My big WSOP change

I am writing from Toronto. I came here right after EPT Monte Carlo to play SCOOP, and I continue to play a regular schedule online. I start at 11 a.m. and in most cases will finish around 10 p.m., so it's like a normal working day. I eat meals at a regular time, relax in the evening, and have a normal sleeping schedule, all of which works very well for me.

I'll be going to the WSOP a little later, probably just to play the Main Event and perhaps a couple of preliminary events just before. I'm looking forward to being fresh for the Main Event this time. The summer-long grind can be rough on a player, especially if you have a bad World Series and are going into the Main Event full of frustration.


In fact this will be the first time in seven years I haven't gone out to the WSOP at the very start and played the entire way. I think my average has been to play around 25-30 events each year, so this is a big change. But I'm really looking forward to doing things differently this time. There's always that feeling of excitement during the first few days you play in the WSOP, but this year that will come at the start of the Main Event for me.

The truth is, it's very different for people like Daniel Negreanu or others who grind the entire WSOP every year and are involved in the bracelet race and the all-time money lists and so on. There's a lot more prestige associated with playing the WSOP for them, and I feel like it's really hard for younger players to get to that point. It's much better to do what is optimal from a profit perspective and also to ensure you enjoy your life.

I also love spending summer with friends and playing tennis and having barbecues, which I don't like having to miss for the WSOP, either. Since I focus on the EPTs during the year, the summer is really vacation time for me, and so I'm loving taking advantage of that right now.

If I were strictly a tournament player, I wouldn't have much excuse not to be playing the entire WSOP. In that case I should take my vacation before the Series or after and find a way to get there and play as much as I could. But really I'm a cash game player -- and primarily an online player -- so I have to make a decision about how much I'm going to commit to tourneys and the WSOP.

To be honest, for me the allure of winning a bracelet has lessened over the years, too. When I first started it was kind of an ultimate goal. But now my goals have shifted, and with all of the WSOPs now going on all over the world and throughout the year, winning one has almost become a little less special. Now it almost seems like winning one bracelet isn't as special, that you have to win two or three for it to be as significant.

But I'll still be trying my best to win one once I get out there! Meanwhile, I'm going to get back to enjoying the summer.

Lex Veldhuis
@PokerStars in PokerStars news