This magical night comes only once a year. It's the poker player's equivalent to little kid's night before Christmas: the night before your first WSOP event!!!
I can't tell you how excited I am. Tomorrow is the first $1k NL event of the series, and will be my first event of the Series since I'm not a casino employee and suck at stud games way too much to consider playing the $50k 8-game event.
I'm feeling great going into this Series having just bought my house and getting settled in. I feel at home already and a little hot tub meditation the night before tournaments never hurts. This is my fifth WSOP and I am definitely going in more relaxed and prepared than any before.
I have 28 events on my schedule right now, but I may add a few and will hopefully be missing a few by making day two of other events. Instead of painstakingly posting each event and boring people to death, here's the gist:
- I'll be in just about all $5k and under NL events
- Whether I enter $10k "other" events (limit hold'em, PL hold'em if there is still a $10k in that, etc) will be based on how I'm doing and feeling.
- I probably won't be playing the $25k 6-max but haven't ruled it out yet.
- I'll be playing PLO and HA (half PL hold'em, half PLO) events up to $2500 that don't conflict with other/better events ... new addition to my schedule after playing my first WSOP PLO event last year and cashing it.
- I'm considering skipping the $1k NL on June 26th to play the $25,00 8-game event
I wish there were more 8-game (now called simply "mixed events" by the WSOP) events at the WSOP, especially smaller ones to get more recreational players interested in the game.
I also wish they would run ANY triple draw events. It seems odd that a game that's now included in the $50k Players' Championship wouldn't have a single event of its own, and it's the only one of the eight games that doesn't.
Also, RIP WSOP rebuy tournaments. Now a thing of the past, they were once some of my favorite events. The difficulty of tracking rebuys and concerns of skimming are likely the real reason, since not wanting people to be able to "buy bracelets" (by going nuts to accumulate in rebuy hour) seems like total BS in a series that includes $25k-$50k events.
I can't end the blog without giving a little bit of credit to my buddy and WSOP Tournament Director Jack Effel though. The inclusion of $1k NL events and a general shift towards smaller buy-in events for most prelims to compensate for the changing economy was a great idea that was implemented last year and taken even further this year.
As much as I love smaller fields and bigger buy-ins, this is really the way that the WSOP needed to handle the changing economy. While they want to cater to the pros to an extent, we need to keep the recreational players coming to the WSOP and make it affordable for them to do so.
Finally, one more tip of the hat to Mr. Effel. They've converted the giant room in the Rio Convention Center that used to be used for the WSOP Expo into a poker room. Having the same tournaments spread out across 3 or 4 different poker rooms led to a lot of wasted time and confusion.
Although I haven't seen the new setup or the rooms in action yet, this should be a great improvement that will help the tournaments run more smoothly.
Now it's time to turn on the hot tub and do some R&R before the tournament tomorrow. You can follow my tournament updates throughout the WSOP on Twitter at www.twitter.com/mattstoutpoker