With the WSOP* coming, poker players around the world turn their thoughts to playing the $10,000 buy-in main event, but are you ready? Here are some more tips on how to be prepared for the main event, which is certainly a long haul tournament:
The night before: Simple advice – your mother was right. Get a good sleep and resist the temptation to make it a party night. You’ll thank us later. Why not do your partying after you win the bracelet? Okay, that might take a while, so at least wait until one of your two day breaks between Day 1 and 2 or Days 2 and 3. Bottom line, don’t put yourself in a huge hung-over state at the tables. It probably won’t end well.
Wear the right thing: While not a fashion moment that takes a great deal of thought, you will want to make sure that you are not overheated or too cold while you play. Either one can make you very uncomfortable, which usually leads to lack of concentration and poor play. The parking lot of the Rio may seem like the hottest, driest place on the planet (it is a desert after all) but inside, the air conditioning is very efficient and some tables can be drafty as well. If you wear a t-shirt bring a hoodie or light coat as well.
Bring some stuff: Remember, you’re basically going to hang out at poker tables and public areas for as much as 14 hours so you might need some stuff. What kind of stuff? Here’s a list of some items you might find useful:
- Your ID, your Total Rewards card and cash – The WSOP requires that every player has a TR card (you can get them pretty quickly onsite of course) but you wouldn’t believe how many players miss parts of rounds because they don’t show up with these basic requirements.
- iPod, etc., your digital music device and earbuds and/or headphones (note that tournament rules say you have to keep your device OFF the table). Good for removing the echo of 900 poker players riffling chips at the same time in one room…
- Your mobile phone/device. No calls while in play (or while seated at the table) but note that Tweeting will be allowed this year so you may update all your fans. Plus, you can always check out pokerplyr.com’s mobile app while you’re bored as well. /shameless plug…
- Extra batteries for your music player, headphones, etc..
- Light snacks – Think protein or cereal bars, nuts, healthier stuff and not sugar bombs although a well-timed candy bar when you’re feeling flat can be good to have too. Remembering this one thing can be a lifesaver and give you the energy and focus you need to play your best.
- Sunglasses – Whether they don’t leave your face when you play or whether you hate ‘em, don’t forget to have some in case you want to disappear for a while.
- Medications - Sure you know to bring anything you’re on but also think about headache/stomach ache medicine if you’re prone to those ailments. Maybe also lip balm (that desert again).
While you’re playing in the tournament:
Remember where you are – Jot down or type your current color section and table number into the notepad on your phone. You may always know where you are in MomNPops poker room, but the Rio is different. More like a football field full of tables, and they all look the same of course.
Start your phone’s timer – So you can know when the break ends without constantly having to find a tourney clock.
Hit the restroom first on breaks – They are popular spots as you can imagine. You can also wait to the end but plan it so you don’t run out of time.
Eat something not too heavy in your meal breaks – You know what causes you gastronomic distress (besides tax time). Avoid eating that so you don’t pay for it by feeling lousy and losing concentration.
So, pack your backpack and be prepared. What you pack in your bag can end up helping you a ton to perform at your best through what can be very long days.
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