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WSOP This Year

by Gavin Griffin |  Published: May 23, 2018


Not too long ago I wrote an article about my excitement for this year’s World Series of Poker schedule. I mentioned the interesting events they have to watch and play. I’m looking forward to the recently re-introduced post-lim events, the ones that start after the main event. It’s been about 10 years since they ran events like these and I think they’re great, especially for recreational players.

I tend to have an outlook on the WSOP that’s more similar to a recreational player than a professional grinder. Now that I have three kids and a wife that works full time, it’s hard for me to get child care, time away from the family, a place to play, and enough time to play all of the events I want. As a result, I try to find a good week to come play tournaments. I might make it out for another weekend or something, but a good solid week and then a return trip for the main event was a great way for me to get some good tournaments in. This year, with the post-lims, if I can’t find another week to come out, I can build a decent amount of tournaments into a main event trip to make it easier on my scheduling.

I can play the main event, and if I bust that on day 1, I can play a $1,500 no-limit tournament, a $1,500 pot-limit Omaha bounty event, the $1,111 Little One for One Drop, a $3,000 six-max pot-limit Omaha, $3,000 six-max no-limit, $5,000 30-minute levels no-limit, $1,500 pot-limit Omaha/NLHE, $1,000 30-minute level no-limit, and $10,000 big blind ante no-limit tournament all within one week of one of the starting day in the main event. That’s roughly $30,000 worth of buy-ins across a couple of different variants in a week that I could play if I have a bad time in the main event. Of course, as a bonus, I could still be in the main and playing for millions which I wouldn’t be opposed to.

If this was last year, I’d have to find another week to come out to play those types of buy-ins. If I went during the week of June 13-20, 2017 I would have had a chance to play a larger amount of variants during that time (five different games). I would, however, only play about $18,500 worth of tournaments if I skip the championship events, or nine different events and $60,000 in buy-ins if I do play those. I haven’t played any of the championship events that weren’t no-limit in a very long time so it seems unlikely that I would change that strategy.

I’m not sure how many players have a similar approach as me, someone who schedules like a recreational player but tries to play like a professional. However, the schedule this year really affords me a great opportunity to get lots of action in a short period of time, which is exactly what I’m looking for. Even if you’re a pure recreational player, it’s a great schedule because you can take a week off of work to play the main event and still play some good events both at the Rio and at other properties around Vegas.

For the full time grinders, there is also a great opportunity to get plenty of action this year. They’ve added some new events this year like the pot-limit Omaha Giant, a more varied online schedule including the first pot-limit Omaha online bracelet, a $1,500, $3,000, and $5,000 big blind ante event (which, if you’ve read my articles, I’m a big proponent of), and the aforementioned $1,500 pot-limit Omaha bounty event. In addition, I still think the change in start times is better for both pros and recreational players alike.

No matter how my previous WSOP ended up, I’m always excited around this time of year to have a chance to improve on my results from the previous year’s series. This new schedule makes me feel like I have a really good shot at doing so in some tournaments that fit my game well and have enough buy-ins to really make a good profit in a short amount of time. ♠

Gavin GriffinGavin Griffin was the first poker player to capture a World Series of Poker, European Poker Tour and World Poker Tour title and has amassed nearly $5 million in lifetime tournament winnings. Griffin is sponsored by You can follow him on Twitter @NHGG