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Thread: Advice for WSOP Newbies

  1. #1
    Gold Jayjami's Avatar
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    Advice for WSOP Newbies

    Going to time WSOP for the 1st time? It will be exciting, but also a little bit intimidating. Here is some advice to help you do your best. Hopefully you can learn from some of the mistakes I made early in my career:

    Get a good night's sleep. 10 rounds of play is much more mentally exhausting than you can imagine.

    Eat a good breakfast. It is a long time until the dinner break.

    Eat a light dinner. It will help you stay mentally alert during those last, late night rounds.

    Walk around and get your blood flowing during the breaks. Use the time to mentally recharge, review your play, and develop strategy for the next two hours.

    Be aware of how the tables are breaking. You can't set up any long game strategies against your opponents if your table will broken up soon.

    Consider playing a "warm up" tournament. I know Druff hates Sheldon Adelson, but the Deepstack events at the Venetian give you lots of chips and are a great value. They are much better than the daily tourneys at the Rio.

    Play in the highest buy in event that you can afford. The higher the buy in, the more starting chips, thus more time make plays before you are short stacked. The $1500 events don't give you as much play as you think.

    Be friendly and courteous at the table, but never give away free information. You will encounter many "friendly" opponents who will try to engage you in in conversation (Daniel Negreanu comes to mind, but Amarillo Slim elevated it to an art form). Do not fall for this ploy! The less your opponents know about you the better.

    Don't be afraid of being "bubble boy" (except possibly for the main event). Your goal should be to get to the final table, not just cash. If you go into a shell when you are close to the money, your opponents will notice and take advantage of you timid play.

    Most importantly, never, ever, give up. I can't tell you how many people donk off their short stacks at the end of the night because they would rather "start over" in another event the following day. In most cases, you are only a couple of hands away from getting right back into the tournament, particularly in no limit.

    Good luck. See you at the final table.

     
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      jacosta24: Great post
    Last edited by Jayjami; 05-05-2015 at 08:27 AM.

  2. #2
    Owner Dan Druff's Avatar
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    Great advice!

    I agree with all of it.

    I especially like this one:

    Eat a light dinner. It will help you stay mentally alert during those last, late night rounds.
    Most people think you need a good, hearty meal to keep yourself energized at night. NO! Eating a large/heavy meal will leave you feeling tired, as your body will be using precious energy to digest the meal. It also increases the chance that you will get an upset stomach or some other distracting food-related problem.

    Here are some other suggestions:

    - Register the night before the event. If you show up the day of a big-field event, you will stand in line anywhere from 30-360 minutes to register (yes, you read that right!)

    - As a corollary to "never give away free information", you should see if you can extract free information yourself. This is very easy in many cases, especially with recreational players. If you are friendly and they get to like you, they are also more likely to open up about their playstyle. I have had players tell me, "Wow, I would never play Jack-10 from early position", "I don't know why he call me. I absolutely never bluff", "I only shove if I'm really strong", "I'm not going to call an all-in this early pre-flop with anything but aces", etc. Also, these same people will show you their hands when you fold to them. One of my favorite tricks when folding against a player like this is to act pained, as if I have a tough decision. Many times I have nothing and the actual decision is simple, but they don't know that. These players will often volunteer what they have. I don't feel guilty about any of this stuff, because these people do it on their own. I don't try to trick anyone into giving out information, nor do I ask them questions. But they will do it if they are recreational players and get to like you.

    - People bluff much less at the WSOP than they do online. If you are used to calling people down light online (and doing well because of it), don't do the same at the WSOP, or you will get crushed. You don't know how many "good" online tournament players I saw shooting off massive stacks by calling a ton of chips preflop while holding AQ.

    - With only a few exceptions, stay away from events with buyins of $2,500 and higher. These events tend to have a much tougher field.

  3. #3
    Gold Jayjami's Avatar
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    Registering the night before should have been #1 on my list. Can't believe I forgot it.

    Another tip. Staying at the Rio gives you the advantage of relaxing in a quiet place during the dinner break. If it is too pricey for you, do what it do, book a room at the Gold Coast next door. The casino is a dump, but the rooms are fairly nice, and much cheaper.

    Agree with Druff that the higher buy in events have tougher fields. I think the "cut off" is at 5K buy-ins, where you will encounter smaller fields and many world class players. The exception is the 10K world championship event. I only played in it once in 2011, making it to day 3. I saw a lot of dead money. On the other hand, I saw some truly fantastic play as well. Although I didn't feel outclassed, there were players that were definitely better than me.

    If you can get others to reveal information, by all means chat them up. That is why I recommend being "courteous and friendly". You'll find players that want to tell the whole table how smart they are by rationalizing their play. Here are some of my favorites: I raised to see where I was at; I knew he was on a flush draw; I was trying to trap him and he got lucky; the list goes on and on.

