We’re about 6 weeks out before the main event starts in Las Vegas. By now I have to start my preparation for it. The world series (WSOP) are already starting in about 10 days, but personally, I’m only going for the main event.
Basically, I’m only playing 1 event with a 10k buy-in. That’s it. So how much preparation do I really need? And how much prep work am I willing to put in while my other businesses and investments are doing great right now.
Well, you guessed it. Not too much.
But, even without extensive work. I can come prepared to at least optimize my experience and expected value (EV).
So here’s my approach.
Poker Experience & Strategy
For 8 years poker was my life. I played 80% of the days of the year and grinded my ass off at the online tables. For years I was a big volume and rakeback grinder, until I moved up in stakes and cut down the number of tables I played to increase the bb/100.
In my most intense year, I was playing over 100k hands per month. With a personal record of 180k hands in just 30 days. Over the course of my professional career, I estimate I played over 5 million hands of poker.
To put that in perspective, if you play live poker in a casino or home game. You’re playing around 20 hands per hour. If you’re playing 8 hours per day of live poker, 365 days a year, that adds up to 58.4k hands in a year.
Needless to say, with over 5 million hands, I should be in the top 1% of most experienced players.
However, for the past 4 years, I’ve been mostly focused on business and crypto. So I expect to be very rusty and am betting on my unconscious competence to kick in when I need it.
The WSOP main event in Vegas will last about 7-8 days if I make it till the end. That mean’s I’ll be playing a maximum of 1000 hands of poker, but probably a lot less.
So how much practise do I need?
I think it will be good to practise some ranges every day, for about 30 min. To trigger some of the old poker knowledge that’s somewhere in my brain. I’ll have to accept that vs the current pro’s, their range and technical skills at the poker tables will be way better than mine.
Some of my friends still play full-time poker, and also tournament poker. So I’m getting some ranges for the most common positions and stack sizes to practise with.
Just getting the feeling back on what my range or opponents possible ranges are in certain spots, will be good enough for me.
In between playing days, I’ll have breaks too. So depending on the stack sizes I can use those days to drill some ranges to optimize my EV.
Playtime Before Vegas
I’ll be clicking a few online tournament series, to get back in the flow. Not only is it fun to be back at the tables, but I also want to get back into the tournament rhythm.
How stack sizes and strategies will change throughout a tournament. Playing near the bubble. Getting that rush of going all-in. Grinding up the prize money stages of a tournament. Al things I want to experience again before even heading to Vegas. And doing that online is the perfect way to do that for me.
Last weekend I clicked a few tournaments online. Although I busted early everywhere.
In addition, I have to get used to live poker again. Sitting in casinos with cold air conditioning and uncomfortable chairs. Having to wait patiently while players take forever to get to a seemingly random decision. Getting used to putting actual chips in a pot, instead of clicking a mouse button.
With all these things and more need to feel comfortable again. So I’m not distracted or uncomfortable while I play one of the biggest events of the year.
So I’ll head to vegas a bit early to play a few nights of cash games. Just like the good old days. Back to my favourite cash games at the Bellagio in Las Vegas.
The Mental Game of Poker
For years I’ve worked with one of the top-notch mental coaches in poker, Jared Tendler. Once I started working with him on my mental game, I was able to move up in stakes and fix mental leaks that we’re limiting me for years. Leaks I didn’t even know about until I started working with Jared.
I owe a big chunk of my success to his books and the coaching sessions we did between 2014-2017.
This year, Jared reached out to me because he was expanding his business. After releasing his new book “The Mental Game of Trading”, he was looking for ways to professionalise the business outside of coaching. I connected him with my business partners and we’ve been working together ever since.
Just now, he released his first video course “The Mental Game Tune-Up for Tournament Poker“.
For me personally, since I will not have an edge on the pros in Vegas on the strategy side. My goal is to be a mental shark before the WSOP starts. I want to be sharp as a blade, ready to perform at my peak, prepared for emotional swings and mental hurdles.
I want to create a framework for my decision-making process. Have a well thought out warm-up and cool-down routine. And being able to spot when I’m playing my C-game and know how I can transition that to my B-game, or even A-game (if I have one now).
I believe this is where I can create the most EV vs my opponents.
From experience, I know that Jared is the way to go. And I’m happy I can work through a video course of about 13 hours, instead of reading his books again or booking sessions. It will be a time and money saver for me and I’ll be in mental tip-top shape.
If you don’t believe my word on this, you can check this review by CardplayerLifestyle.
No Crypto in Las Vegas
Most of you know that I believe the bull cycle will be till the end of this year. The main event starts on November 4th, so it’s quite likely that we’re mid bull cycle while I’m playing in Vegas.
Not the best timing.
I’m already well prepared for my exit strategy and my long term hold portfolio. So I don’t need to spend too much time thinking about it while I’m in Vegas. I just have to make sure I have some sell orders out and not FOMO into new coins.
I will not margin trade at all during the series, cause I don’t want to be constantly refreshing my Bybit account or Blockfolio.
Most recently, I started flipping NFTs and I love it! But I will not buy any new NFTs during the world series. I’ll probably keep an eye on price movements in case I want to sell. Possibly I’ll have some sell orders out so I don’t need to waste too much time on Opensea at the tables. But I’ll do my best not to indulge my new addiction.
I will, however, print a hoodie with a Lazy Lion and my Mutant Ape so I can rock those at the series. Some online pros like Fedor Holz are already flashing their Pudgy Penguin NFT on Pokerstars. And I’m wondering how many other poker players have these NFTs and will be a fun topic of conversation for the people who don’t know wtf they are.
See You There!
If you’re heading down to Vegas, let me know so we can meet. Whether that’s at the Rio or grabbing a drink somewhere.
I’m always down to meet like-minded people.