Get Information about Taxes ahead of Time
You might be sitting at home reading this and thinking, I don’t need to care about taxes, I’ll cross that bridge when I come to it. However, if you’re planning on playing a number of events at the World Series of Poker, you’ll make life much easier for yourself if you get all the information ahead of time and make sure you have any paperwork ready in the event you end up winning a sizeable chunk of cash.
Depending on the country you’re from, you might be taxed anywhere from 0% to upwards of 60%, so you can easily see how significant it is. If you might be liable to pay a huge chunk of your wins in excess of, say, $5,000, $10,000 or even more, this is a big deal and you definitely want to know ahead of time.
However, the most important reason for figuring this out before attending events is to be prepared to deal with it if you are stakes or sell some % of your action.
In theory, it could happen that you sell 70% of your action to play in the Main Event of WSOP and win $1.000.000, you are crazy happy, right? After paying off the investors, you still got $300.000, so what could go wrong??
But what happens if after coming home you realize you have to pay 30% taxes from all your winnings, and you are left with ZERO?? What if your taxes are 40% and you do not even have enough money to pay it?
All of this is unlikely to happen if you plan a bit in advance and know where you stand, so make sure to do it!
Engage People at the Table
The live poker scene has changed quite substantially over the years. There are more and more people coming to the tables wearing their hoodies and with earphones on their heads, not caring about anyone or anything around them apart from the poker hand they are dealt. And, while they might be good at poker as a game, I’d dare suggest you don’t want to be that guy or girl.
There are so many reasons to stay engaged while playing live and so few against it.
First of all, by engaging people at your table and talking to them, you might pick up on additional information that might come in handy at a later stage. Those bits and pieces of data you collect by simply being friendly could actually help you make the right decision in a tight spot.
But, beyond this, you could make new friends and have a great time, so why deny yourself all these opportunities for virtually no reason whatsoever.
Check out Cash Games on Offer
Action at cash game tables during the World Series of Poker can be quite good thanks to all the inexperienced players coming to town looking for a bit of fun. So, if you’re looking for a fairly easy way to boost your bankroll, check out some of the lower limit live cash games and see what you can find. While there are no guarantees, either way, you’re likely to find quite a few soft tables where you can make a nice profit.
This does mean you might need to put extra hours into poker instead of resting after you bust a tournament or the play ends for the night. Whether this is something that works for you or not is up for you to decide. From the pure cash value standpoint, you’ll definitely want to get involved but if long hours are taking too big of a toll on you then it might not be worth it if your primary goal is to play as many MTTs as possible
Handling Tilt, Variance, and Other Fun Stuff
We’ve already mentioned how WSOP can be mentally draining with long hours at the table and the grind that never seems to stop. If you also happen to go on a cold streak of cards and find yourself on the bad side of variance, things can easily spiral out of control.
Busting out of your first few tournaments without ever having a proper chance is never fun and can do funny things to your brain, especially if you’re someone who’s not used to swings that are an essential (and huge) part of live poker tournaments.
The last thing you want is for this kind of run or bad variance to influence your game. It is all too easy to get in the mode where you’re basically playing to lose because there is really “nothing you can do” and you’re just getting unlucky.
While all of this may well be true when you’re running really bad, you still want to make sure you stay focused and play the best you can. Otherwise, you’ll only make things worse and possibly make streak longer than it should have been.
Of course, this is sometimes easier said than done. If you start feeling down and not wanting to play, then don’t! You’re better off taking a break for a day or two from playing WSOP than forcing the issue and registering for tournaments when you know your head isn’t in the right place. Skip on a tournament or two and take some time for yourself.
During this time, you should relax but also try and put things that had transpired into perspective. If it was all just bad luck and situations that you just couldn’t avoid, so be it, there is nothing to really sweat – it’s poker, it happens.
If you realize you made some mistakes along the way, that’s cool, too. Learn from it and the next time you find yourself in a similar spot, you’ll be in a better position to do the right thing. Plus, by thinking about your play and analyzing your game you’ll get motivated again and get back mentally stronger than before.
Try to Cash but Focus on the Win
Most live poker tournaments are structured in a way that all money that matters is given out to those who make it to the final table. So, while you want to cash in many events as possible, keep your eye on the prize and don’t allow yourself to start playing too tight once the bubble bursts and there are frequent money jumps.
Once you make the money, you should try and forget about those pay jumps as much as you can and just play your best game.
In certain circumstances, if you’re very short for example, it might be worth sitting around and waiting to make the next jump but, otherwise, try to play for the win and don’t let things such as a small difference in prize money influence your decision.
Sometimes this is easier said than done, especially with a few tables left and prizes becoming significant but you’re going to do better in the long run if you can turn this situation to your advantage and exploit those who are playing scared, not wanting to go out with the next pay threshold just around the corner.