Avid Fan at WSOP 2010…..Part Three…….What I will do differently next year……….

Now that the Hag has a year under her belt she is speculating on what will be different about next year. Now that all the “avid fan” issues have been resolved…..the favorite players spotted and lots of railing, the real poker playing is due for review.

While the high profile action was at the Rio, there was lots going on all over town. At least three major lower stakes. deep stack series were taking place at the same time. The Golden Nugget was featuring the “Grand” series which was a series of 57 events that offered deep stack tournaments ranging from $125 to $330 with a grand finale with a buy in of $1080. They had Hold’em, HORSE, and Omaha events with two starting each day. This attracted about 100 to 300 runners for each tourney and first place payouts in the $5k range.

The Venetian held their deep stack tourneys, 50+ events, each day also that ranged in buy ins from $330, $550, and $2,100 with super satellites for $5,000. These tourneys had several hundred entrants and payouts of $40K to over $150K on each day. They also offered Hold’em, Omaha and HORSE events and it was common for some of the well known players to be regulars in these games.

At the Rio, WSOP was also holding $200 buy in, deep stack tournaments each day with 200-700 runners depending on how close to the Main Event and/or the weekends. Big payouts and deep starting stacks make this a great warm up to one of the WSOP events.

I played one of the Grand Series tourneys at the Nugget and was able to cash…..played for 13 hours and it was great experience. Since I live in Texas, have to drive to Oklahoma to play live and do not have access to regular deep stack tournaments. The weekly tourneys I play at Winstar are 3 or 4 hour events and it is helpful to have that long play experience. There are plenty of deep stack offerings online..but is just not the same.

After seeing all that is out there my decision for next year will be to go and play some of the lower buy in events and get used to playing deep stacked. There is good money to be won and the chances for the average player is much better. My idea is that if you cannot hold your own in a $200 to $500 tourney then why pay the big $$$ to play at the WSOP. Now……I would not take anything for playing the event that I played and have no regrets. Now that I see the reality first hand, it makes sense to play some of these alternative events. Also, if you find you can win or even cash in some of these events, it would be a definite advantage to play the higher buy in events at the WSOP.

Playing in the $1k or $1.5 events gives you 3,000 and 4,500 starting chips respectively and one mistake or bad beat virtually wrecks your tournament. If you choose an event with $2,500 or $3,000 the starting chips gives players a lot more flexibility. It seems to me that if you go with the idea of playing the lower buy in events in some of the alternative casinos and have no success whatsoever, you may want to rethink playing in the WSOP. Also, it seems that if you have consistent success at some of these events, you may be better off to keep playing in those. There are really some good payouts and you would have to beat out thousands rather than hundreds at a WSOP event. The higher buy in events at WSOP would then be comparable to the deep stack structure and the number of entrants would be similar.

Another thing I would suggest is if you settle on some of the deep stack events at one of the other casinos, I would suggest that you stay in the hotel in that casino. It is such a long day and traffic in Las Vegas is a real beating that it helps to go for the comfort and familiarity. Next year I will probably play in one of these series and will plan on playing a tournament every other day. This will give plenty of time for cash games and doing other LV fun things. If I achieve some success, will go play one of the higher buy in WSOP events……..

One thing I do know is that there are really good players in all of these events…..from the lowest to the highest buy ins… Don’t go with the idea that you will capitalize on the donkey play alone…while there is some of that and some lucky suck outs and all styles of play……you still need to get lucky and you still have to be playing your A game. It is true that some A games are much better than others…..do not assume that these low buy in events will mean bad play…..it may be players that you have not heard of before and/or that may not have the larger buy ins and/or just do not want to be under so much pressure. Do not underestimate their level of play or ever estimate yourself……..
Posted by pokerhag.com at 10:52 AM

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