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It’s the morning before the WPT World Online Championship begins, and I have that feeling again. The one I used to get on Christmas eve, lying in bed trying to sleep. An epic series of poker is upon us, and I wanted to nerd out about some of the things I’m excited about.

The structure of the event

I love the fact that each week has one, just one, championship event (with three tiers). There are of course side events throughout the week as well. And they follow the general theme of the feature event. There is volume to be had. The main tourney, however, is just singular. To me, it is perfect, because it provides the feeling that this one is important and special. It’s not the same thing day after day after day. I’m uncertain whether I will make it into any of the 3K championship events, but I hope to give one or two a go.

The return of big satellites

During a normal poker schedule, the satellite schedule tends to become really small. Tourneys with 3 seats GTD, maybe 5 GTD or 10 in a peak Sunday session. I like playing those, but my fav type of ‘satty’ is the mega sat. The one where you reach a ticket with 5 or 6 tables left in the tournament. 50 seats GTD, 100 seats GTD. It plays a lot different than when there is one table left battling for 5 seats. It somehow seems more winnable. I like the survival aspect. There are some huge sattys for these WPTs and I’m excited to give them a go. Hoping I can snag myself some 3K entries.

Multi-Day Tournaments

Anyone that has been around online poker for a while knows the feeling of this one. There is something so exciting about going to bed with a Day 2 continuing on the next day. It’s like you get to start an event already in the money or sometimes almost at the final table. It’s just a blast. And the flavour of Day 1 changes too. It goes from ‘I have this mammoth daunting task of winning this massive tournament today’ to something more like: ‘We play until level 26 tonight so my goal is to accumulate chips as much as I can, and leave myself in a good spot for Day 2.’

Of course, it is the same game. Nothing changes in this structure of play. But the mental framing of it does, for me at least. And that’s fun. Something different than the day to day grind.

The Brand

WPT is a massive name in poker. It’s a show that I started watching on TV as a teenager, and once I began playing at 18, it was study material. Seeing all the legends of the game go at it trying to get a title. It’s a special thing to win a WPT, and as a mainly online player for the past 5 years, this is my first chance at giving it a go. Thanks to the WPT for bringing what they do, to the partypoker felt.

The Dream

The two words that can sum up why I started to play poker is just that. The Dream. The meaning of those two words has changed over time for me. When I first started it was to be rich and famous. I have been lucky enough to feel small (very small) slivers of what both of those things are like. I have got to meet lots of famous people, and sometimes gotta live like I was rich (whatever that means to you. It certainly changed as an idea for me over the past 10 years.)

There is something that has not changed though. That is, to do something meaningful in my poker career. Something that stands out as special. It’s what my poker life is all about now. The pursuit of something extraordinary. It’s why I continue to battle it out on the streets. This WPT gives me (and us) an opportunity at doing something special. Over the next 7 weeks, I will have 12 events to try and breakthrough and become a champion of this series. To some, it may be silly, but to me, that’s what it’s about.

I can’t wait to get out there and play. I’ll be streaming a bunch of my action on (Twitch) and you can expect highlights coming out on the pokerstaples YouTube channel, my thoughts on Twitter, and small clips on pokerstaples Instagram and Facebook pages.

Good luck, run well and see you on the felt.

Jaime Staples

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