POKER EVENTS

7 Tips to Stay Sharp During the 2021 WSOP Online Series

By Paul Seaton
May 26, 2021

The forthcoming 2021 World Series of Poker Online Series is sure to be one of the stand-out online poker festivals of 2021. Last year, 85 WSOP bracelets were given out to numerous online event winners, such as Roberto Romanello, who sealed a Triple Crown victory with his win from home in 2020, and Stoyan Madanzhiev, who banked $3.9 million in the Main Event. All in all, 31 were awarded on WSOP.com and 54 were handed out via GGPoker. This year, 66 bracelets will be awarded, with the first 33 on WSOP.com from July 1-August 1 and the second 33 on GGPoker from August 1-September 12.

Will you be a winner in 2021? There are several ways you can give yourself an edge. You can begin preparations long before the first card hits the virtual felt, so let’s look at seven ways you can be at your best and stay sharp during the 2021 World Series of Poker Online Series.

2021 WSOP online

Image credit: wsop.com

1. Master Your Sleep Routine

Everything starts with how you sleep, and online poker is no different. If you’re not fully rested, then the brain makes lazy decisions. Those decisions are often based on how you’re feeling, and every online player knows that they have made a bad call at midnight because they know in their gut that they’ve not prepared for a sunrise finish.

poker dream

The bald truth is that if you’re planning on winning a WSOP bracelet then you should be preparing for a very late night – or rather, an early morning – every time the tournament you’ve entered plays to a winner. Even if it doesn’t, a lot of the Day 1 finishes will go past the normal bedtime of a life lived around a day job or even playing cash or smaller buy-in poker.

World Series conditions require WSOP-level discipline to your sleep routine. Make sure that you’ve not had any stimulants in the form of tea or coffee before you sleep and stay off blue-light emitting phones and tablets before you take your rest for the night.

2. Know Where You’re Playing

While the story of Ryan Depaulo winning in 2020 from bouncing off the WiFi in a parking lot was pure gold in terms of entertainment, this strategy is unlikely to be beneficial in the long run.

Having a designated area where you know that you are going to play is vitally important to your success. It’s a lot like writing, playing poker. A clear desk with no distractions works best, where you can really concentrate on the cards and nothing else.

If you don’t have an office in your house or apartment, that’s not necessarily a big problem. Just find a space where you are dedicated to playing poker and your set-up is built around convenience and concentration. It’ll go a long way to keeping your mindset as strong as possible during the grind.

3. Maintain a Balanced Diet

This does not mean one hamburger in each hand. Eating well may seem like the least important of all the skills to master as a poker player. Surely three-betting, analysing opponent ranges and knowing your push/fold charts are more important? Well, yes and no.

While mastering your poker game is crucial to your success, the foundation of everything is how you sleep and what you eat. Since you should already have solved any slumber issues, conquering any dietary inefficiencies is next.

A balanced diet will contain some of the four main food groups, being the following:

  • Fruit and Vegetables
  • Meats and Proteins
  • Dairy
  • Grains

If you’re not incorporating enough of one or more of those groups, then you’re not giving your body the adequate balance of fuel it needs to make the right decisions with the brain and play healthy poker. It really is as simple as that – feeding the body feeds the mind.

4. Plan Your Schedule

The 2021 WSOP Online Series is a hell of a slog if you play every event, and it may not be optimal for you to do so. Everyone has their limits and that certainly applies to the WSOP. Making sure that you take shots without busting your bankroll is vitally important. Never bet what you’re not prepared to lose.

Choose the events that you are going to play ahead of time and that includes any re-entries you might be making. This might mean focusing on no limit events, PLO, freeze-outs or re-entries. Maybe you’re better in events that run early or late. Whatever it is that gives you any edge, take it.

Once you have a plan of action, factor in going deep in every event, then re-calculate. Once you’re done with that, there should be a planned schedule that allows you a couple of days off per week. And then…

5. Take Breaks on Rest Days

It’s important that you have the stamina for the grind if you’re taking on the World Series, whether that’s live in Las Vegas or from the comfort of your own easy chair. On days off, it is then vital that you fully switch off and relax.

That could be anything from getting some exercise to making plans with loved ones, but whatever you do, it’s been proved to be highly beneficial to take a full break from the mentally demands that poker impacts on the brain.

Many players also prefer to spend their “off time” playing other gambling games online, which aren’t as taxing on the brain as poker is. If you’re competing for bracelets from the Land of the Rising Sun, for instance, you may choose to take a break with a slots or live table games session at one of the sites you can find at Casino Guide Japan.

on a break

Without adequate breaks, any poker player can get caught up in the game to a negative extent, so make sure that you’re getting time away from the felt and you’ll be all the fresher when you return to it.

6. Come Off Caffeine

This may be a stretch for many of us, with regular tea, coffee and energy drinks all keeping us going on the long days of lockdown. In fact, even before lockdown, poker players were among groups who used caffeine more than most.

An instant stimulant, caffeine can push you through the last few levels of a poker tournament, or at least that’s what we’re led to believe. That’s a fallacy, however. Stimulants lead to a stimulus which then leads to a greater crash. In essence, the more we take caffeine, the more we then need it to come back up to that level.

via GIPHY

Drinking more water-based drinks (or, you know, water) is crucial to replacing caffeine as a crutch you lean on. The brain and body will then be more hydrated and make better decisions, leading to you having greater control over what you’re taking into your body.

7. Invest in Optimisation

In poker, optimisation might be making the correct decision every time (GTO play), which is something you can always strive to do, yet something that is impossible to actually achieve unless you’re a solver. Many players choose to up their game via enrolling in one of the best poker training sites.

Away from the tables, however, why can’t you make every effort to optimise in areas that will help your poker game? This might be the technology you use to play poker on by buying a new laptop or PC. It could even be a WiFi booster if you sometimes struggle for signal, preventing the worst feeling in poker – watching the online game auto-fold pocket aces due to a signal crash.

It could also be to help some of the areas we’ve already covered. From a comfortable new bed to the food or drink required to kickstart a new healthy regimen, optimization is about investing in key areas of your life which have an overall positive effect on your whole life.

From food and drink to sleep and getting the right rest, if you’re in peak condition when the 2021 WSOP Online Series kicks off, there’s nothing stopping you from becoming a bracelet winner.

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Paul Seaton poker author
Written By.

Paul Seaton

Paul Seaton has written about poker from all over the world, and has interviewed the most well known poker players in the world in the pursuit of the perfect poker stories. Having worked events such as the World Series of Poker, European Poker Tour and World Poker Tour, Paul has worked as Editor of BLUFF […]

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