BY RUSS SCOTT
RELEASE: JAN. 31, 2012
To Win $10,000 WSOP Seat, Inexperienced Players Need a Plan
The range of poker skills at this weekend’s charity tournament in Rock Island, Ill., will be as wide as you can imagine.
Consider this email from Tom S., a local amateur player:
“The tournament you wrote about last week seems too good to pass up, even though I play very little poker. You didn’t offer much strategy, however, and I could use more help!”
So, here are some tips for Tom and other “rookies” who play Saturday at Jumers Casino Event Center.
— Don’t be intimidated.
You won’t be alone. The lure of winning a $10,000 seat in the World Series of Poker main event, for as little as $60, will attract many casual players.
Meanwhile, you’ll be up against local card room “regulars,” along with some area pros and semipros who understand they’re getting great odds to compete against such a diversely skilled field.
Try to hide your modest skill level so you won’t be considered “easy pickins.” Pay attention to the table action, be ready when it’s your turn, don’t talk about your hands, and try to relax.
— Make the rebuys.
This is always a good “strategy” at a fundraising event for a fine cause — in this case the Arc of the Quad Cities Area, which provides daily assistance to 325 local people with intellectual and developmental disabilities.
It makes good poker sense here, too. Your $60 buy-in gets you 2,500 starting chips, but you absolutely should spend the optional extra $10 at check-in to double your initial stack to 5,000.
Also available during the first hour is one optional rebuy. Sometimes these aren’t a bargain, but this one is: $30 for 5,000 chips.
Many players will take this rebuy immediately, but you don’t have to. Play for a while, then decide.
— Prepare for a long day.
Unlike most tournaments, this event features two qualifying rounds with up to 200 players each. You must survive to the final 10 at either the noon session or the 5 p.m. session to make it into the championship round where the prizes await.
If you’ve got plenty of time and stamina, consider signing up in advance at www.arcqca.org for both sessions. That way, if you don’t get through at noon, you’ve got a second chance.
The finale with 20 players should start about 9 p.m.
— Have a plan.
Your strategy for the first three hours of a qualifying session should be pretty standard — play somewhat conservatively for the first hour, then get more aggressive as the blinds increase and the field narrows.
However, endgame strategy during the fourth hour will be critical, as I noted last week. That’s because your chip stack when the qualifying session ends is carried over to the championship round.
So, you’ll have to make a choice when the field gets down to 15 to 20 players: Do you keep playing hard, trying to build a bigger stack for the finals? Or do you slow down, realizing that to win the WSOP seat or any prize at all, you first have to qualify?
I recommend you play it safe. If you can hold on, let someone else make an endgame mistake and bust out just short of the prizes.
Once you’ve made the finals, remember that anything can happen! Even if you’re short-stacked, you still could get hot and win a seat to play on poker’s biggest stage!
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 creators.com or luckydogpoker.com.
COPYRIGHT 2012 RUSS SCOTT
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