We’re here. We’re one week into the World Series of Poker at Horseshoe and Paris Las Vegas, and the staff has done a tremendous job facilitating the massive fields thus far. Still, likely one of their biggest challenges starts tomorrow.
The WSOP offers the lowest buy-in ever for a live bracelet event this year, and it kicks off with the first starting flight on Wednesday, June 7th. The $300 Gladiators of Poker will have four starting flights, one each day from Wednesday through Saturday starting at 10 am.
Naturally, I thought the best way to get us all prepared for this monumental and inaugural event is to seek out wisdom from one of the greatest historical dramas of all time: “Gladiator.”
“Imagine where you will be, and it will be so.”
At the start of the movie, preparing for an epic battle, the Roman general uttered these words to prepare his men for the upcoming challenge.
The underlying message holds true for preparing for a poker tournament as well. Mentally prepare yourself for the challenge ahead. Envision your battle plan. Many poker pros swear by the power of visualization.
Set targets for yourself as you take one hand at a time. Envision yourself winning your first pot at the WSOP. If starting stack is 30,000, visualize yourself reaching 40,000 by the first break. Whatever your personal targets are, listen to Maximus. “Imagine where you will be, and it will be so.”
“I think you’ve been afraid all your life.”
Fear isn’t a good thing at the poker table. Aggression is the name of the game.
When Maximus is strung up and face-to-face with an angry emperor, the emperor makes clear he wants to fight Maximus in the arena.
“You would fight me?” asked Maximus.
“Why not, do you think I’m afraid?” said the emperor.
“I think you’ve been afraid all your life,” said Maximus.
Ouch. Don’t let people say that about you.
It’s understandable to want to play conservatively and not risk losing your stack. That’s especially true if this is the only tournament you’ll be able to play on this trip. Still, fear will only stand in the way of winning the pots you need to win.
All but one of the thousands that will play will be eliminated. To quote the same scene, “Death smiles at us all. All a man can do is smile back.”
Please, just don’t stab anybody before the shuffle up and deal is announced.
“What we do in life…echoes in eternity.”
The same scene as our first quote, but it’s even more powerful. We may not be on an actual battlefield this week, but glory and accolades are right there for the taking nonetheless.
It’s not that often that a brand-new event is offered at the World Series of Poker. Now, we have a new one, and at a price point that is accessible to as many poker players as possible.
There is no defending champion. No one will be there to defend their title. The throne is up for grabs. Someone will be the first to win this event, cementing their place in WSOP history.
Will it be your name that echoes through eternity?
“Are you not entertained?”
We reach the most famous line of the movie to close out this ridiculous combining of worlds. Yet, it’s fitting.
The large majority of people will not cash this tournament. We can plan, envision, be aggressive, and come in with all the hope in the world. Still, it’s poker, and we know anything can happen.
However, the thing we can control is our appreciation for the experience. There’s nothing like playing in a massive field at the World Series of Poker.
As seats fill the arena as in ancient Rome; as chips fly like weapons; as the victors and the fallen are revealed; make sure and appreciate the moment.
We’ll all be partaking in the first-ever Gladiators of Poker Event at the World Series of Poker.
Are you not entertained?