Editor’s Note: The following guest editorial is from FOWCP Jeff Sealey.
What does it take to win the World Series of Poker‚Äôs Main Event? I wouldn‚Äôt know. You’re asking the wrong guy. But what I do know is that it‚Äôs different from any other major event I have participated in, which have been a bunch.
The first difference is the sheer fucking size of the field. Obviously, all you can do is beat your table. I truly had the mindset going in that this was ‚Äújust another tournament.‚Äù But it’s not. The difference between this and other tournaments is that the number of players that need to be accommodated forces the play into flights (four to be exact). Throw in nearly two-hour blinds levels and you are in for a loooooooooonnnnnnnnnng tournament.
So, what’s it like playing in your first WSOP? First, in my case at least, you arrive in Vegas on Wednesday night. Then you find out that you don’t play until Saturday. Then you play for fifteen hours on Saturday and make it through to the next day‚Ä¶which isn’t until Tuesday. You play for fifteen hours on Tuesday (technically, I was KO’d on Day 2a) and make it through to Day Three‚Ä¶which isn’t until Friday. Now you have been in Vegas for 9 days and you‚Äôve played twice.
You‚Äôve had seven non-poker nights, and we all know that ‚ÄúVegas is really cheap.‚Äù So you knock down a few hundred-dollar meals, hit the clubs for a night or two, play a little on the tables, etc. You‚Äôve
But let’s get back on track…
The next factor in the tournament is the table that you draw. If you are fortunate enough to draw a table with a low table number (meaning that your table is less likely to get broken up the first day), then you have a distinct advantage. If you play with the same people from the beginning of the tournament on, you should have a great read on them. When a newcomer shows up at your table, not only does he have to figure out the whole table‚Ä¶you just have to figure him out too. His tendancies and tells.
Speaking of table draws,
The first thing I did was count the shirts from Poker Stars/Party/Bodog/Paradise, etc. to figure out how many guys won a seat online, and how many actually bought in or won via a live satellite. There were 5 online poker sites represented at my table, but what I thought might have been an easy table turned into a nightmare when I looked at the chip stacks. There were two people with over 50K in chips, one guy with over 40K in chips, and the rest of the table had less than 10K. I was, in a word, trapped. If I opened with say, KcQc, someone would shove all in and I would be forced to fold (which happened repeatedly). I never thought I would actually wish that I could have my table with a million WSOP bracelets on it back, but after about a half hour at my new table I was longing for it. Table draw is crucial.
But believe it or not, the biggest factor in winning the WSOP is‚Ä¶lucky cards. Period. I‚Äôm going to use
Another guy I play with a lot in Indianapolis finished in the top 200. I know this guy‚Äôs game very well‚Ä¶he‚Äôs about as tight as they get. If you‚Äôre going to play tight, you have to bet your big hands heavy when you get them, and then get action on those hands when you play. That my friends, requires luck. You absolutely have to have cards to win the WSOP. Otherwise, the pros would win every time.
Playing good poker helps, but that goes without saying. So, you want to be the next Gold/Hachem/Raymer?
Block out about three weeks in your life where you have nothing at home that could possibly distract you from your task at hand, winning the tournament?
Pay whoever is putting the tables together to put you at Table #1 so that you never get moved?
Win fifteen ‚Äúcoin flip‚Äù situations in a row, and come from way behind a few times and you too could be the next
Bitter about my WSOP experience? Me? Noooooooo. Ok, maybe a little. Next year, I‚Äôll be ready. I‚Äôm having special boxers made out of four leaf clovers and a hat made of rabbit‚Äôs feet.