The poker world lost one of its greats last month. No, it wasn’t Doyle Brunson (Why do sick people keep making fake reports of his death?) or another player with bracelets and millions in tournament winnings that you’ve seen on TV. This player wasn’t quite as well known as some others, but anyone who had the pleasure of meeting and playing poker with her would never refute the title of “great.”
The other day I was playing a huge buy-in poker tournament where the majority of players have spent years working on their playing style and studying the game from many different angles. But given the behavior of the players at the table, it was evident that the simplest way to increase your edge was going unnoticed. Get your notepad ready, because here is the one simple trick that is going to undoubtedly increase your hourly rate:
As many of you know, over the past few years I’ve gone from just strictly playing poker as a career to dividing my efforts between playing poker, coaching poker students, working with poker rooms to promote and improve their products, and most importantly doing more charity work. In 2014 I founded the Charity Series of Poker (CSOP) and over the past three years we’ve raised $150,000 for Habitat for Humanity, food banks and Brad Garrett’s Maximum Hope Foundation which provides financial assistance to the families of terminally ill children.
With the incredibly popular $560 buy-in, $2 million guaranteed opening event of the 2017 Borgata Winter Poker Open upon us, I figured now would be a good time to give the readers of the Borgata Blog a few pointers on how to approach tournaments with fields so large they almost seem insurmountable. You’ll frequently hear players refer to big field tournaments as lotteries, luck fests, and other names that imply that skill somehow isn’t a factor like it is in tournaments with smaller fields.
On a few different occasions I’ve heard players wonder what all of the backpack-toting poker pros are carrying in their bag. Cash game players have the luxury of getting up and leaving the table any time they get hungry, have a headache, start to lose focus or go on tilt but with tournament days often lasting 12-14 hours or more it’s important to stay prepared in order to remain focused and avoid distractions at the table. Here’s a list of what I consider the essentials when I pack my bag for a tournament.