Christina Kwan World Series of Poker

Cashing in a World Series of Poker Bracelet Event

The picture above? That’s wrapping up Day 1 of the World Series of Poker Colossus Event at 1:30 in the morning. As you can see – I was supremely happy to bag up $260,000 in tournament chips to return the next day to continue play.

By the numbers, the Colossus – World Series of Poker Event #61 broke down like this: 13,109 total entrants,
1,952 are in the money. After over 20 hours of play, I finished in 374th place on day two of the event. Am I thrilled? Of course I am! Am I content? Well, let’s just say I’m hardly ever content when I have room to grow and do even better. For me, this is in just about anything. We, simply, should never stop learning.

Living in Las Vegas means being in the host city of the largest and richest poker series in the world. By largest – I mean there were 89 events in the WSOP this year. By richest, I mean there was $293,183,354 in prize money awarded this year. If you’ve never seen how many poker tables are at the WSOP, it’s truly amazing and there’s games going on 24/7. Even when tournaments conclude in the wee hours of the morning, cash games are still going on and on and on.

It’s all in the preparation.

As I continue to operate and grow my marketing and media company, I also make the time to properly study and work on my poker game. For me, it’s not just a game where I hope to do well in. I go in expecting the very best out of myself and that comes from preparation.

I never make last minute decisions to enter a poker tournament. It’s very much a planned move. Again, because I want to be as prepared as possible – mentally especially! The WSOP has morning start times so I always make sure that I get a good night’s rest. Then, I get up after a solid night’s sleep to start preparing for the tournament.

Feeling fierce.

What do I wear? Well, my poker screen name is Lil_Ninja so I am traditionally decked out in black gear with a hat – and that includes my backpack too! It’s usually freezing in the Rio Convention Center – where the WSOP is annually held, so I go in with long-sleeves. You just never want to have to focus at the table while feeling Brrrrrrrrr. I go equipped with bottles of water, some granola snacks that are easy to eat at the table without getting me super full and a coffee to start out my day. I put on my earbuds and I zone in.

The Colossus was a very big field to navigate and for some, it might even feel overwhelming. For me, I concentrate on just the nine other people at my table. I take the tournament one hand at a time while keenly making observations and planting mental sticky notes. Patience. I play a very patient game and picking and choosing my spots carefully. I do have a lot of poker friends who are very successful with an aggressive game. For me, it’s about finding the right mix of moves and style that suits me. I accept information from anyone and I will pick and choose the moves that I may have success with in my game.

Oh – and the last piece of advice. Always believe you can win! No matter the depth of the pool, keep working on your game and take every lesson and every lost pot as an opportunity to improve. Don’t feel defeated and don’t make excuses. Draw from the experience and make it worth the lesson that it teaches you.