Five Tips for WSOP First-Timers
If you're a poker player heading to the World Series of Poker for the first time, here are five tips to make your first WSOP a smooth one.
1. Set a Bankroll for the Whole Series
If you're playing the WSOP for the first time, plan a bankroll for the whole event. Set a certain spending limit for yourself and stick to it.
Here are the things you need to plan for:
3. Cash Games
This assumes you're going to the WSOP to play in tournaments. The first step is to determine how many events you plan to play. We advocate having the full buy-in amount for each event you want to play in addition to having money for satellites.
Speaking of satellites, plan for 10-20 buy-ins for satellites (assuming you're playing more than one event.) Satellites start at $175 for $1,500 events and go up depending on the buy-in for the tournament.
For cash games, don't bring your entire bankroll to Vegas to play cash games. Set aside 25-50% of your overall bankroll max.
Let's break this down via math. Let's assume you want to play two $1,500 NL Events at the 2014 WSOP. You're looking at the following for a bankroll:
2 x $1,500 = $3,000 10 satellite buy-ins x $175 = $1,750 10 buy-ins at your preferred stakes
This type of bankroll ensures you are able to play your events regardless of how you do at the cash games or in satellites.
If you win your entry, great! You can either add that money to your overall bankroll after the WSOP or consider playing other events.
2. Get Away from the Tables Sometimes
One of the worst things you can do during the WSOP is spend the entire time in Vegas playing poker. This will wear on your game and can lead to burnout.
Plan for at least one or two days a week where you don't play poker at all. Gamble at other casinos, go to a movie, or take in one of the local Vegas sites. Take a road trip to California or somewhere else in Nevada.
On the days that you bust out of an event early, don't stay at the casino if you aren't playing well or are tilting. Take the rest of the day off and rest up for the next day.
3. Watch the Partying
While playing in Vegas, limit your partying. As most of us have experienced a late-night party the night before seldom results in a winning session the next day at the poker tables.
If you must party, try to get home at a more reasonable hour. Better still, limit your partying to the nights before your off days. This will give you ample time to recoup.
Granted, if you go deep in a tournament or find yourself at a final table, go celebrate! That's a big deal and worthy of kicking a few back.
4. Don't Get Star Struck at the Tables
This is easier said than done but you need to try and keep yourself from being star struck at the tables during the WSOP.
You will be playing with the world's best players at some point and you will have some at your tables.
Keep in mind that these players are there to try and win a bracelet like you are. They all have been you at one time or another.
Play your best game and don't let their star status affect your play. In time, you will find the only real difference between the stars and you will be time spent at the tables.
5. Don't Wait Until the Last Minute
It's mind-blowing to watch the long lines at the Rio on a day of a big $1,500 event or at the start of a 5 p.m. event.
It's also mind-blowing there are people that have to park 1/4 a mile away because they got there with just a few minutes left.
Don't wait until the last minute to do anything at the WSOP. If you know for a fact you're playing a tournament, go ahead and register in that event a day or two in advance.
Registration is open around the clock and you go right in and out in a couple of minutes during the off-peak times. Peak times are the couple hours or so leading up to and following the start of an event.
When you go out to play, try and show up about an hour or so before the start of an event to ensure the best parking spaces.
If you know you need to go to the restroom, don't wait until break. Go about 20 or 30 minutes before the end of the level.
Your chips will be there when you get back and you will avoid the mega lines that form during breaks.