It starts this Sunday and you're going to want to be part of Bodog's biggest and best annual event: The Bodog Poker Open V. The guarantees are bigger, the field is fiercer, and the winner of the Championship Series Main Event (held on Sunday, October 3) gets more than money and fame: they get an engraved Corum Romulus Chronograph, valued at over $5,000.
We sat down with Bodog pros Evelyn Ng and Amanda Musumeci and talked about the Championship Series and what players can expect from each other and the pros themselves when they're out on the virtual felt in the finale.
Amanda, what’s a good strategy to employ when playing in the main event at the Bodog Poker Open V?
Amanda: I think that generally Bodog provides great soft fields. However, on this occasion, we may see some very competent players popping up out of the woodwork. Since there will be a mix of good and bad players, it's important to pay as much attention as possible to your tables, and to be taking notes on everyone and how they play. Try to be creative in how you extract value from the looser players, and be cautious of going too far with marginal hands versus tighter opponents.
Early in the tournament, I find it best to usually play a bit more on the conservative side. This can help in several ways: you'll have some time to size up your table and opponents; you'll create a tight image for yourself so that you can play a bit looser in the later, more important stages of the event/s; and lastly you can prevent yourself from busting out of the tournament in an early stage by overplaying some of the more marginal hands you may be raising or calling with. As the tournament progresses, I think it's best to begin to open up the range of hands that you're willing to raise with. Playing more aggressively late in the tournament once antes are big will help you to keep your stack healthy while the weaker opponents are sitting waiting for only premium hands. Pay attention to who is raising a lot, and don't be scared to get your chips in by shoving all-in over-top of these types of players.
Do you have anything to add to that, Evelyn?
Evelyn: As a general guideline, I would recommend that the less experience you have in tournaments, the tighter you should probably play to avoid trouble spots. And the tighter you are playing, the more important it is to make occasional bluffs when the time seems right, and vice-versa as well.
Without giving anything away, tell us a bit about what players can expect if they're sitting at the table with you.
Evelyn: Players might notice that I am not in every hand trying to steal every button and blind that I can. But the pots that I do enter I would probably tend to be the aggressor.
Amanda: I will be employing my above mentioned strategy. You can expect to see me playing some small pots early, but staying mostly tight-ish. In the mid and later stages when the antes are bigger, I'll be playing a bit more pots. I'll be trying to avoid any tough competition, and exploit all the weaker competition. I hope no one takes it personally. :)
I'm sure they won't. All's fair in love, war and poker, as they say. This year, Bodog is giving the main event winner an engraved Corum Championship chronograph valued at over $5,000. It's a fantastic bonus on top of a prize pool, but unfortunately it's a man's watch. Who are you going to give it to if you win?
Evelyn: Who said I have to give it away?!
Amanda: I'd either keep the watch as memorabilia or give it to my grandmother. She loves collecting things. And she cries (tears of happiness of course) every time one of us achieves anything that she feels is extraordinary. Seeing her that overwhelmed with happiness is a great gift to me.
Thanks so much to both of you for your time. We look forward to seeing how both of you do at the Main Event!
Want to get in on the action yourself and take on Evelyn, Amanda, and everyone else who thinks they have a shot at poker fame? Visit the Bodog Poker Open page and get a complete schedule of events.