Ari Engel and Brandon Shack Harris shared some of their tips for WSOP rookies.

The World Series of Poker 2021 in Las Vegas is there and that means there is simply no time to waste. So, without further ado, let’s go star—

DO NOT GET OUT THE NIGHT BEFORE YOUR FIRST TOURNAMENT AND PLAY BEER PONG AT O’SHEA’S DRINK SIX BOMB IRISH CARS, THEN THINK IT’S ONE WELL IDEA OF STAYING UNTIL 7AM AND LOSING 10 BUY-INS ON A $ 1 / $ 2 TABLE AT THE FLAMINGO.

Get out, by all means. Do not do this. Have you ever had a hangover that you completely forgot what it’s like not to have a hangover? Excessive partying is easy to do in Las Vegas, but a throbbing head and overwhelming nausea is the last thing you want when you head to the Rio to play your very first WSOP event.

Save this for your last night on the town.

BE EXCITED.

You are at the WSOP! You did it! Don’t let a groaning and jaded veteran at your table dampen your spirits.

If you feel anxious beforehand, this is completely normal. Playing for a bracelet is big business and you don’t know what’s going to happen. But while anxiety suggests that you should fear uncertainty, excitement sees uncertainty as something to look forward to.

So get excited and enjoy the action.

DO NOT OVERLOAD CAFFEINE.

Any anxiety you feel before the tournament will only get worse if you drink four coffees before heading to the Rio. Instead, find different ways to wake up and conserve the healing power of coffee for later in the day, like the bracelet winner and former # 1 ranked online pro. Ari engel Is.

“I try to go to the gym almost every morning and I limit the caffeine in the morning so that it is more effective in the evening when I participate in tournaments,” says Engel.

REGISTER THE NIGHT BEFORE.

The day before your first event, why not stop by the Rio before going out for dinner? This way, not only will you know what to expect, but you can also take care of something newbies often overlook:

“Make sure to register the day before the tournament, especially if it’s a big weekend event,” said the WSOP Czar. Kevin “Kevmath” Mathers. “No one wants to be stuck in a long line when the tournament starts.”

Registration is available 24/7.

DO NOT STRESS.

Keep your mornings stress-free by limiting your obligations to others and planning your meal / trip the night before. This way you can just relax before the poker.

“I like to give myself time before I go to play so that my brain is really awake and functioning,” said the three-time WSOP bracelet winner. Benny “RunGodlike” Glaser. “I will meditate a bit if I have time, so that my mind is not cluttered with unnecessary things. I also try not to eat huge meals that will slow me down mentally or give me an insulin crash afterwards.

To help you further when playing games, Mathers suggests downloading the Bravo Poker Live application on your phone. “It shows you when tournament breaks are coming, the status of the dinner break, and how close to reaching the money you are.”

At the Rio, dining options can be limited and expensive, which is why Kevmath also suggests carrying snacks and drinks in your bag, along with other items you deem essential.

WEAR DIAPERS.

“The Rio is known for keeping tournament halls cooler than usual,” explains Kevmath. “Make sure you bring a hoodie or wear layers that you can add or remove as needed.”

And if you have to wear something warm, why not have fun with it?

“When people see me in a silly bear costume, it’s not just because the Rio is an ice cube,” says the two-time bracelet winner. Brandon Shack-Harris. “I’m from Chicago, so what do I care?” I do this because there is a point in the series where I tinkered with infinite tournaments and I’m too mentally excited to read enough Stoic Philosophies to pass tomorrow’s $ 1,500 Limit Hold ‘Em event.

DO NOT RUSH.

Break times in major WSOP tournaments can get hectic. Don’t feel like you have to rush. Keep in mind that there are two outcomes when you rush to the table trying not to miss a hand:

1. You are going to be pissed off and your heart racing, so chances are you probably won’t play the hand to the best of your ability anyway.

2. You will probably be awarded seven points.

“I try not to rush over to the table,” Shack-Harris says. “If I miss a hand, it’s okay. Unless running makes me happy for some reason, I walk and will get there when I get there.

AVOID BAD BEAT STORIES.

Talk strategy with friends during breaks, sure, but if you catch yourself starting to tell a bad beat story or having to listen to one, get out of there.

“Forget the rhythms,” Shack-Harris says. “While it’s important to recognize the hands you could have played better, do it once and let them go. “

Instead, during breaks, Shack-Harris likes to go out and find some peace. “I find it helpful to turn off my brain so that I don’t bother looking at my phone,” he says. “Find a quiet place and think about the adjustments you will make to the next level.

“There were times when I grabbed my skateboard mid-tournament and took it outside for 10 minutes to calm my brain and get some fresh air. Sometimes you have to leave the table and reset! “

DON’T FIGHT FOR BUSTING.

OK, so you missed the tournament. It sucks. But you know what? You are still in Las Vegas.

“I care less about hosting tournaments in Vegas than in other places because there is so much to do there,” says Glaser. “There are a lot of great bars and clubs, shows and restaurants to choose from. Or you can even wander off the Strip and see a bit of nature, maybe hike somewhere like Red Rock. It can be really nice to reset and calm the mind.

Just do what your body and mind want to do. “It’s such an intense and cognitively demanding job that it’s important to get some rest sometimes,” says Glaser.

BE NICE TO YOU.

Playing the WSOP is special whether you tick it off your to-do list or come back for the tenth time. But it can take a long time, so no matter what, be gentle with yourself.

“Throughout the series there are ups and downs and I’m going to make adjustments to stay sane,” Shack-Harris explains. “It’s important to be kind to yourself and allow yourself to eat shit if it’s okay with you or if it lifts your spirits. Just be aware that you may need to bail out in the middle of level 9 to handle some … extra business.


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