WSOP 2012: The short cut to moderate success


If you're a budding screenwriter taking your script to some festival in Cannes for example, here is some genuine advice. Don't refer to yourself as a "writer". This is frowned upon within industry circles and you won't be taken seriously. Instead, refer to yourself as a "producer". This makes you sound more important too, which might at least save you from being laughed off all those yachts.

Similar advice could be given to poker players arriving to play the World Series of Poker. If you don't consider yourself a really great player, then pretend you are, and be sure to refer to yourself as a poker player. There's no shame in pretending to be something you're not, (it happens all the time on Twitter), so from now on you're a poker player.
Here are three suggestions to help you pull it off.

Look the part

This is self-explanatory. If you want to be a line-backer, at least wear the pads. The poker equivalent is the ubiquitous headphones and sunglasses. The headphones are easy. Any will do. If they're not noise cancelling ones then pretend that they are, remaining deaf to even the most barbed comment directed at you. Every so often make a point of removing them and asking "what did you say?" just to keep up appearances.


As for sunglasses they'll do nothing more than make it difficult to see the cards, but at least you'll blend in. For a few bucks this vital piece of your armoury can be yours. You can even by them here on the way into the Amazon Room. If you break them they sell repair kits in the Rio gift shop. Under no circumstances use sticky tape or a band aid to repair them.


An attitude of complete ambivalence is crucial to development. No one suspects the moody guy of being anything other than a lethal opponent of staggering ability and ruthlessness. They will adopt caution against you and respect your raises. If you try this and notice no improvement, consider wearing a full face mask to hide any facial giveaways.

Talk a good game

Sometimes it can be daunting to play in a major event like this, particularly if you're not used to playing live. It's easy to get something wrong, giving away your inexperience. Provided you stuck to the ambivalent plan mentioned above, your silence could work in your favour in these conditions.

If the dealer or another player picks up on an error you've made, simple affect a European accent. IF you accidently break protocol your accent will help, just explain away your error as a cultural difference: "We always swap cards on Fifth Street when we play back in Kyrgyzstan."

Such skills are essential to anyone proper to taking their seats. Pretty soon you'll be blending in seamlessly and holding your own. If not just assume that it must be the other guy doing the pretending,



"For a man teaching other people etiquette, your etiquette isn't very good." --Overheard during a spat at an outer table in Amazon Room.


"5 frustrating deep cashes for me this series. A 9th, 17th, 17th, 21st and 13th. Excited about playing the main event Tomo tho! #LastChance" --Eugene Katchalov after busting out of the WSOP National Championship


David Williams, once down to 7,300 chips, and now up to 20,000.