I’m going to give you 10 Awesome Poker Tips for Tournaments in Vegas. If you’re familiar with my writing, then as you might have guessed, these will not be your standard poker tips for tournaments in Vegas.
I prefer to live in an alternative universe from traditional reality, but it’s still reality. It’s a reality that makes me happy, which includes not watching the news, removing anyone from my life who is negative, traveling more, meeting new people, staying fit, having no fear of rejection in any capacity, and eating at least relatively well.
These might not fit into our poker rules for winning, but they sure as heck fit my life rules for winning. I would highly recommend applying these rules. At the same time, I’m not going to force them on you. Not my thing. Be you, do you. I’m not going to interfere. All I can do is try to help you win more money (or lose less money) in poker games.
On that note, below are…
10 Awesome Poker Tips for Tournaments in Las Vegas
Tip #1: Do Not Play On a Travel Day
Do you know how people say that intelligence is learning from your mistakes? I get it, but if that’s true, I must be one really stupid mother f**ker. Do you have any idea how many times I have played in Texas Hold’em poker tournaments on travel days and lost?
I specify Texas Hold’em poker tournaments because PLO poker tournaments take a lot less work in regards to brain power. You do have to keep track of the pot in PLO, but you should be doing that in Texas Hold’em anyway. I’ll share a secret with you, though: I don’t always do that.
It has gotten to the point where I look at the pile of chips in the middle and form a quick estimate. I’m not going to count every single chip so I can make a precise bet. That could lead to my bet sizing giving away information anyway. By using rough estimates, it keeps my opponents from locking on to my patterns.
Those rough estimates aren’t sharp on travel days. This is especially true with poker tournaments in Las Vegas. That’s a five-hour flight for me.
This also means that I woke up very early that morning, made sure I had every item necessary, double and triple checked those items, drove to the airport, did the long-term parking thing with the shuttle bus, got my Record Locator for the flight, went through security, sat at the gate for hours, boarded the plane, attempted to sleep on the plane, took an Uber or shuttle to my hotel, checked-in to the hotel, unpacked, and tried to nap and failed because I knew there were poker games nearby.
I don’t care who you are. You can’t tell me that you’re going to play your optimal poker game after a travel day like this. I didn’t even include eating, finding restrooms, dealing with inconsiderate and/or unaware people, and constantly checking your phone to make sure everything in your regular world is okay.
As some of you already know, I made the poor decision to play in a poker tournament at Bossier City for the RunGood poker series after doing pretty much everything I just listed. The only difference is that the flight was about half the amount of time.
I was impacted so much that I was misreading the board, and I even thought that a 5000-chip add-on at the break was a 500-chip add-on at the break and didn’t take it, which pretty much gave me no shot. Now imagine adding 2.5 hours to that flight for Vegas. That’s even worse.
Additionally, Shreveport Regional Airport is tiny and only 10 minutes from Horseshoe Bossier City. Mc Carran International Airport in Las Vegas is busy and about twice the distance to The Strip, where you will also find plenty of commotion.
At the Horseshoe Bossier City, you’re usually going to be first in line and check right in. In Vegas, you’re almost never going to be first in line and checking in will often take 15-60 minutes. Hope you’re not at the Rio!
I’m trying to tell you NOT to be like me in this regard. It’s one of my biggest leaks. If you can learn from my mistakes, that would be great. At least I would know I was helping someone else. When it’s a travel day, DO NOT play poker tournaments in Las Vegas. This doesn’t fit into our poker rules for winning because you will be at a disadvantage.
Tip #2: Only Play at These Poker Rooms
I don’t have enough room to write about all poker tournaments in Las Vegas, but I do have enough room to give you a simple list of where it’s okay, which is one of the most important poker tips for tournaments in Vegas.
I recommend playing at the following locations…
There are different reasons for each location. You can check my other articles for those reasons.
Tip #3: Play Nightly Poker Tournaments
A lot of professional poker players will tell you NOT to play Nightly poker tournaments because of the rake, but they just look at the rake and never play Nightlys. I have played many Nightly poker tournaments, and one of the best poker tips for poker tournaments I can give you is to play!
The rake is high, but that’s the premium you pay to play against very soft competition. In fact, when I looked at my numbers for the first half of this calendar year, if it wasn’t for Nightly poker tournaments, I would be having a bad year.
These tournaments have saved me because the people who play in them play their poker hands like open books. They know the game well enough to avoid playing randomly (tough to read), but they don’t know the game well enough to implement effective deception (tough to read). Instead, they play their poker hands as if saying, “Okay, this is what I have. What would you like to do?”
If you implement the SPATS poker strategy from The Perfect Range to Nightly poker tournaments in Las Vegas, you’re going to come out ahead. You just need volume.
Tip #4: Stay Away From Hookers
I slid this one in there, didn’t I? Well, maybe I shouldn’t say I slid anything into anywhere. I don’t mess with hookers. Do what you gotta do, but they freak me out. Therefore, this could be a subjective poker tip, but if I did that, there is no way in hell I would be able to focus on a poker tournament.
