The 45th Annual WSOP (World Series of Poker) starts next month, here in Las Vegas. It will be hosted by the Rio All-Suite Hotel & Casino for the tenth year running.
Between May 27 and July 14, players have the option of taking part in a total of 65 events to win a coveted WSOP bracelet, including the Millionaire Maker that last year awarded its winner $1.2 million.
Anyone aged 21 and over can take part, and with so many events to choose from, what’s stopping you? According to Topline Findings, while 10.1% of the US adult population play poker regularly, less than half of them play for real money, whether it’s online or in a casino. While playing for cash is a different game to playing in a tournament, big money can be made from each. These statistics go to show that many Americans lack the confidence to take their skills to the next level.
So why? Some poker champions argue that many players just don’t practice enough in the lead-up to tournaments. “I love to play,” said 2010 WSOP Champion Jonathan Duhamel as he told Partypoker.com about the importance of practicing outside of the tournament setting. “Playing is the best way to get better.”
Las Vegas is a honey pot for getting your practice in, in a live setting. But thanks to the 21st century, you can hone your poker skills wherever you are in the world. freepoker.org for example provides free online training, with dedicated pages that cover the technicalities as well as the psychology of the game. Novices can go through a step-by-step breakdown of rules and tactics, which address things you wouldn’t necessarily think about, like the significance of your position on the table. More experienced players can try out their skills on the site’s online poker tables – an inexpensive way to test how your bluffs work against complete strangers. freepoker.org places an emphasis on the Texas Hold’em style, much like WSOP, so it’s the perfect place to boost your confidence in a risk-free environment.
Who knows – you could be one of Vegas’ next bracelet-bearers. Whether or not you’re thinking of taking part in this year’s WSOP, get online, practise and have fun!