The #1 Poker Success Secret of WSOP Champions
Have you ever dreamed about playing at the final table of the WSOP (World Series of Poker)?Do you want to become a famous poker millionaire with all the gold and diamond bracelets to prove it? Maybe you have watched Rounders 87 times like me?I think we all have these poker dreams at some point.
But the reality is that some people actually make them happen. You know the names of the famous pros, Daniel Negreanu, Phil Hellmuth, Phil Ivey and so on.Phil Hellmuth in particular currently has 15 WSOP bracelets which is by far the most in history.Sure, people love to rag on him for his outbursts at the poker table but his results simply do not lie. And believe me, it isn't that he is just more "lucky" than everybody else either.
In this article I am going to reveal the #1 poker success secret that these millionaire WSOP champions don't want you to know.
#1 Poker Success Secret of WSOP Champions - Survive
Yes, you heard that right. The #1 poker success secret of millionaire World Series of Poker champions is to simply survive.
Let me explain.
We often see massive fields at the WSOP these days. In fact the Main Event often draws as many as 8,000 entrants or more.
Now even though the vast majority of these entrants were amateurs, there is no way to navigate through a minefield like this without getting lucky again and again.
But in order to put yourself in a position to get lucky, you have to be in the tournament!
One of the biggest mistakes that many poker amateurs make in a massive tournament fields like this is trying to gamble it up big time on the first day.
This is the completely wrong approach.
World champion tournament poker pros like Daniel Negreanu and Phill Hellmuth will instead do everything they can to avoid gambling on day 1.They will play a solid tight and aggressive poker strategy and only put large amounts of their chips in the pot with a very strong hand that has a strong statistical likelihood of winning.And this is because they understand the crucial importance of simply surviving and making it to day 2 and then beyond.
Poker Skill Always Wins in the End
Why is simply surviving in a big poker tournament like the WSOP so important though?
It is because they know that if they can avoid getting into huge all-in situations on the very first day, they give themselves a much better chance to win the tournament.
Because the thing that you always have to remember about poker tournaments of this size, such as the World Series of Poker Main Event, is that it is a 7 day event (if you want to win it that is).This year was a bit of an oddity of course with the global pandemic and the entire WSOP being held online for the first time ever. But typically, when played in Las Vegas, the biggest tournaments in the WSOP take many days to complete.And world champion poker pros like Daniel Negreanu and Phil Hellmuth fully understand that nobody wins the WSOP Main Event on day 1.
In fact, very frequently, the chip-leader after day 1 is nowhere to be found by day 5. They have usually long been eliminated from the tournament.
So this is why it doesn't even matter if you only have a small chip stack going into day 2. The most important goal is just to get there, and avoid gambling it up and taking very small edges against all the crazy amateurs on day 1.
And this is because skill always wins in the end in poker.
By simply making it to day 2, world champion poker pros can take their time and pick their spots as the tournament settles down after all the crazy gamblers get eliminated.This will allow them to get all their chips in the middle with a much bigger mathematical edge, should they choose to play a big pot.
Also, since the structure of most big WSOP events is extremely good, you don't have to worry about getting blinded out.
So even if you enter day 2 with just your starting stack from day 1, you will still have plenty of room to pick and choose your spots.By the way, if you currently only play small low buyin tournaments online, make sure you check out my comprehensive guide to the best low limit tournament strategy.
Patience is the Real Poker Success Secret of WSOP Champions
And so the big poker success secret of world champion pros really just boils down to patience.
They have "been there, done that" so many times and they understand, once again, that nobody wins a massive tournament like the WSOP Main Event on day 1.
Here's the real kicker though: You absolutely can lose the WSOP on day 1. And that is by gambling it up in extremely high variance coinflip type situations.
The real key to massive tournament poker success is learning how to survive and thrive among massive fields. And sometimes this means learning how to remain patient and simply turn down high variance spots to gamble (because your tournament survival is more important).
For example, many world champion poker pros like Daniel Negreanu or Phil Hellmuth will routinely turn down a situation to go all-in preflop with a hand like:
Q♥Q♣ vs A♦K♠
And this is because they know that their edge with QQ is only 57% in this spot. That is, they will win the pot 57% of the time.As a quick aside many people are actually shocked to learn this. They think it is 50/50. But it is not. QQ is 57% to win versus Ace King offsuit all-in preflop.
