bricked the flop and could feel the sweat brewing on my forehead. I bricked the turn and felt a tear of frustration welling up. And then I rivered an A tripling my stack - oh yeah! I was still alive, but still under the average stack size.

Half an hour later were nearing the final table bubble. I really wanted to make my first final table of a scheduled tournament. Squeaking my way to a final table didn’t sound like fun though, nor did it seem like a realistic option. It folded around to me in mid-position. I decided that I wanted to play my 55. I shoved and got insta-called by the big blind holding AK. Now it was the villain’s turn to miss every street. My five’s held, I doubled up, and "presto", I was sitting with an average stack at my very first final table!

I wanted to text my poker buddies so they could rail me, but I was afraid of jinxing myself - LOL! My pulse was racing and I felt great. Now I was playing to win. But, would I have the guts to pull the trigger when the time came?

I did a quick check on the other players at the table. None of the others seemed too scary thankfully, except for one solid MTT grinder. He was the first to get knocked out of the final table though. He shoved 88 from the small blind and the big blind woke up with 99 knocking him out. I didn't play many hands except for re-raising all in against the chip leader who kept minraise-folding preflop. That felt great! I proved to myself that I could pull the trigger.

Players kept getting knocked out and eventually we were down to the final four. There was one big stack while the rest of us were pretty equal. This was a turbo so the blinds and antes were high.  Everyone was in push – fold mode.

I called a preflop shove holding AQs and had the villain dominated as he was holding A4. My hand held. We were down to three and I was now the chip leader for the first time in the tourney.  A few hands later I called another all in, this time from the short stack. His 99 was no match for my JJ.

Finally, I was where I had dreamed of being, heads up at the final table of a real tourney. First place was worth $1872 and second paid $1397. This was going to be my biggest cash no matter what happened, but I wanted to win. I wanted to know that feeling of pure elation, no second guessing myself and no regrets.

I had a 4:1 chip lead and the villain was passive. I kept hammering away at the villain’s stack for ten hands and got him down to shoving range. Then I picked up A6o in the small blind and decided that was good enough to go with. I shoved and the villain called with A10. My emotions plummeted when I saw that he had me dominated. But a 6 on the flop put me ahead and another 6 on the turn ensured the win! Triple fist pump – oh yeah! Victory was mine!

The three and a half hours it took to play the tourney were filled with emotional ups and downs charged with fear, excitement, and adrenaline. Making my first final table, achieving my first big win and taking home my largest online cash definitely made for my best moment on Pokerstars!

Sharing that moment on both of my blogs resulted in a ton of great feedback and support which allowed me to savor the moment even longer. Poker is best shared with friends!

You can find me at the Pokerstars forum PSO:
Here on my blog:
And on Twitter: @RolandGTX

Remember to vote for your favorite blog entry at PokerNews once the voting starts!

GL and have fun at the tables!
Roland GTX


  1. Just a quick update. I played my first WBCOOP tonight, event 2 PLO 6-Max. Crept itm winning a 5 buck SCOOP ticket and entry to the WBCOOP Main Event. Will be playing event 3, Badugi later tonight. GL!

  2. Played event 8 yesterday, NLHE. I was under the average stack size near the bubble holding QQ and facing an ep raise. I shoved and got two callers. One had KK and the original raiser had AA. No love for my ladies. An A on th river proved that aces can and do win.

  3. Hi,

    I would like to ask you a question regarding your views on Pokerstars` WBCOOP Series.

    Firstly it has come to my attention that Pokerstars are not evaluating the rules which clearly state that players must have made a blog to participate in the WBCOOP. Players are being allowed to join the WBCOOP and clearly they have not made a blog so is it right that if a player wins this tournament without making a blog that it is legal as stated in theirT&Cs?

    I think that Pokerstars should implement their rules as stated in the T&Cs and not allow players to join the WBCOOP.

    What are your views on this matter ?


    P.S Please spread the word and post in this thread

  4. Hi Criclevit Mihail!

    Thanks for stopping by and your interesting post! I'm sure Pokerstars will be happy that you have pointed out players that have slipped through the cracks.

    Personally, I firmly believe that Pokerstars is doing their best to stick to the spirit of the WBCOOP, and I will continue competing because I enjoy this promotion.

    My goal, aside from winning, is to keep a positive mindset both at the tables and in my blog posts.

    GL in the WBCOOP!

  5. Really nice blog Roland and best of luck in the WBCOOP!


  6. Well written Roland, quite similar to my Full Tilt moment, but you got all the way....whereas I finished only 3rd :-(. Well done!

    Quick reply to Criclevit; I'm confident Stars do their best to make these events run according to the rules, unfortunately once in a while a few "cheats" slip through.