Getting Yourself a Place at the Poker Table
The World Series of Poker is one of the most prestigious, high-profile events for enthusiasts of this card game. This annual summer event, based primarily in Las Vegas, draws amateurs and professionals from huge distances away. Some are content to play a few rounds, get eliminated, and then spend the rest of the time basking in the glory of the remaining players as audience members. Others climb much higher, or even all the way to the top. However, you need to buy tickets first. (The tickets are for players. People who only show up to watch can simply enter the casino and find a seat in the audience—if there are any available.)
Sometimes, you may not need to buy a ticket at all. Skillful online players may win a ticket as a prize on a poker site. You may also go to Vegas, participate in a small satellite tournament, and—if you happen to progress far enough—you can get yourself a ticket to the main game: the World Series itself!
For the rest of us, however, actually buying a ticket may be necessary if we want a seat at the World Series of Poker.
The first thing to remember is to start early. Do not wait until a week or two before the start of the competition before you try looking for tickets. Try starting a few months early. This way, you can have time to scout for the best rates, before the prices start to really shoot up. For all you know, you might actually start early enough to be able to beat the brokers, and buy straight from the box office.
If you wish, it might also help to do some research on local and national legislation concerning the purchase of tickets from brokers. This way, you will have a better idea of the practices of legitimate brokers, and be less likely to be an unwitting participant in illegal operations. You may also want to check relevant business bureaus for lists of recognized companies.
Also, keep in mind that tickets to the World Series of Poker do not cover your hotel stay. You may spend all your time trying to find good ticket rates, and succeed, only to find that all the most affordable hotel rooms are filled up. Any money you might have saved on purchasing your ticket will be more than eaten up by hotel expenses. In order to prevent this from happening, try scouting for special hotel rates. The World Series of Poker’s official website can connect you to special rates for rooms in partner hotels.
Furthermore, understand that buying tickets to the main event does not exempt you from paying more fees or buy-in amounts in succeeding rounds. For example, the buy-in for no-limit Texas Hold ‘Em, perhaps the most exciting event, is a whopping $10,000. Look up the fees for the different rounds, and, taking into account how far you are likely to make it in the competition, make your budget.