I would be paranoid the whole time, and I’d probably need to leave the game to take two showers and one bath. This isn’t one of the more standard poker tips for tournaments, but you want a clear head. Know what I mean?
Tip #5: Buy-In Late
I write about this all the time when it comes to poker tips for tournaments, buy-in late to tournaments and skip the first few rounds of play.
When you’re in Vegas, experience Vegas! If you spend the entire time at a poker table, you’re going to miss out. I don’t go to shows or nightclubs, but I will walk up and down the strip, stop to eat at a restaurant, chill at a lounge bar and listen to some live music while drinking a beer, or just people watch for a while. When you get away from the poker table, your poker game becomes stronger.
It’s kind of like the gym. There are stretches where I go to the gym twice per day. The first visit is weights and the second visit is cardio. This is a good balance, but I go every single day. When I go on a poker trip and return to the gym, do you think I got stronger or weaker? I always get stronger. That’s because my muscles have rested. Your mind is a muscle. Let it rest so it can get stronger.
Tip #6: Play Sit & Go Poker Tournaments
When the WSOP is in Vegas during the summer, you want to head straight to the lowest buy-in sit and go poker tournaments. These games are incredibly soft.
I did a terrible job of planning my last poker trip. Everything revolved around two big buy-in poker tournaments, which prevented me from having maneuverability. You need to be able to maneuver in poker whether it’s on or off the felt.
Due to my error, I only played in two sit and gos. In one of them, I was out early. In the other one, I finished on the bubble. If I had more time, which would have meant a lot more volume, I’m confident this would have been a profitable venture. You need to plan your work and work your plan. Once you decide on a poker strategy, stick to it.
Tip #7: Do a “Last Longer” Side Bet with a Friend
If you’re not feeling it, offer to do a Heads-Up Last Longer with a friend who is playing in the same tournament. This is another one of those poker tips for tournaments that will seem like it’s coming out of left field, but by doing the Heads-Up Last Longer, you’re going to increase your focus.
This will be the case for both of you, which is perfect. The loser will likely be taken to dinner or for a beer by the winner anyway. All the while, you’re both increasing your chances of cashing in the tournament because you will be more focused.
Tip #8: Play More Poker Hands In Nightlys
I’m not advising that you change your style of play. I am saying that you should increase the number of poker hands you play at least a little because the competition is going to be softer. These players are easier to read, so you will know when to hang around and when to fold.
Tip #9: Play At Wynn
This is another one of my odd poker tips for poker tournaments, especially since the competition will be tougher. However, life isn’t all about the money, and neither is poker.
Yes, you want to win, but if you lose the fun and experience aspect of the game, you won’t last. Playing at the Wynn Poker Room is simply an enjoyable experience.
Tip #10: Go For the Gold
If you’re going to play poker in Vegas, then you should at least play in one big tournament. Even if this is slightly above your bankroll, sometimes you just gotta go for it. This advice pertains more to life than poker. I take a lot of risks in life. The majority of those risks have paid off. Not all of them. That’s for sure. But if I didn’t take all those risks, I’d be leading a boring life. Boring is bad.
When you buy-in to a big poker tournament, look at it as though you’re paying to see an NFL playoff game or going to the Caribbean for a few days. If you’re a poker player, you’re going to enjoy the tournament more anyway.
What I’m trying to tell you is that you should go into the tournament with no fear of losing. This doesn’t mean you should be calling an all-in with AQ when you think it’s a coin flip at best. It means you should savor a unique life experience. And who knows? You just might ship it!
These might not be your standard poker tips for tournaments, but you can find standard everywhere. As far as Awesome goes, I wouldn’t say these poker tips for tournaments are as awesome as Cabbage Patch Kids, Crocodile Dentist, Disney World, or The Matrix (needed to cover all bases for all readers), but they’re still 10 Awesome Poker Tips for Tournaments in Vegas in my eyes.
Q: Can you make money playing in poker tournaments?
A: Yes. It’s not easy, but there are ways. I can’t share my ultimate secrets at this time. For now, stick mostly to the lower buy-in tournaments with the softest fields.
Q: How do you win a big poker tournament?
A: My advice is to buy-in late, which will reduce risk, increase pot sizes, and make the decision-making process easier. When you’re in the money, it’s all about playing your poker position.
Q: What are the best poker tournaments in Vegas?
A: Go to the Wynn poker room during the off-season. Go to the Deepstack tournaments at The Venetian during the series (WSOP in the summer).
Q: How much money do I need to play in poker tournaments in Las Vegas?
A: For the Daily/Nightly poker tournaments, there are some poker tournaments with buy-ins less than $100. For the bigger buy-ins during the summer, you’re going to need at least $400, but I would recommend bringing a few thousand if you have it and can afford it.