BY RUSS SCOTT
RELEASE: JUNE 7, 2011
Live WSOP Tournament Yields ‘Rookie Moments’ for Veteran Online Player
A veteran online poker player had quite a learning experience when he closed his computer and traveled to St. Louis for the World Series of Poker Circuit tournament. Let’s see what happened.
Q: “Even though I’ve played a lot of online tournaments, I still felt like a novice recently when I played in a $245 WSOP Circuit tournament in St. Louis. It was fun, though, and I plan to play more live tournaments in the future.” — Bob R. in Davenport, Iowa.
A: Sure, you had a few “rookie moments” in the WSOP event, Bob, but there’s no way to get the hang of big-time live tournament poker short of experiencing it. Kudos for taking on a WSOP competition!
It was normal for you to feel like a beginner, for reasons you probably can recite:
— There was more on the line.
— The general atmosphere was more intimidating and strange.
— Players were less predictable and tougher than you’ve seen before.
— You were worried about making embarrassing mistakes.
Don’t fret for a second over your “interesting time” with a “professional” dealer who corrected your chip-stacking efforts.
“I learned to stack my chips with the large-denomination ones in front. The dealer was nice enough to point that out. He wasn’t smiling,” you wrote with a touch of sarcasm.
Your dealer probably wasn’t smiling because that was the 10th time that day he had to deliver the same message to someone. At least your improper stack alignment was an innocent mistake. Plenty of longtime players deliberately hide their big chips behind other stacks if they can get away with it.
He wasn’t picking on you.
Part of his job is to protect the other players and guarantee the game’s integrity.
Believe me, you want dealers attentive to every detail, as you can attest after your A-J all-in pre-flop bet was called by an opponent holding pocket Q-Q.
“I was down to about 3,500 chips,” you wrote. “A queen hit on the flop, and I was sure I was toast against his trip queens. I didn’t even notice that the turn card gave me a straight. After the river card was dealt, I started to get up thinking I had lost and saying, ‘Good luck, everybody,’ when the dealer shoved me the pot. It was embarrassing.”
Ha! We’ve all been there, done that. Even veteran players sometimes overlook winning hands.
I like how you finished that paragraph: “I kept the chips anyway!” You betcha! When that happens, just shrug and keep on playing.
A player’s poker growth is measured in results and learning experiences. You played well on your first foray into a big event. Finishing 68th out of 150 didn’t pay anything, but it’s a respectable first effort, and you profited nonetheless.
For one thing, you now realize, “There’s something about a live event that is just a little better than Internet play.” You also understand why it was “good experience to play in a bigger event like that.”
Poker at the WSOP level is a great thrill and challenge. No, you didn’t win money, but you improved your future chances for success by gaining a much better feel for what it’s like to play in a top-notch event.
On some days, that’s victory enough.
E-mail your poker questions and comments to email@example.com for use in future columns. To find out more about Russ Scott and read previous LuckyDog Poker columns, visit www.creators.com or www.luckydogpoker.com.
COPYRIGHT 2011 RUSS SCOTT
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