How to Prepare for Your First WSOP Trip
Last Updated: May 5, 2023
With the World Series of Poker right around the corner, it is high time to start preparing for the biggest grind of the year.
For players going to Vegas for the first time, the WSOP can be an exciting experience, but also one that they are not quite prepared for.
If you have never played in the WSOP before and are getting ready for your first trip to Sin City, we have some great tips on how to prepare for this unique experience.
Keep reading and get our expert tips on how to prepare for your first time playing the WSOP, as we look at things from different angles and cover all the bases.
#1 – Examine the Schedule
The WSOP is the longest and the most comprehensive poker festival in the world. There are more events to play during the summer in Vegas than anywhere else on the planet.
That’s why going into it blindly would be a big mistake and why we highly recommend examining the final WSOP schedule in detail before you head out.
The schedule will help you to plan out your trip in a way that allows you to play the most events that you want to play, within your budget, and within a given timeframe.
Quite obviously, there are many WSOP events that first-timers will likely not be looking to play, but also many WSOP bracelet events that you don’t want to miss.
What’s even more, you should also have a look at the tournament schedules released by other poker rooms in Vegas.
They all overlap with the WSOP and allow you some great action on days when there might not be an ideal WSOP event on the books.
The Las Vegas tournament schedule is one of the most handful tools in helping you prepare for your first ever WSOP trip, so make sure you have it open while planning the experience.
#2 – Plan Your Budget Including Expenses
The WSOP trip can be quite a costly affair, even if you are only looking to play the lower stakes bracelet events and some side events at other casinos.
Most people head out to Vegas for at least a couple of weeks, which makes sense given all the action that’s going on and the cost of flights to get there in the first place.
As you plan your trip, you should consider the tournament buy-ins you want to bring with you, any cash game action you may want to get involved in, and other expenses.
Las Vegas is not exactly the cheapest place in the world. You may want to bring quite a bit of extra cash even for the most basic expenses like food and drinks.
If you are planning to go see some shows, get involved in experiences like helicopter rides, or hit the clubs, your budget will have to increase quite a bit for each of those.
All of this is not to say that you can’t do WSOP on a budget, but if you want the full experience without feeling left out, a hefty budget will be needed.
#3 – Practice Your Live Poker Skills
Quite a few players who come to Vegas to play their first WSOP only have experience playing online poker, and that’s probably one of the biggest mistakes one can make.
Even if you are an online player, we highly recommend getting some live poker experience before you go to Vegas.
Not only is live poker incredibly fun to play, but getting some live experience will help you feel more comfortable at the tables, play better, and give off fewer tells.
Online poker players often like to think that having a fundamental understanding of poker math is all it takes to win in the game, but it’s definitely not the only skill needed to win in live poker.
Playing live poker can be quite overwhelming even for online poker crushers. So, make sure you go to your local casino, play in some games, or even play a leg or two of a smaller poker tour in preparation for the WSOP.
All the preparation and practice in the live poker arena will help you feel more confident at the tables and bring your best game with you. This will directly impact both your results and your level of comfort throughout the trip.
#4 – Link Up with Other Players
While it is not absolutely necessary, doing the WSOP with other players will be a lot easier and more comfortable.
If you already have poker friends you know will be playing the Series, make sure to link up with them, try to travel on similar dates, and have some overlapping events.
If not, you may even want to look for poker buddies on poker forums or other online spaces, as this can help with quite a few things.
Not only is it possible to share accommodations with groups of poker players for incredible discounts, but it is also worth having some help and support from likeminded people in the city itself.
A lot can go wrong on a poker trip of this magnitude. Doing it with some friendly faces around you will definitely help alleviate any stress that may come your way.
#5 – Plan Some Days Off
As you get your WSOP schedule in order and put final touches on it, make sure to also plan for some days off when you can just chill, enjoy the city, and take part in any of the entertainment you prefer.
Las Vegas is the closest you will find to Disneyland for adults. There is every type of adult entertainment you can imagine available in the city.
From casino gambling, to night clubs, strip clubs, MMA fights, other sporting events, and shows of all types, you need only pick your version of a good time.
Make sure to do your research and leave some free days on your schedule for events you truly want to see and believe will have the best time at.
Especially if you don’t plan to travel to Vegas too often, getting the full experience on your first trip is an absolute must!