Five Questions to Ask Yourself at Your First WSOP


The 2022 World Series of Poker has just kicked off at Bally's, Las Vegas and thousands upon thousands of poker fanatics are starting to arrive in Sin City for the biggest poker event of the year. Among those droves, there will be several first-timers (this reporter included!) who will undoubtedly be itching to pop their WSOP cherry at the first chance they get.

However, among all the excitement, those attending their first WSOP will need to ask themselves a few questions to ensure they have the smoothest time possible. Having these questions ahead of time will mean you won't have any lingering thoughts in the back of your head and will allow you to put all your focus on the cards you are dealt.

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1. What Events Shall I Play?

Obviously if you are in town for the WSOP then you need to know which events you are playing. You'll very likely be looking at the most anticipated tournaments on the schedule like the Main Event and the Million Dollar Bounty but there's a plethora of events you should pay attention to.

Be sure to familiarise yourself with the WSOP schedule and have a plan of what events you'd like to play before landing in Vegas so you can plan your study sessions around those tournaments.

In the unlikely event that you are at a loss and not sure what to play, check out our guide on how to decide which WSOP events to jump into.

2. What Should I Bring?

Last September, PokerNews shared some essential items poker players should bring to the 2021 WSOP, and while some of those things on the list may now be outdated, it still acts as a useful guide.

So for your first-ever WSOP, make sure you've at least got the following items with you at all times when playing at the tables.

  • Small Rucksack
  • Water Bottle
  • Battery Pack
  • Card Protector

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3. Where Should I Stay?

For those who haven't experienced Vegas before, it's recommended that you stay at the heart of the Strip. That's where the best hotels are situated. This is where you are most likely to feel safe and secure which will help put your mind at ease. You'll continue to be able fully to concentrate on what happens at the poker tables.

Truthfully, the area north of The Strat on Las Vegas Blvd., between the Strip and downtown Las Vegas, probably isn’t your best bet.

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4. Should I Play Cash Games?

With the WSOP being all about tournaments, you'd be forgiven for wanting to stay away from the poker cash games if it is your first time playing the series, as presumably, all the prep you have done prior would have been focused on tournament play.

However, there are a few reasons why you should play cash games during the WSOP.

Low stakes cash games are well known for being soft during the WSOP. Playing ABC poker should be enough to provide you with some fruitful sessions. This could help you supplement funds for higher buy-in events.

As this is the time when Las Vegas cash games are at their busiest, you should check out the Poker Atlas App to find out which games are running where. The app, for most poker rooms, also lets you see waiting lists so you can plan accordingly before playing.

5. How Do I Look After My Bankroll?

No one wants to go home from their first WSOP completely busto, so protecting your bankroll at the 2022 WSOP should be one of your highest priorities.

One way to keep your finances in check is to avoid playing slots and table games where the house has a significant edge over you. There are countless stories of people who have come to Vegas to play the WSOP but soon found themselves obliterating their bankrolls in the gaming pit.

Another way to get the most out of your bankroll is to play WSOP satellites. More often than not, the fields are filled with players who are unaware of optimal satellite strategy, meaning you'll have plenty of opportunities to play bracelet events for a fraction of the price.

Read More: Some of the Best Poker Players Who Haven't Won a WSOP Bracelet

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  • Are you playing the WSOP for the first time? Check out these questions you should definitely ask yourself before landing in Las Vegas.

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Editor & Live Reporter

Calum has been a part of the PokerNews team since September 2021 after working in the UK energy sector. He played his first hand of poker in 2017 and immediately fell in love with the game. Calum's proudest poker achievement is winning the only tournament he has ever played in Las Vegas, the prestigious $60 Flamingo evening event.

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