However, there is still no reason for a world champion poker pro to take such a slight edge for all of their chips on day 1 of the tournament, or even day 2 or day 3 for that matter.Why?Because they have a 43% chance of being completely eliminated from the tournament! This is still very high. They don't want to take on this much risk, like most amateurs unwittingly will.They know that a winning poker strategy for tournaments in particular relies on looking for lower variance edges than this (i.e. 70/30, 80/20) in order to risk all of your chips, especially in the early going.
So for example in this particular situation most poker pros will often choose to just flat call preflop with QQ instead of re-raising.
This allows them to keep the pot smaller and see a cheap flop instead of starting a raise and re-raise war that will only end in a high variance slightly better than coinflip for all of their chips.Instead, they can choose to play a big pot or a small pot depending on the board texture and if their are any over-cards to their pocket queens.By the way, if you have difficulty playing your pocket QQ, I have already written the most comprehensive guide available online to playing pocket queens optimally.
Back to the main point here though. Poker pros will instead let all the amateurs take massive coinflips like this on the first couple days of the tournament and eliminate themselves.Then the poker pros will slowly grind up a big stack by nickel and diming all the surviving weak amateurs on day 4, 5 and 6.That is, by slowly exercising their considerable skill advantage to take down all of the small pots when nobody really has anything good.Because the real "secret" to success to poker is winning more than your fair share of all the little pots that nobody really wants to fight for.
Learn the Proven Basic Poker Strategies Used By The Pros
Are you having trouble beating small stakes poker games online or live in the casino? Do you dream of playing in the WSOP one day but don't know where to start?That is why I wrote this free little 50 page poker cheat sheet to give you the exact poker strategies to start consistently beating small stakes games right now.These are the same poker strategies by the way that I have used as a 10+ year poker pro. And I lay them all out for you step by step in this free little guide.Enter your details below and I will send my free poker cheat sheet to your inbox right now.
World Champion Poker Pros Know When to Switch Gears
Knowing when to "switch gears" though is also crucially important if you want to win a big poker tournament like the World Series of Poker.By around day 3 of a big poker tournament like the WSOP Main Event, world champion millionaire poker pros know that it is time to switch up their strategy a bit.
This means that they will start taking more chances in order to build up a big stack for the final table.
So they will start making more small bluffs in the right spots and taking down as many small pots as possible.
They will still avoid the large all-in preflop coinflips. Instead they will slowly but surely build up a big stack by taking away all of the little pots that the amateurs don't really want to fight for.This is something that I talk about extensively in The Micro Stakes Playbook for example (and give dozens of example hands).Because this is one of the absolute biggest differences between the poker pros and everybody else. This is where world champion poker pros like Daniel Negreanu and Phil Hellmuth really separate themselves.
They understand that everybody gets dealt the same amount of good hands and bad hands over the long run in poker.
The real difference is who wants all those little pots where nobody really has anything that good (e.g. one guy has bottom pair, the other has a weak gutshot draw, another has just ace high).
By taking down more than their fair share of these pots, world champion poker pros are able to exercise their considerable skill advantage and ultimately get ahead in the long run.
Because this is where the rubber really meets the road in poker. This is the biggest reason why the pros keep winning year after year and all the amateurs continue to blame their "bad luck."
What Are Your Odds of Actually Winning the World Series of Poker Main Event?
Now with all of that said, what are your odds of actually winning a massive tournament like the WSOP Main Event, and the life-changing money that comes along with it?Well, even if you happen to be a world class poker pro already, I hate to break it to you, your odds are not good.Poker tournaments are notoriously difficult to win because no matter how well you play, you will have to get lucky again and again over a short period of time.And it doesn't even matter if you study all of the most advanced poker tournament solver theory available today.You will still have to get incredibly lucky in order to win. This means that not only do you need to win all of your 80/20's:For example:You get all the money in preflop with A♠A♦ versus J♥J♣You have roughly 80% equity (odds) to win the pot, your opponent has 20% equity.But you also need to consistently hit big hands and win more than your fair share of pots where your edge is a lot smaller, like 60/40 for example.Also, once you get deep in a big poker tournament you will inevitably have to play a big all-in preflop pot at some point as a coinflip.For example, you are down to 10 big blinds and you get dealt A♥K♠ on the button.If the big blind re-raises you with his T♣T♦ for example, you will have no choice but to go all-in here because your stack is so small.You are going to have to win this coinflip or you will be eliminated.This is why it is so crucial that in…