Monday, January 24, 2011

Japan Poker League - Pokerstars

The Japan Poker League is now running a free online tournament at Pokerstars every Sunday night at 9pm JST. Winners of the online tournaments earn points in the Japan Poker League.

I just looked it up on Pokerstars - the description in the tournament lobby reads, "This series is an eight-month competition where players with the most points compete for a PokerStars Caribbean Adventure package."

Which is true, but not the whole story. The online tournaments are one way to win points. The other way is to win points in the near-daily live games around Tokyo. Every 6 weeks or so is a new "heat" where the leaders have a playoff game to win more points, and at the end of the 8-month season the point leaders will have a final playoff game for the PCA package.

I've seen some referrals to my web page from folks looking for "japan poker league pokerstars password". If you're not in Japan, don't bother - even if you get into the game, you'll win points you can't use for a tournament you can't attend to try to win a PCA package they won't award to a non-Japan Poker League player. Which would include airline tickets from Japan, which would not be much good to you anyhow.

If you are in Japan and are interested, visit the Japan Poker League's home page, where they describe (in Japanese) the tournament series, the live game schedules, and how to apply to get the online password for the Pokerstars games.

If you're in Japan and interested but can't read Japanese, leave me a comment and I should be able to check on the exact process and help get you going.

Let's play, losers!

I haven't had much time to play poker recently, even online poker, because of the new mouth to feed in the family. But I'm headed out to Duke tomorrow night for the "EJPC Loser's Cup!"

If you've been following along, you may have noticed that Everest Poker ran the Everest Poker Japan Cup, collecting 30 Japanese over the last few months to fly out to Tinian for a free poker tournament with a $20,000 prize. The winners fly out tomorrow morning for sun, scuba, gamble, and poker.

We losers.... don't.

This rubbed some of us pathetic failures the wrong way, so Psyka-san spearheaded a Loser's Tournament for those of us left behind. Tomorrow night at Duke, starting from 5:30pm, we battle it out to determine the king of the losers. The head failure. The least deficient. The almost-good-enough (but not quite).

You there, are you a loser? Sure you are, you don't have your bags packed for sunny Tinian, do you? I didn't think so. Come on out to Duke tomorrow night and prove it. Unlike most of the weekly tournaments, we're playing with deep stacks of 5000 chips and 25 minute levels, so there will be a lot of play.

If you're interested in attending, let me know or show up at Duke by 5pm or so to be certain of getting signed up in time.

There's even a second-chance tournament tomorrow night at 9:30 as well, just in case you... you know, demonstrate your not-winning abilities by that time in the main event.

Maybe you're not a loser and you have better things to do. But I don't believe you.

Loser or Outsider?

Call me Ponyboy, but maybe I'm not as much of a loser as I thought.

The Loser's Cup was a great success. With a good chunk of the regular players off in Tinian, there was concern that we would not gather enough players to hold a reasonably-sized tournament. I wasn't planning on going, actually, but Dosa-ken worked his nanpa (pick-up) magic on me and lured me in. We actually had about 35 players attend, which is a pretty decent turnout.

As planned, the levels were long at 25 minutes -- our normal Friday night games are usually 10 minute levels, or sometimes 7 minutes. And with deep stacks of 5000 chips, there was a lot of play. We started at 5:30pm and I don't think the first bustout was for at least an hour, if not an hour and a half.

I did pretty well, taking third place. I made the final table with fewer chips than I would have liked, after pushing with JJ and getting called by a smaller stack's AQ. Flop was safe but a Q came on the turn and I lost about half or 2/3 of my stack, and had to rebuild. Still, I had a great time and felt I played well, so what more can you ask for?

I also scored some coin, worth a few thousand yen of credit at the bar, and 10 more Vegas Cup points, pushing me to 20 points this season. Wow! 5 more points than last season! I might last all of 30 minutes at the Vegas Cup final. I only had 39 points at the start when I won the Vegas Cup a year ago, but I doubt I will get so lucky a second time. (I will try, of course.)

Everyone had such a good time there was immediately talk of doing it again, so Psyka-san has scheduled the next event, now rechristened the "Outsider's Cup". We'll be playing on Saturday, November 10, from 1:30pm this time. Levels are still 25 minutes but this time the starting stacks will be 7500 chips, again starting at 25/50 blinds. Wow, even more deep stack play.

If you're interested in a deep-stack no limit holdem tournament, come on down. You don't even have to be a loser this time. We promise not to bust you quickly.