Meta: How do you learn to play better poker by studying the WSOP? With the right technique and a commitment to learning, there is plenty to pick up.
It goes without saying that one of the best ways to learn a new skill is to watch others engage in it. The World Series of Poker (WSOP) is the biggest poker event on the globe, so it makes sense to study its tournaments if you want to improve your own game. After all, what could be more effective than watching and learning from the best players in the world? Read on for our advice on how to study the WSOP to help you learn to play better.
Observe as a player
If you’re watching the WSOP to improve your own game, then you’re obviously already a poker fan. However, you need to try and get out of that mind-set if you want to learn something. Regardless of how entertaining and exciting you find the events, try not to watch them merely as a spectator. If you really want to learn to play better, try to watch the games as a player.
Imagine you’re at the table of the game you’re observing and study all the players carefully. Focus on their body language and try to anticipate what their next moves will be, as if you’re playing at their table and they’re your opponents. Keep an eye out for any tells that might indicate that they’re bluffing or reveal any other types of information about their intentions.
It might be useful for you to create a digital file of any WSOP events available online. Download as many of them as you can and study the game play in them carefully. Watch them multiple times – you’ll be surprised by how many new things you notice. This will help you get used to identifying patterns in behaviour, such as player tells, that you can look out for during your own games.
It’s also important that you take notes about all the events that you watch, even if you have the footage of them in digital form. This will help you to become a better player in time, whether that be while playing online at gaming platforms such as ggpoker.com or while sitting at a real-life casino table.
It’s important to try and observe – and learn from – as many different events as you can. Remember, the Main Event isn’t the only attraction at the WSOP. You might not realise, but it’s certainly worth watching and studying the earlier events. These will give you an opportunity to take note of and analyse the mistakes of the players who didn’t progress further. It’s also worth considering the different poker variations being played at the WSOP. While the majority of games are Texas Hold ‘Em and its variants, the rapid growth of the WSOP has seen it start to include more variations of poker.
Study one game at a time
Let’s assume that you viewed most of the WSOP live and you’re now re-watching the various events in order to scrutinise them. Keep in mind that there is only so much information you can absorb at one time, so avoid overwhelming yourself with everything at once. Concentrate on one event at a time; that way, you can fully immerse yourself in it. There are also studies that suggest that focusing on one item at a time is an effective method of learning.
Studying the WSOP to help you learn to play better poker is straightforward but you need to have a strategy. Visualising yourself as an opponent to the players at the tables rather than merely spectating as a fan is a good technique. It’s also wise to keep digital footage of events, as well as take notes, and observe as many different variations of poker as you can.