Maybe you’ve dreamed about playing a live poker tournament for a long time. Maybe you just got the itch after watching PokerStars’ own Garry Gates take fourth place at the WSOP Main Event final table. Whatever your inspiration, PokerStars School has everything you need to prepare for hitting the felt.
• Qualifying for EPT Barcelona via satellite
• Team Pro advice for live poker tournaments
• Rethinking broken slogans
EPT Barcelona is traditionally the first major tournament festival following the World Series. With five more weeks before the first event begins, this is a great time to start thinking about qualifying for Barcelona through a satellite tournament.
This week Barry Carter, author of Poker Satellite Strategy, takes a look at the current Barcelona satellites running on PokerStars. The €9,210 packages, which include a Main Event buy-in and travel expenses, are awarded to one of every 17 players in these qualifiers.
Carter walks you through some of the nuances of satellites that less experienced players might overlook. Whether they’re playing closer to the tournament date for softer fields, keeping in mind how many chips you need to get past the bubble, or taking advantage of late registration for an instant ICM boost, players who take advantage of these tips will have an edge in qualifying for major live events.
Check out Barry Carter’s tips for EPT Barcelona satellites and get an edge on qualifying for one of the best live events around.
Once you’ve taken the first step and won your seat in a live tournament, it’s time to start preparing for the event itself. Playing lots of online poker will help with to some degree, but there are a lot of differences in the live game — and that’s where this advice from a couple of Team PokerStars Pros will come in handy.
New Poker Hall of Fame inductee Chris Moneymaker has some excellent advice on playing the early levels and looking for physical tells. One valuable tip is to watch your opponents early on and see what they do when they look at their cards. “Everybody has these little tendencies that they do, and everyone is different,” says Moneymaker. “Your job is to watch for things when they deviate from that.”
Fatima Moreira de Melo shares some tips on the early levels, too, as well as some practical advice that you probably haven’t thought about if you’ve never played in a casino before. From layering your clothes for unpredictable climate conditions and dressing in a way that avoids giving off physical tells, to developing a pre-tournament routine and scoping out the locations of bathrooms in advance, this is great advice that can help you avoid some practical pitfalls that online players never have to worry about.
When you arrive at the live tournament you’ve qualified for and you dive into the game, you might find yourself overwhelmed — even if you’re following our pros’ advice. This is only natural. But if you find yourself thinking about old poker clichés while you’re at the table, it’s worth stepping back for a moment.
“New players are already overwhelmed and confused enough by the complexity of poker and the vast quantity of information that’s out there,” writes Pete Clarke. “The last thing they need is for some outdated cliché to invade their framework of understanding. Nevertheless, these grains of wisdom from the nineties, when poker was a game of intuition and tells, still exist and they are not one bit compatible with the modern game and its objective truth.”
This week Clarke takes on a cliche that can harm your bottom line by bleeding your stack of crucially important chips: “Play the player, not the cards.”
WSOP photography by pokerphotoarchive.com