Some of you out there are contemplating whether or not to take your shot at the World Series of Poker. You have watched the WSOP on ESPN and think you have what it takes to take down a bracelet or even the Main Event. Here are some things to think about when considering whether to take your shot:
How Much You Can Spend
A lot of players will go out to the WSOP with enough money for one or two events at the most and hope that they can go deep with their short bankroll. The WSOP costs a lot of money. Many pros take over $100,000 a year with them to play in events. Granted, there are events at all buy-in levels but to be truly competitive at the WSOP, you need to have a decent bankroll.
With that said, there is nothing wrong with taking a shot at a couple of events. Focusing on a couple may work well for you, but it does not allow for any variance at all. In most cases you will probably go home broke.
Can You Make Deep Runs in Tournaments
Do you have the skill to make it deep in tournaments? When I ask this, I am not referring to whether you can do well in your local home game tourneys or in a bar league. Yes, maybe you can win a bar league event and even a bar league championship. That is nowhere near the same as playing in a legitimate event. If you play a lot of online poker, that is a decent start, but how do you do in live events?
If you play live, a decent gauge of where you stand is how deep you get in events. Even if you are playing daily tournaments at a casino, that is still a reasonable field to test you abilities in. When I say live tourneys, I am talking field size of at least 60 players or better. While tourneys with 20 to 30 players are still nice to win, sometimes you can almost fold you way to a final table. If you cannot make it deep in live tournaments, then you have no business really playing at the WSOP. You will just donate money.
Also, when I say deep, notice I didn’t say that you need to be winning. If you are getting deep and cashing and making final tables, then you have some reasonable skill. There are some well established pros, including big name professionals that do not have a lot of victories under their belt.
What is Your Satellite Track Record
If you are a short bankrolled player and think you can play at the WSOP, consider satellites as a way to beef up your WSOP bankroll. With that said, how well do you play satellites. If you are the type of player that does not do well in satellites, then you might want to reconsider playing. The old saying usually holds true that “if you cannot win a satellite, you cannot win a tournament.”
How is Your Tournament Stamina
Playing at the WSOP involves long days. By long, I am meaning 12 to 14 hour days. Are you able to keep your focus and concentration at their peak for 14 hours in a day? If so, can you repeat that feat the very next day? If not, you have next to no shot at winning a WSOP bracelet. You need to be able to do that much just to get to a final table. Once you are there, you may have to put on another 8 plus hours at the final depending on the game. Day 2 of the $1,500 Limit Shootout in 2008 took 17 hours to complete. It went from 2 P.M. until 7:30 A.M. the next morning. Granted, rules have been changed since then, but you will still play a minimum of from 2:30 P.M. to 3:00 A.M. on a day 2. Welcome to big time tournament poker.
Take a close look at your game and some of the things discussed above. If you do not feel your game stacks up in the above areas, then it is time to maybe consider holding off your WSOP plans for a year or two. The WSOP isn’t going anywhere, and you can always work on improving your game. Good luck to you at the tables.
- James Guill