Congratulations to our Replay Team Champions: Excaliburators!
Winning the RTC isn’t easy. This tournament series brings out Replay’s toughest competitors, and these players had to fight hard to come out on top. The final table consisted of Priorities, Ambored, Surprise, Mad Dogs, and Ocean of Cardschat — the latter beaten out by just one MVP point!
We reached out to Excaliburator’s team members with some questions, and this is what they had to say:
What was your favorite moment of the tournament series?
Persistent308: My favorite moment of the tournament was honestly making it into the Finals! We had barely managed to secure a seat by 1 point. It was too close for comfort. During Finals we had already made the calculations and when I was in the top 3 on my table I already knew we got the win counting the points of our opponents. So getting into finals was more nerve wracking and exciting!
tron194: All our team’s final table finishes throughout the competition were my favorite part of the competition! The feeling of having so many spectators watching, and rooting for and against us in the chat was spectacular!
ashirogimutou: Unquestionably the final table(s); the game quality was fantastic, and the tense moment where we calculated where our last member playing needed to finish to get us the win (and then realized we had won) was definitely the most memorable moment of the series.
Were there any stressful moments? Who was your toughest competition?
Persistent308: The top 12 tournament was nerve wracking. Tiggy is a very aggressive player who goes all out unlike other players who play a bit more passive in the start considering the tournament situation.
Overall toughest competition for sure was from SarahFra. She is an excellent player who performed well consistently. Every tournament I was on the final table, so was she. Definitely toughest competitor on my table in my opinion.
tron194: The most stressful, as well as the most enjoyable parts were furiously calculating during the knockouts what place we needed to finish to qualify for the next rounds! The team we discussed the most as being the strongest competition, and potentially frontrunners for the championship, were Team Priorities.
ashirogimutou: The semi-finals? Two of our members went out a fair bit early, at which point we did not have any expectations of qualifying for the finals.
From then on, I took some very dicey risks, and (with a lot of luck going our way) managed to get us into the finals by the slimmest of margins – but that was definitely the most stressful half-hour or so of the competition!
I think all of the teams that got to the final table qualify as our “toughest competition”; through our route to the final and victory, we had a lot of challenging games and tables with members from each group in them along the way.
It was also very interesting to see such a wide range of styles (from super tight to very aggro, and a variety of strategies for handling common situations e.g. bet sizing, semi bluffs, using position effectively), and I definitely felt we became much better poker players over the course of the tournament because of the great competition we had to play against and learn from.
Did anything stick out that helped you get to the top? Did your team have to adapt your play?
Persistent308: We always were calculating how to get into the next top group of selected teams. Poker needs skill but luck plays a major role. There were instances where we folded even though in regular situations we would not because getting out super early puts your entire team at a big disadvantage. So our goal was always to stay patient and not get out early. This is what helped us win too finally since our individual performances on final table were 2nd,2nd and 3rd but our average turned out to be the best. So it was the result of good team work and calculations.
It was really fun and we look forward to defending our title next time!
tron194: Playing according to the championship situation is probably what helped us win the championship! We adjusted play styles based on how our other team members were doing in real time, as well as how other teams were doing. This was exemplified in the finals, where our 2nd, 2nd, 3rd place finishes led to our team securing the title, by 1 point over a team that finished 1st, 1st, 6th!
Finally, I’d like to give a shout-out to my former poker coach, Deep Mitra, for all his hard work teaching me the mathematics behind poker, as well as my wonderful teammates, AshirogiMutou and Persistent308!
ashirogimutou: I think what helped us was a consistent balance of team performance; especially in the final, none of us won any of our individual tables, but we also all finished in the top 2/3, which ended up getting us the win.
A big part of that was some form of adaptation – a mix of playing more carefully in the early stages of a table/round, and ramping up the aggression as more people dropped out. Figuring out how to ramp that up in an optimal way was key to us doing well – we managed to steal a few blinds at crucial moments, enabling us to hang on just a little further to get that extra place or two.
Give a big hand to Excaliburators! Their thoughtful play earned them the title. In addition to receiving 5,000,000 chips, they will receive custom hoodies commemorating their win. The runner-ups from the final table also received hundreds of thousands of chips as a reward, along with a custom t-shirt.
We look forward to seeing what they can do next year, and who will give them a run for their money!