    You will also encounter a few total jerks who will berate your play and try to intimidate you, such as Phil Helmuth. It is a ploy to take you out of your game. My advice: Put on your headphones and crank up the music. Don't acknowledge them at all. Be happy that they think your are a donk! You will get action when you actually have a hand.

    The only person who was able to distract me at the WSOP was comedian Brad Garrett. He isn't a good player, but he was hilarious. His commentary and jokes had the whole table in stitches. It was like we were at a friendly home game. Super nice guy, willing to take pictures with people, and he had a totally hot young blond with him. I almost forgot that I had plunked down 3K to play the event. Needless to say I didn't cash.
    Last edited by Jayjami; 03-25-2014 at 12:25 PM.

  4. #4
    Quote Originally Posted by Jayjami View Post


    Consider playing a "warm up" tournament. I know Druff hates Lockman, but the Deepstack events at the Venetian give you lots of chips and are a great value. They are much better than the daily tourneys at the .
    Alright. I'll bite. Is this some kind of code?

     
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  5. #5
    Gold Jayjami's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Sanlmar View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by Jayjami View Post


    Consider playing a "warm up" tournament. I know Druff hates Lockman, but the Deepstack events at the Venetian give you lots of chips and are a great value. They are much better than the daily tourneys at the .
    Alright. I'll bite. Is this some kind of code?
    I meant Sheldon Adelson, not Lockman, who owns the Venetain, is doing everything he can to prevent legal on-line poker in the US. Nevertheless, I think the Venetain is the second best poker room in Vegas, behind Bellagio. The variety of games is much better at Bellagio, but floor people can be a bit rude to the lower limit players at times. I like the spaciousness of the Venetian room and you get player time comps for food, which you can eat at the table. They will bring you anything on the huge Grand Lux Cafe menu. I also love the hotel, but it is pricey. I stay there when I bring my wife, because it is her favorite. When I go alone, I look for the best deal.
    Last edited by Jayjami; 05-05-2015 at 08:28 AM.

  6. #6
    Quote Originally Posted by Jayjami View Post
    Consider playing a "warm up" tournament. I know Druff hates Lockman, but the Deepstack events at the Venetian give you lots of chips and are a great value. They are much better than the daily tourneys at the Rio.
    I also like the MegaStack events at Caesar's (next to the sportsbook). The fields are large, you can play more than just NLH, and the play is often average to below at best until the last 1/3rd of the tournament. The blinds do go up fast at a certain point however, so luck is more involved......but you can turn $230 into $10,000 in a day if you dink one.

    I also enjoy the Aria $125 Re-Entry at 7pm. The tournaments are a faster structure, but the play is awful and usually full of dudes who have been drinking all day, old guys on vacation, or Euro/Middle Eastern fish with alots of cash (and re-entries) to burn through. I once had a guy move in on me on a 3bet (while I held AKs) with Ks5s on the *3rd* hand of the tournament in the first level. But you can't wait long, though.

    I agree the Venetian offers the best tournaments in Vegas for lower stakes.......I also however have that place on my ban list due to Sheldon Adelson being a hypocritical douche.

  7. #7
    Gold Jayjami's Avatar
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    I meant Sheldon Adelton. My bad. Frankly, if you have a problem with him, I understand. On the other hand, he is just trying to protect his interests. This is not unsimilar to the situation in the late 80s and early 90s when all the casinos in Nevada used every trick in the book to stop the spread of Indian casinos in California. However, I don't see anyone boycotting Vegas today!
    Last edited by Jayjami; 03-27-2014 at 07:14 AM.

  8. #8
    Quote Originally Posted by Jayjami View Post
    I meant Sheldon Anderson. My bad. Frankly, if you have a problem with him, I understand. On the other hand, he is just trying to protect his interests. This is not unsimilar to the situation in the late 80s and early 90s when all the casinos in Nevada used every trick in the book to stop the spread of Indian casinos in California. However, I don't see anyone boycotting Vegas today!
    We have problems with Lockman, but that's another thread.

  9. #9
    So have any of you guys stayed at the RIO? Staying in the Masquerade Tower in one of the end rooms(029). Just wanted to know a little about the RIO.

  10. #10
    Quote Originally Posted by wallymo View Post
    So have any of you guys stayed at the RIO? Staying in the Masquerade Tower in one of the end rooms(029). Just wanted to know a little about the RIO.
    A view from my Masquerade Room at the Rio along with last year's Millionaire Maker experience at the WSOP



    Here is a hidden video I took of Rio's blackjack and baccarat


     
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  11. #11
    Owner Dan Druff's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by wallymo View Post
    So have any of you guys stayed at the RIO? Staying in the Masquerade Tower in one of the end rooms(029). Just wanted to know a little about the RIO.
    See if you can switch to the Ipanema Tower (if you're not already there).

    Ipanema is closer to the WSOP area, and it's also MUCH quieter, especially if you want to sleep during the day.

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