Having played at the World Series of Poker (WSOP) in Las Vegas for five consecutive years, I am writing some tips for those of you who decide to venture to this magical city.
Vegas Tips: Planning your schedule
I think it’s fundamental to have a full schedule of the tournaments you want to play. Several tools are available to help you plan your schedule, including visiting the website of each casino to check their schedule. I also recommend something more practical that I use every year. Clicking this link takes you to a spreadsheet that has all the tournaments of all the casinos in Las Vegas; the spreadsheet is updated adding new tournaments as they approach.
Another option is to download a dedicated poker app to your phone of table such as Poker Atlas, where you can filter by casino, buy-in and type of game. It also marks the distance from the casino if you allow the app to access your location. This application also serves to find cash games.
There are so many tournaments to choose from that it can be a bit overwhelming to decide once you’re in Las Vegas, so I recommend completing this step before you travel.
Vegas Tips: Register for everything in advance
Before registering a tournament for the first time you will have to sign up for a player card; you will need your passport to register for one. This card serves as your ID in tournaments and if you do not have it or you forgot it, it can make you lose a lot of time.
Another important point to keep in mind if you are going to play WSOP events held the Rio All-Suite Hotel & Casino, is to register in advance, especially in the massive tournaments like the Millionaire Maker, Giant, Colossus, Monster Stack and Main Event. As these events are played by thousands of people, the registration queues can be huge, which means you could end up being an alternate and not getting be seated until much later than when the tournament starts. To avoid this, it would be advisable to do as much as possible a day before. If you bust a tournament and you’re going to your hotel, stop by at the registration desk before leaving the casino.
While playing the bigger tournaments, I recommend leaving your table a few minutes before a scheduled break because the corridors become a warzone with thousands of people rushing to the bathrooms and to have something to eat and drink. It is also advisable to make a reservation in advance if you plan to visit a restaurant during the dinner breaks. All this may sound exaggerated but imagine thousands of people going to the break at the same time!
Vegas Tips: Where to stay and transport
Although Las Vegas is well-known for is vast variety of hotels, I would recommend renting and apartment or house if you are traveling with several people. There are many apartments with daily cleaning, a gym, a pool and other amenities. This can be a good option to keep your living costs low, be more comfortable and have the option to go to the supermarket and prepare healthy food as if you were at home.
Although most hotels in Las Vegas are close to each other, you will need a method of transport tfor getting to the Rio where the WSOP is played. The Rio is one of the handful of casinos and hotels that is far from “The Strip” where the majority of major hotels are located.
In Las Vegas, most car parking is free therefore renting a car can be a good option to save money and be practical. If renting a car isn’t an option for you, I also recommend using Uber because it is reliable and it’s cheap. When using taxis, always remember to tip as this is customary in Las Vegas.
Vegas Tips: Enjoy your downtime
There are many activities to entertain you when you are not playing poker, including flying by helicopter through the Grand Canyon or listening to Celine Dion live. The Cirque du Soleil has some incredible shows that will leave sat with your mouth wide open; they are spectacular and could easily be from another planet! I recommend going to all the shows you can but definitely go to the tribute to Michael Jackson, ONE. Tickets to this show always sell out fast so it pays to book in advance.
If you have free time during the day you could always go to an Escape Room, which is an ideal activity to spend quality time with friends and do something different with them. This is a game where a group of people are locked in a room where there is no apparent exit. The exit has to be discovered by the players after finding, analysing and solving different clues and riddles located within the room. There are several to be chosen in Las Vegas, but my favourite is LockDown Escape.
Every hotel has its own disco and nightclub and they are all good, but I highly recommend the night pool party of the Encore as well as the Disco XS.
As for restaurants, they are dotted all over Las Vegas. My particular favourite is Carmine’s in The Forum Shop, which is an Italian restaurant where you can eat delicious pastas.
Team partypoker head to the WSOP
Richard will be hoping for at least a repeat performance from his 2017 World Series of Poker escapades where he finished 12th in the Main Event for $535,000. The partypoker blog will be looking out for Richard and fellow Team partypoker members who are in Vegas this summer, including Natalia Breviglieri, Kristen Bicknell, Anatoly Filatov, Dzmitry Urbanovich, Marcel Luske, our legendary Chairman Mike Sexton and Jason Koon.
World Series of Poker and WSOP are trademarks of Harrah’s License Company, LLC (“Harrah’s”). Harrah’s does not sponsor or endorse, and is not associated or affiliated with partypoker, or its products, services, promotions or tournaments.
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