GET READY: Schedule, Where To Stay, Layout
With the WSOP* coming, many poker players around the world turn their thoughts to playing the $10,000 buy-in main event, but are you ready? Do you know what to expect on-site? Do you know how to prepare for long, grueling days of playing live against the world’s top competition?
Many live and online players may be taking their first shot at this major live tournament this summer. Some may be experienced live players who have never played the main event. Others may be current or former online players playing live for the first time.
Whatever your experience, this article is Part 1 of 3 for anyone wanting to prepare:
Schedule: The event runs this year from May 29 to July 16, 2013. The event consists of 62 poker tournaments of various types (limit and no-limit hold’em, Omaha, etc.) and buy-ins. The best known event is of course the $10K buy-in main event (officially known as Event #62) but there are many smaller tourneys which players can participate in, with buy-ins ranging from $1K to $111,111, if you want to drop major coin on the ONE DROP High Rollers event. You can find a complete list of all 62 events for 2013 here. Complete info on schedule, structures and rules can be found at WSOP.com.
Where to stay: The event is at the Rio again this year. While not located on “the Strip,” it is located close to the Strip. Places to stay if you want a hotel include the Rio itself, the Palms (which is across the street), and any strip hotel, all of which are within a 15 minute cab ride. Caesars Entertainment properties such as Caesars, Harrahs, Ballys, etc. typically have a free shuttle going to the Rio at certain times. Most do, but not all, so ask the hotel when you’re planning your trip.
Other options are to get an apartment, condo or house. This is pretty attractive if you plan on going out for a month or more. Staying at a hotel all that time can get pretty exhausting with all the wading through gaming areas and the generally chaotic environment of any casino. It also may give you the ability to eat a healthier diet (more on that in Part 2—it is important) and also can save on food costs. Drawbacks include more hassles for transportation given that such accommodation is rarely near the strip. Finding a place to stay that you can count on being what you expect can be challenging but look for short-term rentals and sub-lets in real estate searches and forums or contact a real estate agent in Las Vegas for surest bets.
Location and layout: The Rio is a typical Vegas hotel, meaning it is a huge expanse of gaming, retail, restaurant and hotel areas. The event is held in the convention area at the rear of the complex. So do yourself a favor and skip the main valet and parking and head to the rear where there is a dedicated valet and parking area for the convention space. Tell taxi drivers to drop you off at this valet as well. You’ll still be doing some walking but this will reduce it down.
The basic layout covers two large rooms. Inside each is a sea of poker tables—a pretty awesome site for anyone who likes poker, actually. One room is where most tournaments start, sit and go and other satellite and small tourneys take place, and cash games are run. A myriad of cash games are offered and the action is quite good. This is also where the awards stage is located. The awards stage is where bracelets are given to event winners in brief ceremonies held around noon each day. Kind of entertaining is the playing of each bracelet winner’s national anthem, Olympics-style, during which all dealers pause games and most stand.
The other room is for tournaments only, and usually the later stages of tournaments although some start there. It is also where several televised table set ups are, used to shoot feature tables and final tables. If you’re a fan, you can actually watch final tables being shot live, although seating and standing is limited.
Finally, there are a few mostly exclusive players lounges set up by sponsors and also a general eating area. The general eating area has a handful of different food stations serving hot and cold choices. Many pan the food, but there is decent variety and even some healthy options so it’s not bad given the scale of the event. There are also a few on-site restaurants but you need to send a friend to reserve a table at those if you expect to use a tournament meal break to eat at any restaurant.
So now you have the lay of the land.
Go here for Part 2 which covers What to bring and How to prepare. Also check out the 2013 WSOP Event Schedule here.
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