This is our third visit to the World Series of Poker (WSOP), but the first where we have played any bracelet events. Over time we have noticed a number of “glitches” that we would not have expected going into such a storied event. Today, we thought we would share some of them with you.
Many of the Dealers Are Brand New
This is not surprising if you really think about it. The WSOP is massive and requires hundreds of dealers to run smoothly. The Reunion tournament alone held 4,000 to 5,000 players on its largest days. That’s a lot of dealers. Several dealers sat down at my table and announced “this is my first day dealing, be patient with me.” Many proceeded to prove their novice status through misdeals, pots shoved the wrong way, and only a passing knowledge of the rules of the game.
Pro Tip: Do be patient. They are trying their best. Also, dealers get their reps in as the month goes on. Even the new dealers will be more skilled by the end of the month after hundreds of hours dealing at the WSOP.
The Lines Can Be Horrendous
This year we heard stories of players waiting six hours to register for a tournament. We were fortunate to spend only two hours in line to register for the Reunion on Day 2 of the WSOP. At most, there are 12 windows open to register at the WSOP, and at worst there can be only 3 or 4. This year things have been slowed further by the requirement that players prove their vaccination status before their initial buy-in. Once again, be patient.
Pro Tip: You can buy in to any tournament as early as you like. If you plan to play in one of the large tournaments, register a couple of days in advance, preferably early in the morning. The lines will be much shorter, and you can get back hours of your life.
You Don’t Need to Cash Out Immediately
Cash-out lines can be as bad as registration lines. For some reason, the process to turn your tournament-winning ticket into cash is long and multi-stepped. However, you can get your cash-out whenever you like. We recommend waiting for a slow morning after your event to turn that ticket back into cold hard cash. You have all month. No reason to wait with the other 200 people who just busted out after the money bubble at 1am.
Pro Tip: Did you know that you can register for your next tournament as you cash out of the last one? Two birds. One line.
The WSOP Needs a Weather Report
I don’t mean outside, either. Depending upon which room you are assigned, and where you are seated, you will spend your hours either sweltering or thinking that you have been stranded somewhere in Siberia. The Rio Convention Center is a large facility with variable air conditioning service. Be prepared for all weather conditions by layering up.
Pro Tip: Never come to play without a sweatshirt or jacket. However, if you somehow arrive in only shirtsleeves, the handy WSOP store will be happy to sell you a hoodie.
Bring Your Own Food
You will definitely want to pack in your own snacks and meals if at all possible. We were shocked last week when we paid over $19 to split a sandwich and a tiny bag of chips. When examining the receipt, we saw that we paid no less than $6.50 in tip, service charge, gratuity, and tax. Aren’t tip and gratuity the same thing? What?! Even if you are willing to pay usurious prices, the lines are long and everyone wants to eat at the same time. You will be much better off bringing food in your trusty backpack (which also holds your sweatshirt and phone charger).
Pro Tip: The Rio is a Pepsi facility. If you are a Coke person and failed to pack one in, you will need to cross the quarter-mile (at least) to the Smash Burger and hope that 37 other people didn’t beat you there.