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Thoughts on the WSOP

All things considered, I think I did ok. The mistakes I made were relatively small and when I did get money in, I almost always had the best of it - except for the disaster of the last hand my AK against AA. Even though a lot of plays didn't work out, in hindsight, the attempts had to be made.

Never the less, it was a massive learning experience and I am glad I went there and played. If I were to do it again though, I would certainly learn from the first experience and do quite a few things differently. Some things are obvious, and I really should have done it for this trip, but some you can only know by going and doing. So here are my tips for anyone thinking of giving the main event a shot, and for myself if I go again.

1. Play a lot of tournaments for a year before hand. Obvious really, even so, most local tournaments are completely different in structure and play to the Main Event.

2. Read and study. I have at least six books on tournament play, reading something like Gus Hansens 'Every Hand Revealed', or Dan Harrington's series, or Kill Everyone as a refresher would have been pretty helpful.

3. Get into the WSOP mindset. As for point 2. spending a while on the 2+2 forums or even participating in a few discussions would be good preparation

4. Go for satellite entries. Combine point 1. with the chance to win a discounted seat. I think you would be better of spending $10k on satellites to win the seat than pay the $10k outright. If you can't win a seat spending equal to the buy in, the buy in is dead money anyway.

5. Get to Las Vegas early enough to get over Vegas before the event starts. If I go again I will give myself a week there prior, rather than just a couple of days. There are some pretty good deals for short term house or apartment rentals, so even going for a month might only cost as much as 2 weeks at a hotel anyway.

6. Play enough and get enough confidence to not be so nitty tight. Almost everyone else is nitty tight, and I noticed that the those who made larger bets and generally played with more confidence tended to have more chips over time. I class these players as either top recreational players, or pros. But the pro level of play is what is needed for the main event, no doubt about it.

7. Get some training or a coach. There are plenty of good coaching clinics and courses run by pros. This might be a bit expensive, but say getting someone like Vanessa Selbst to look at your game and help you plug any holes, could be a worthwhile investment.

8. Network a bit and have some people you can talk to or hang around with, or bring a few mates with you.

And if I do play in the Main Event again, it will be by either having built sufficient bankroll through tournament winnings, or won a satellite entry.


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