World Series gets back on fast track

Jun 11, 2007 2:32 AM

Let me catch my breath after playing late into the night, Friday, of the World Series of Poker’s Event No12, the No Limit Hold’em Six-Handed tournament.

Although. I didn’t make the final table, I cashed in eighth position (two seats from the finals), my best finish so far in the early going of the World Series.

Overall, there were more than 1,400 players in the field for this $1,500 buy-in event.

We move on, though, as there is plenty of poker to be played and many bracelets to be won!

Looking back over the first week of action, the folks at Harrah’s should be commended for getting the World Series on track so quickly.

Virtually all of the opening challenges have been met and the events appear to be running smoothly.

Within the first few days:

”¡ the playing cards have been replaced with better decks

”¡ the computer problems have been rectified

”¡ the long lines and delays have been all but eliminated.

Through these first few events, the large volume of entries continues to impress. And, as noted last week, the players seem to be getting younger and younger, and there are more women in the fields than ever before.

I think we will continue to see this trend, especially in the lower buy-in No Limit Hold’em events, which seem to be the game of choice for a large portion of new players.

Keep in mind that No Limit Hold’em, especially for those who learned and polished their skills on the Internet, is a game that takes skill, patience, stamina and a cast-iron stomach. This is a game of aggression and you have to be prepared to put it on the line against your fellow players.

Playing online has also prepared many players for the large field that now mark the World Series events.

I’ve spoken to many "old timers" who long for the days when fields consisted of only 150 to 300 players. Naturally, it’s more difficult to get through a field of 1,500 or 2,000 or 3,000 players, but online players are accustomed to playing against huge fields. Some Internet tournaments feature 5,000 to 10,000 players or more!

I’ve had a chance to chat with many of these new players, and a substantial portion of them are serious about their commitment to poker — they’re here to try to become professional poker players.

Of course, part of that desire is the fame and fortune that comes with winning a World Series event — the cash and gold bracelet are nice inducements.

But there’s more to success than waving around a bracelet. Playing like a professional takes dedication and practice. Plus, developing your skill requires consistency and perseverance. Sometimes, you have to pick yourself up off the floor after you’ve suffered a bad beat, get it out of your system and move forward. All good poker players have learned to do this.

Because many of the newcomers are on limited bankrolls, a good way to get your feet wet is through the satellite system of tournaments.

Besides being a relatively cheap way to gain a seat, playing in a satellite can give you confidence and momentum heading into the targeted event.

Satellites run right up to the start of the featured event, and they always offer good value for the player. They should be considered as a cost-effective way of gaining a seat in a World Series event.

As we’ve seen many times, once you have a seat, anything is possible!