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3 ways poker players can prepare for WCOOP

3 ways poker players can prepare for WCOOP

One of the biggest and most prestigious online tournament series in poker kicks off this weekend, so make sure you’re as prepared as you can be.

The World Championship of Online Poker (WCOOP) on PokerStars runs from Sunday, August 22 right through to Wednesday, September 15, with 306 tournaments across 102 events and more than $100 million in guaranteed prize pools.

Win an event and you’ll go down in WCOOP history.

Here are three ways poker players can prepare for WCOOP.


Of course, this was going to be the first thing on our list. You know what we do here at BBZ, right?

We hit the books. It’s the only way to sharpen your game and improve as a player.

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“When you’re at the early stage of your poker career, the ROI on your studying will be extraordinarily high,” says BBZ. “The better you get, the more work you’re going to have put in. But at the start, even looking at hand range charts can be mind-blowing.”

Even if you’ve been a winning player in the past you should never feel entitled to win. “There are killers out there who are studying all the time, putting in tons of work, grinding it out, watching videos on BBZ Poker, they’re after it and they’re trying to get better,” says BBZ. “A sense of entitlement isn’t there with them.

“Then you’ve got guys who won money three, five, ten years ago and they cling to those victories. I’ve seen this in all forms. But today, they’re not studying or doing anything to deserve to win, but they still feel like they’re owed something.”

So, how should you study over the next week leading up to WCOOP?

First, you could look at your stats in your HUD, like Lex Veldhuis did with BBZ. These numbers really shine a light on the areas you should focus your study on. “There are truths in [your HUD] that you can’t go around,” says Veldhuis. “It is what it is. This is the framework of your game.”

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BBZ & Lex Veldhuis: Database Study Session Pt. 1

In this first collaboration video between Twitch Poker Legend Lex Veldhuis and BBZPoker head coach Jordan “bigbluffzinc” Drummond, the two break down Lex’s PokerTracker4 database by position in a recent hand sample to find areas for improvement.

This 50 minute video will show you some general parameters to apply to your own database in order to identify where you are leaking at each position. BBZ points out areas like:

  • Raise Small Blind Open Limp
  • 3-bet frequencies from the blinds
  • 3-bet vs. steal
  • Fold vs. steal

Explore those areas plus more in this introductory video to database analysis.



Then you could go through all of the hands you’ve marked in your HUD–spots where you weren’t sure what to do–and find out how you could have approached them.

Check out our article: So you’ve marked a poker hand to study: What should you do next?

You should always–always–be working on your ranges with BBZ’s Charts. As BBZ says, winning poker starts with winning ranges and our custom, solver-approved pre-flop ranges will give you instant feedback on how to improve your strategy and your win rate.

Check out our articles:

3 common pre-flop mistakes that poker charts can fix
5 proven techniques to help you study poker charts

Whatever your skill level, BBZ Poker has a product for you. Have a read through our Product Guide and you’re guaranteed to find study material that will take your game to the next level and help you win more consistently.

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Your bankroll is going to change throughout a series like WCOOP. It’s either going to go up following a few scores, or it’s going to go down. As we can’t predict the future, the best thing you can do is stick to strict bankroll management and only play the tournaments your bankroll can afford.

“If you have a $10K bankroll and you’re playing $1K tournaments, it doesn’t matter how good you are,” says BBZ. “Unless you sun-run, you’re going to lose all your money.”

According to BBZ, most poker players–even professionals–have no clue about the swings they should anticipate, particularly throughout a big series. “They massively underestimate variance and don’t know what’s possible,” he says. “You can easily lose 75 buy-ins if you’re grinding poker tournaments.”

Try not to overextend yourself with re-entries and satellites. A big online series with huge prize pools is the perfect time to take some shots, but we’ve got to be sensible. WCOOP is a long series with events every day, so remember: it’s a marathon, not a sprint. Don’t go broke early on when there are tournaments later in the series you should really be playing.

“Good investment opportunities will come up and it’s important that you not only recognise them but that you have the access to capital that’s required to take advantage of them,” says BBZ.

“Your financial situation in poker isn’t always something you can control, but you can control how your money is going out, volume, study habits, game selection, diet, exercise etc. It all ties together.”

Check out our articles:

How to avoid going broke in poker
5 biggest mistakes poker players make

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All of the hard work you put into studying will have been for nothing if you’re not also looking after your body and your mind.

“In my opinion, if you can’t tie it all together, something is going to break,” says BBZ.

“To make the entire process sustainable, you’re going to need all of it. You can’t play long sessions if you’re treating your body badly. Winning a tournament requires being highly alert and highly focused after nine hours of thinking. That’s where all the money is getting decided. All of the most important decisions you’re going to make are being made after you’ve already put in maybe nine hours of work.”

Exercise. Sleep. Plan your meals in advance. Meditate. Pick out the tournaments you want to play so you can plan for days off.

Simplify everything so the only thing you have to focus on is poker.

Then plan for success!

Check out our articles:

Salim Admon on winning $619K and how he planned for success
Battling variance in poker: how a BBZ student defeated his downswing ($135K)

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