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WSOP Tips for Newbies by Compncards

9 April 2010, By:

If you are going out to the WSOP for the first time, there are a few things you need to know.  Having been to the WSOP every year since 2006, let me give you a few tips on how to make your trip to your first WSOP a smooth experience.

Registering for Events

Many of you that are going to go to the Rio will make the mistake of trying to register for your event on the day that you play.  Don't do this!  Why put yourself in a position where you will be waiting in line for hours, especially in NL events.  Also, some of the events will have the possibility of selling out.  You don't want to go in on the day of the event, wait for hours, and then find out that the event has sold out.

If you are going to play in an event, go in a day or two before the event and register.  Also, avoid going to register from 11:00 A.M. to about 12:30 PM and from 4:15 PM to 5:30 PM.  These are the times that the Noon and 5 PM events are registering and you will have lines to wait in.

Where to Stay

Where you choose to stay in Vegas depends on several factors including what you want to pay, how you are going to get back and forth to the Rio, etc.  You can choose to stay at the Rio, but not everyone can afford to.  Some cheaper alternatives to the Rio include Imperial Palace and The Orleans.  Both are relatively close by.  The Orleans is where I stayed at in 2006.  The casino includes several restaurants, a movie theatre, day care, in addition to the casino.

If you are driving out to Vegas, another option may be to stay downtown.  Last summer, I stayed at the Four Queens downtown.  That and the Golden Nugget are two of the nicer hotels downtown.  It is a longer drive to the Rio, but it is a cheaper alternative.  You also get the experience of the Fremont Street Experience.  If you have never been to Vegas, you should go to see that at least once.

Playing the Events

If you are a NL Holdem player, plan to start play at Noon for your events.  I like to get there by 11:45 AM at latest so I can make my way to where I am to play.  This gives you enough time to find your seat and get ready for the event.  If you play in non-NL events, most of your events start at 5 PM.  Try and be there by 4:45 PM so you can have ample time to get ready.

Regardless of what event you are playing, do your best to get ample sleep the night before.  Also, make sure you get a decent meal before you go play.  This is highly important for the Noon events as you will not get a dinner break for a few hours.

Dealing with the Pros

For some of you, this will be the first time you will have seen a pro poker player.  Many will go ga ga with trying to get autographs or chat up their favorite pro.  If they are at your table, this usually isn't an issue, but during the breaks, be mindful of the pros time.  If your favorite pro looks to be in a rush to get to the restroom, leave him alone.  Remember that he is there to play the event just the same as you and is entitled to his break.  Don't worry, there will likely be ample time to catch them later.

Eating at the Rio

You have several options to eat at the Rio.  For the Noon events, you will have 90 minutes to eat and for the evening events you will have a 60 minute "break".  There are three or four restaurants on site and they will be rather packed.  If you plan to eat at one of the Rio's restaurants, make reservations.  Otherwise, you're options are the Poker Kitchen and items out of the gift shop.  The Kitchen has several fast food items and some grab and go items.  If you don't want to wait in line, try some of the grab and go sandwiches.  You will get a $10 voucher for the restaurants and the kitchen.  Meals are going to be pricey, so be sure to take enough cash.  Take about $30 to eat on for the day.


Other than your ticket and, if you are lucky, the occasional swag that you can pick up at the WSOP, your option for souvenirs is going to be the gift shop or hallway vendors.  Some items will be pricey, but you can find a few deals.  The t-shirt and hat combo for $20 is probably going to be your best deal overall.  There are a lot of other small items such as shot glasses, decks of cards, etc.

The above tips are just a few to get you started for your first WSOP.  Hopefully it will help your first World Series go smoothly.  Good luck to you at the tables, unless you're playing against me.  :-)

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