Realistically, I will be knocked out of the tournament within the first hour of play, but with that kind of attitude the $2,000 buy-in will be wasted for sure. Confidence is everything in poker. You have to believe in yourself and your abilities.
So, how do I get myself pumped up for the $2,000 No-Limit Hold'em event this Friday? Well, I know that I don't have enough experience. I've played low-limit games online for a couple of years with mixed results (bad or really bad), but that will hardly help me in a live tournament of this magnitude. I've only played at a real casino one time, in a $2/$4 Limit Hold'em game at the classy Gold Coast. I played for four hours and lost 75¢. Statistics like that won't scare anyone.
Obviously, I'm not skilled or experienced enough to have an edge in a WSOP tournament. What I can do is study my opponents and try to exploit their weaknesses. Since there will probably be more than 1,000 players in the tournament, I've focused on some of the top names:
"Texas Dolly" is a fantastic poker player with unmatched skill and experience. He certainly proved that he still can do it when he reached the final table of the H.O.R.S.E. event. But let's face it - he's old. If I get seated at the same table as Brunson, I will just try to survive for the first couple of hours, and then steal his chips when he starts to nod off.
A lot of people say that Ivey is the best poker player in the world today, and it's hard to disagree with them. Still, he hasn't won a bracelet yet this year and that's something I think I can use against him: "No bracelets yet, huh, Phil? Well, better luck next year." That kind of subtle trash talk will knock him off balance for sure.
What can I say? Getting Phil Hellmuth on tilt is like taking candy from a baby.
I'm not a very nice person, but I can pretend to be. And when Negreanu realizes that he's not the nicest person at the table for the first time ever, he will forget all about playing poker. The all-time money list leader will be serving drinks, giving massages, and folding pocket aces just to make sure that everybody keeps loving him.
Chan is of course an excellent poker player, but he's also a very superstitious guy. What if someone stole his precious orange during one of the breaks? He'd just buy a new one? But what if someone already bought all the oranges in the nearby stores? What effect would that have on Chan's game? I think it would mean disaster for "The Orient Express."
See Phil Hellmuth.
Blood is thicker than water. If you tell Duke that her big brother is a nerd, she'll probably just deny it. "But why do you think they call him 'The Professor'?" When you ask her that, she'll really start thinking about it and lose her focus. Because, have you ever heard of a guy called "The Professor" that wasn't a nerd?
Now you have my rock solid strategies for the $2,000 No-Limit Hold'em event starting this Friday. But what if I'm not seated with any of these players? Well, then I'm really screwed.