POKER TIPS & STRATEGY

2024 Vegas Summer Poker Tips from the Pros

During the summer months of June and July, thousands of players from all over the world will travel to Las Vegas to play at the World Series of Poker and the many other different festivals that take place in parallel in numerous casinos across the city. The summer tournament offering is enormous — the biggest of the year — and there will be events spread for players of all bankroll levels. Whether you are a beginner, amateur, semi-professional or professional player, you will have plenty of tournaments to choose from in Las Vegas over the next two months.

So what are the best Vegas summer poker tips? In what ways should players prepare before making the trip out? How do you ensure that by the time you make it to Las Vegas, you’re in tip-top poker shape and ready to play your A game? What factors are important when choosing which tournaments you should be playing?

Vegas Summer Poker Tips Pros

Meet Our Vegas Summer Poker Tips Pro Panel

To help us answer those questions and relay high quality Vegas summer poker tips to you, we approached a foursome of well-known, highly regarded poker pros and poker training site instructors to ask them two things:

  1. For experienced players intending to play a bunch of $200-$2,000 tournaments over the summer, what would you suggest as the best ways to prepare between now and heading out on their trip to Las Vegas?
  2. There are tons of tournaments taking place throughout WSOP season all over Las Vegas. What are the most important factors players should take into account when choosing which ones to play?

Our panel of experts for this feature includes Pokercoaching.com Founder Jonathan Little, LearnWPT Instructor Tony Dunst, Advanced Poker Training Head Pro Alex Fitzgerald, and Learn Pro Poker Founder Ryan Laplante. Naturally, each of them has a slightly different approach, and there’s no such thing as a “one-size-fits-all” guaranteed strategy. Nonetheless, appreciating each of their different perspectives and tips offered will undoubtedly be instructive. We’d like to thank them all for kindly taking the time to share their Vegas summer poker tips with Cardplayer Lifestyle readers. You can read each of their answers to our pair of questions below.

Jonathan Little

Jonathan has recorded $8.9 million in career earnings. He is a two-time World Poker Tour champion, with his most recent successes coming at the beginning of this year when he managed to win two trophies at the PokerGO Cup in Las Vegas. He is also a prolific author with more than 20 poker strategy books published in different languages.

  1. I definitely recommend studying as much training contact as possible between now and when you go to Las Vegas. If you are not already an excellent tournament player, I recommend going through my in-depth 40-hour-long Tournament Masterclass at PokerCoaching.com to ensure you know how to play all the common spots that you are certain to encounter at the tables.
  2. Whenever you go on any trip, it is always important to figure out the purpose. Are you planning to play a lot of tournaments with a proper bankroll looking to extract your edge? Are you planning to only a few tournaments to try to get rich quick? Are you planning to mostly party and play poker on the side? Figure out your exact goal and then set up a schedule to ensure you have the best chance to get what you want out of your trip.
Jonathan Little

Jonathan playing at the PokerGO Studio / Photo: PokerGO

Tony Dunst

Tony is one of the lead co-commentators for the World Poker Tour, where he also won a Main Tour title back in 2013. His recorded live poker earnings are currently $4.2 million, and he has also won two World Series of Poker bracelets along with three WSOP Circuit rings.

  1. People have varying appetites for studying, but I think aiming for an hour a day, five-ish days a week leading up to summer is a nice amount of preparation without risking burnout. I like to mix watching poker training videos, reviewing hand histories with solvers, and running practice hands in training apps. Also, make sure to get your money arranged ahead of time. Doing things like depositing funds for the kiosks at WSOP can save you lots of time and aggravation in the registration lines.
  2. Depends on your goals in poker. If your priority is taking home run shots at huge fields, then choose the biggest and softest tournaments running and accept ahead of time that variance means you’ll probably have a losing summer. If your priority is to make money, then choose smaller fields at less prominent venues that are still likely to be quite soft. For experienced players, I think it’s worth favoring events that provide a quality experience and that allow some work/life balance; that means no overcrowded events that run 10-handed, avoiding events with late finishes and 10am restarts, and playing more at properties that have good facilities, staff, and customer service.

Tony Dunst

Alex Fitzgerald

Alex has earned $3.2 million online over the course of his career, with marquee victories in the WCOOP and SCOOP. In the live poker streets he has recorded career tournament earnings of $680K with a number of notable past results, including at the PCA (14th), EPT San Remo (7th) and WPT Prague (8th). He is the author of three poker books that were published with D&B publishing house.

  1. The best way to prepare between now and Vegas is to work on your mental game. It’s going to be hard to work in new plays at this point before the series. What you can work on is your mental state. Stay fresh for the series by playing some sessions. See if you can play slightly longer than your normal sessions. Make yourself play tight, even if you’re exhausted. Get used to playing tired. This is one of the greatest skills you can have in tournament poker. Before the series starts, take some time off. Be fresh for the marathon. Do something fun that gets your mind completely off poker.
  2. When deciding what tournaments to play in Vegas, consider going with the rooms that feel softest to you. If there’s a large tournament going on that’s attracting most of the pros, your preferred room might be even softer than usual. The name of the game isn’t always playing the biggest tournament. The name of the game is finding the softest tournament and easiest money.

Alex Fitzgerald

Ryan Laplante

Ryan has recorded $2.8 million in online and $3.1 million in live tournament earnings, with wins at the World Series of Poker, Poker Masters, Wynn Millions Poker Series, WSOP Circuit, Wynn Signature Series and Phamous Poker Series.

  1. You want to use a mix of GTO study tools as well as training videos, and playing experience to work on your game. My coaching site, Learn Pro Pokerhas one of the best mixes of training content. We have GTO videos with attached hand history examples to show you how to apply the theory in real situations as well as common exploits I use. Then we also have 1-on-1 sessions, tournament reviews of my own and student tournaments, and specific hand histories broken down individually into bite-sized content. It’s one of the best value sites on the market. We also have a new community page on skool, which has 200 active members, and lots of free content. It’s a great way to learn for free and discuss with other serious players. Team this up with using GTO study apps like Range Trainer Pro or Octopi Poker, and you can get in the training reps you need in order to better apply what you’ve learned in game.
  2. You want to focus on the softest games. So, play the biggest guarantees relative to buy-in for places like WSOP, Wynn and Venetian, and then also play smaller field events at places like The Orleans, Golden Nugget, MGM Grand, ARIA and Resorts World. This will give you a good mix of bigger score opportunities as well as playing lots of small field high-value low-variance events at the other properties.
Ryan Laplante

Ryan during the 2019 WSOP / Photo: Katerina Lukina

We hope the collection of Vegas summer poker tips there great pro coaches have provided will prove helpful to you and we wish everyone traveling to Las Vegas this summer the best of luck!

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Santiago Garcia Mansilla
Written By.

Santiago Garcia Mansilla

Santiago is a longtime veteran of the poker industry, having written primarily about the game in Argentina since 2009. He has published hundreds of articles in Sudamerican Poker and Pokerlogia, and has provided live media coverage at the WSOP Main Event in 2015 and 2019. In addition to being a former columnist in PokerFace Magazine, […]

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