Thursday, June 9, 2011
What To Expect When You Go Play In The WSOP?
I have been asked numerous questions over and over again about what to expect and should know when you go to play in The World Series of Poker? I have gone to Vegas every year for The WSOP since 2007, so I do have some experience on what you should do before going and while there.
The WSOP usually releases their schedule for all 55+ Events around January/February. Once you have the schedule you have to figure out when the best time for you to go is and what events you want to play during that time.
Booking Your Flight:
It is very important that you book your flight as soon as possible. From my experience the earlier you book with an airline the cheaper the flights will cost you. I remember one year that if I included a car rental with the flights through the airline it was actually cheaper.
Booking Your Hotel:
I find the best deals come from directly booking with the hotel instead of searching for package deals. If you have a players card from certain hotels you may actually get comped a few nights. The Rio is a good place to stay if you are just going for The WSOP since that is where all the events are played. (rumours have been circulating that the WSOP may be moving to Caesars Palace for years now).
Don't get me wrong you may still find a great deal by booking a package deal that includes flight and hotel, but I would get prices first directly from the airline and hotel before looking into the package deals that may not be a deal after all.
Registering For WSOP Events:
If you plan on playing in a $1000 or $1500 event or Day 1d of the Main Event, I suggest you pre register for these, as there is a very good chance that they will sell out. Yes even Day 1d of the Main Event. This is because The WSOP will stop letting players register for this day too try and event out the 4 starting days with players.
The WSOP lets you pre register up to two weeks before the start of each event by either sending a cashiers check or a wire transfer. I find it easiest to send a cashiers check, as all you have to do is go to the bank and get the check and mail it via Expresspost (you get a tracking number and they deliver to P.O. Boxes) with your registration form that you have printed out from WSOP.com I have heard from many players that it is to easy for wire transfers to get messed up. one number could be off and you have to make sure you put extra money in the transfer for any bank fees that may occur that your bank does not know about. Yes there will be an additional bank fee on the WSOP end of things that you do have to pay for when doing a wire transfer. Just send a cashiers check once pre registration opens as it seems easier and I have not had any problems pre registering this way.
How Much Money Can I or Should I Bring?
How much money you should bring, really depends on what you will be doing while you are not playing in WSOP Events. Are you going to other casinos to play some other poker tournaments, or are you going to play cash games all night, or are you going to relax at the pool and drink all day? When it comes to customs you are aloud to bring $10k in cash before having to claim anything on the customs form. Don't worry if you want to bring more then $10k it is still ok, they are not going to take it from you. Being Canadian If you are going bring more then $10k in cash, make sure you find Canadian Customs first before you go to American Customs and let them know and get the proper form to fill out for the American Customs, so there shouldn't be any hassle from them. I do not see why you would need to bring that much cash with you but if you think you need more then $10k, then I would just wire transfer the money to The Rio or Casino of your choice. You should be able to get all the info you need to do this from the casino.
Is There Any Other Good Structured Poker Tournaments?
The simple answers is yes plenty. The Venetian usually runs their Deepstack Extravaganza Events, Caesars Palace runs Mega Stack Events, Binions has their Annual Poker Classic, Golden Nugget has The Grand Series, and Aria has a great structured Daily's at 1pm and 7pm. Also The Rio has Deepstack Events, Mega and Single Table Satellites running around the clock.
What About Food?
Harrahs Casinos used to have a Buffet of the World card you could purchase for $34.99 which gave you access to all their buffets in each of their casinos for 24 hours, but after browsing their web page it does not look like they offer this anymore. I don't find the buffets over priced considering it is all you can eat and they are in Vegas, you also get a $10 food voucher for each WSOP Event you enter. If you want fast food, the prices are pretty close to what we pay at home. I have ate of the steak restaurant at the Luxor, and it was high priced, but well worth it, the food was to die for and the service was amazing, they definitely catered to you.
I Have Pre Registered, Now What?
Once you arrive in Vegas and are checked into your hotel, go to The RIO, you will see signs to point you in the right direction for The WSOP. Go to Will Call and they will have everything you need for your event, including a players card if you don't already have one, your $10 food voucher, and your table and seat number for your event. After you get all this make your way to the Pavilion and Amazon Rooms and find your table for your event, then just take it all in. You will be in awe of how many poker tables are there, check out the final table area, find the closest bathrooms, and just get familiar with the area so you don't feel to lost when it comes time for your event.
I think that just about covers everything coming from a Canadian. I can assure you that going to the WSOP and playing one of their events will be one hell of an experience for you, whether or not you are playing The Main Event. If you are going, have a blast and good luck at the tables and maybe you will be one of the few that brings home a bracelet.