The wait is over for the highly anticipated 2018 edition of the World Series of Poker (WSOP). The world’s richest event featuring a total of 78 high-stakes card tournaments kicked off just yesterday.
This year’s tournament series will be running through July 17 at the Rio All-Suite Hotel and Casino and players would be competing for millions of dollars and bracelets. With a wide variety of events on offer, the series has something for everyone with buy-ins ranging from $365 to $1 million.
The world’s biggest poker extravaganza broke all records in 2017, drawing 121,000 entrants, who played for over $231 million in prize money. This year, it is expected to reach all-time highs.
A record participation is expected from India and there are lots of poker players who are going to compete for the WSOP gold bracelets for the first time. If you have never been to this event, we know you are going to love it very much. Yes, you will be overwhelmed as you walk into the WSOP room.
So, if it is your first time making it to the amazing sounds of chips at the World Series of Poker, you may be looking for some advice on how to go about your first trip to Vegas this summer.
OPN Team caught up with the WSOP regular and Adda52 Team pro Kunal Patni to dish out some tips for the Indian players who are making it for the first time to their dream destination – Vegas.
Kunal Patni, who quit his lucrative banking career for poker, travels to various parts of the world to enjoy his passion – poker. The well-known pro from Mumbai has over $358,164 in live tournaments. His biggest live cash is $ 115,819, which he got this year in January for his runner-up finish at WPTDeepStack Berlin Main Event. Nice of Kunal to share some tips for the first-timers from India, his advice focuses on where to stay, where to eat, what WSOP events to play and a lot more here:
1.Hire 2/3/4 Bedroom Villa
If you are planning to play mainly WSOP events, it makes lots of sense to stay at the RIO (the home of WSOP) as you just need to walk a few hundred meters to reach WSOP area. However, I am not a big fan of RIO as it is old casino/hotel and bloody expensive. Also, it is away from the strip.
My preferred option for a stay in Vegas would be to hire a 2/3/4 bedroom Villa through Airbnb and stay there. The villas are usually about 5-15 minutes away from Rio and the strip. Also, they are easily accessible via Uber / Grab taxi, both are cheaper and way better than normal cabs in Vegas. One way trip doesn’t cost more than10-13 USD and if there are 3-4 people sharing the villa, the cost per person for the Villa comes down as low as 50-70 USD per day. If you know how to drive, it is better to hire a car. It will cost you around 30$ a day and can obviously be shared between 2 people. My experience says that it’s cheaper to have a Car than to travel by Taxi everyday and obviously super convenient.
2. Visit Walmart
Visit a Walmart (24×7) as soon as you reach there and stock your hotel room/villa with necessary items. It’s way cheaper. For example, a water bottle at RIO gift shop will cost 4.5$ and at Walmart, you get 36 bottles for 4.5$. Keep in mind, hotels in Vegas don’t provide drinking water in the rooms.
3.Carry Necessary Items
Don’t forget to carry small necessary items such as converter/adapter, as hotels in Vegas don’t provide these things and you will need to go and buy them from the gift shop at expensive rates.
4. Use Uber / Grab taxi
Use Uber / Grab taxi over a normal taxi, because it is much cheaper and better than the normal cabs.
5. Make Use of Laundry Services
Use a laundry service if you stay in the hotel. There are many laundry services there. Just call a number and they will come to collect your clothes and then get them laundered and delivered back in a few hours.
6. Look for Great Value Tourneys
Great if you are bracelet–hunting at RIO but don’t forget to check out the schedule of Venetian / PH / Aria / Wynn, etc. Some great value tourneys are everywhere and in my experience softer fields also as everyone is bracelet-hunting.
7.Food in Vegas
Vegas is comparatively a cheap place for food. There are lots of good and cheap options available as compared to Macau, which means you can enjoy your favourite dishes at comparatively lower prices.
8.Control Your Tournament Budget
Keep a tight control on your tournament budget. Don’t play every tourney, as every day there would be at least 5-6 “value” tourneys happening around Vegas. Be careful, else the budget will go for a toss.
If you have any other questions or doubts regarding how to go about your first trip to Vegas, feel free to contact Kunal Patni or any others who have been playing WSOP over the last years.