News from Poker Pro Tim O’Keefe
Lessons Learned from the WSOP!
Well my first WSOP has come to a close. It has had it’s ups and downs, and downs, but overall I learned a Lot and am still grateful to have been able to play at the biggest and best series in the Poker world. While I didn’t get to live out my poker dream completely and play the Main event, I’m confident the lessons I’ve learned from this roller coaster adventure will help me refocus me for upcoming events and come back to crush next years WSOP! So to keep me on point and have something to reread before next years events, here’s a list of the top 5 most important things I figured out in the last 5 weeks!
Confused look for most of the series lol
1. Have a plan, but be flexible!
I had what I though was a really good plan going in. I had mapped out all the events I wanted to play, totaled it all up and even made a spreadsheet for investors! It was all set up! Until I got there and it basically went out the window! lol While I still played in a decent amount of the events I planned, I changed my game plan on almost a day to day basis. There were simply too many tournaments outside of the WSOP that were softer and clearly a better value. I had not done enough research on other events in town and it caused quite a bit of stress and confusion. I was constantly torn between what I planned and what others were telling me to play. Flip/flopping on what to play will drive you crazy, believe me. (lol) Just figure it out beforehand and Commit. Another big part of this was reentering tourneys after busting. While many, if not all of the tournaments had multiple day ones, I repeatedly fired a second bullet after busting. While there are definitely spots where I think reentering is worth it, I know now that I was just glory chasing and went WAY too hard too early in my trip. By not sticking to my plan of just reentering the next day, I wasted valuable mental energy, relaxation time and of course money.
2. Be Disciplined!
Staying along the same lines as sticking with your plan, being disciplined enough to stay the course throughout the series is vitally important! If I maintained my discipline and didn’t reenter those tourneys, I would have saved myself from a lot of stress. And while I said be flexible, don’t be so flexible that you end up just going with what everyone else is doing. You are there for you and no one else. I need to workout everyday, eat healthy, and get a good nights sleep or I’m off my game. Don’t drink, stay out late, skip workouts or eat crappy food, just cause that’s what everyone else is doing. I fell off my routine multiple times throughout the series, I either was trying to keep up with what everyone else was doing or simply slacked off, and I know it cost me my A game. You don’t want to ignore people’s advice completely, I would have missed out on a lot of opportunities if I did, but make sure you still put yourself first.. Do whatever you need to do to bring your A game everyday, no matter what.
3. Bank roll management!
Your bank roll isn’t big enough! lol Plain and simple, if you think you have enough, double it. I don’t care who’s bank roll strategy you follow, but double it. Some players come out to the WSOP and take every last cent they have to the tables. Its INSANE. Unless you are completely comfortable with losing your entire roll in a few weeks(and I don’t think anyone should be) Don’t be one of these players, be smart! Use the same intelligent financial decisions that got you here in the first place. Yea it’s the World Series of Poker, and you should take your shot, but don’t shoot yourself in the foot and go home broke! Many times throughout the series the loss of money, compounded by a stretch of running bad, caused me to to tilt and knock me off my game. Even if the thoughts are WAY back in my mind, it’s still there enough to start even the best players down a bad path of negativity and self doubt. Save yourself the trouble and make sure you have enough in your roll to not worry. I know it will improve your play at the tables and make the trip much more enjoyable.
Just playing Intertops while watching the One Drop!
4. Pace yourself!
Burn out is waaayy too easy at the WSOP! Six weeks of nonstop poker is sheer craziness! haha I have a new respect for pros that play this every year and honestly, a little bit of pity. The way I and many others went about playing this series is not a way to live, even for 6 weeks! lol Doing nothing else besides playing poker is mentally abusive to ourselves and just not healthy. Being in a casino everyday, while fun for a bit, but gets very old very fast. Dealing with the smoke, the table games, the alcohol and the same degenerate players really takes a toll on you. You need to make sure you are are balanced and not just grinding away the experience! There’s always another tourney! Thats the beauty of it! If you bust out, leave the casino and do something besides poker! Poker (actually another amazing tourney) will be there tomorrow! Also be sure to schedule days off completely. You might not think you need the break, but trust me, you do. I was delusional thinking I could play everyday for 12-15 hour days and be at my best! If I took more time off completely, I know my game would have been better and my bankroll would be fatter lol.
5. Enjoy the Experience!
Remember you’re at the WSOP! Its the biggest and best tournament series of the year! It’s poker heaven! And It’s Vegas! Have fun! Take time to enjoy the process. Poker is supposed to be fun, right?! If it’s not, then what’s the point! You should wake up everyday and smile at the thought you get another shot at poker fame and tons of cash! Appreciate how lucky we are to be able to play a game like this! Soak it all up! Take pictures, meet Pros you’ve only see on TV, watch a final table in the thunderdome, have a fancy meal, see a show, hit the clubs and the pool! I mean, it is Vegas! and the WSOP is a spectacle to say the least! ! lol There’s always something going on, poker related or not! I regret not making more time for all these things and really diving into the whole thing. Unlimited poker isn’t always a good thing. Put the chips down and have some fun somewhere else!
The WSOP goes by way to fast and painfully slow at the same time lol When things are going well it’s over all too quick and when things are going bad, you cannot get on that plane home fast enough lol It’s the part were you have these feelings all in one day that’s hard to describe, but I’m sure most players understand what I mean! lol Hopefully others reading this can learn from my very expensive lessons and not make these same mistakes. And If you’re around for next years WSOP and see me doing any of these things, you have my permission to slap me in the face with a copy of this! lol;)
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