How to Get Max Value From the World Series of Poker

Poker player at the World Series of Poker in Las Vegas
Poker player at the World Series of Poker no-limit in Las Vegas, Nevada. Ethan Miller / Getty Images North America / Getty Images via AFP

The 2022 World Series of Poker is finally here. Thousands of players from around the world have arrived in Las Vegas to play the biggest tournament series in our sport – but they won at the Rio All-Suite Hotel and Casino. Bally’s Las Vegas (formerly the MGM Grand) and the adjacent Paris Las Vegas have taken over the hosting duties after 17 years at the Rio. 
If you’re among the many players hoping to claim one of the 88 WSOP bracelets up for grabs, here’s a battle plan for extracting the most value possible out of your poker odyssey. 

Identify Your Priorities

Everyone has something different in mind when they arrive in Las Vegas. For some, playing the WSOP Main Event is a bucket-list item; others will take that $10,000 buy-in and use it instead to enter as many smaller events as possible, trying to bag one or more of those shiny bracelets. 
There are other poker goals to keep in mind while you’re in Vegas. The WSOP isn’t the only game in town – far from it. Dozens of other tournament series are on the schedule right now, including the Wynn Summer Classic, the Golden Nugget Grand Poker Series, and many more. 
If you’re not focused squarely on the WSOP Main Event, these other series give you multiple opportunities to win some serious money playing your preferred poker variants, at buy-ins that fit your bankroll. 
This is also a great way to check out some casinos you may have yet to visit. Getting that experience under your belt will broaden your poker knowledge, and improve your chances of future success at any table you play at. 

Convert Your Poker Skills Into Profit

While you’re filling out your personal tournament schedule, take some time to play the “side games” at the cash tables. These will be some of the softest cash games you’ll ever play – just like the tournaments themselves. 
Playing these cash games also helps smooth out some of that high variance you’ll encounter at the tournament tables. Chances are you won’t win a WSOP bracelet; you might even fail to finish “in the money” at all. But if you’re a decent poker player, you’re more likely to convert those skills into short-term profit at these side games. 

Watch Out for Your Diet

You are on a poker diet, yes? Unless eating is your top priority in Vegas, you should think very carefully about what you consume before you hit the tables. Tournament poker requires hours and hours of steely concentration; the healthier your diet, the better your results will be. That includes alcohol and any other substances you’ll be putting in your body. 
Everyone has different dietary needs, so we’re not going to suggest a specific meal plan for you, but if you’re smart enough to be playing poker, you probably have a pretty good idea of what you should be eating. If not, take a moment to do some research, then follow through. 

Enjoy Your Poker Journey

Poker is a game, which means you’re supposed to be enjoying yourself – you’re doing it wrong if you aren’t. By all means, be serious about your poker; that means taking your enjoyment of the game seriously. If at any time you find you’re not having fun, revise your schedule and go do something else you enjoy. It’s Vegas, baby! You have options. 
These are by far the most important poker tips anyone could possibly give you for your big WSOP poker journey. They might seem obvious in retrospect, but the next time you sit down at the felt, look around the table and see if you can tell which players are fully engaged, and which ones seem lost. The ones in the second camp failed to follow these tips. They have chosen… poorly.