My Transition from PokerStars to partypoker and my Top Tips for the KO Series

I am excited to write my first Blog for partypoker today!

The last 4 months saw me leave PokerStars, a company I had been working with for 4 years, and transition my poker life into a new direction with partypoker. It has been a big change for me, learning what it is like outside of the PokerStars bubble I was in. It has been an extremely liberating and free feeling – like I am the controller of my own success and failure. I am more driven than ever.

That led to me starting writing this. Today is May 17th, a few days into the epic event that is KO Series.

I have always been a big fan of poker series. Don’t get me wrong, the normal grind is cool, but there is something about a special collection of events that inspires me to work harder. Perhaps it is the prestige of winning something ‘special’ (something us online guys don’t have as many shots at as our live colleagues.) Or maybe it is the journey of playing long hours multiple days in a row that makes it feel more meaningful. Whatever it is, I am working hard to secure my first Knockout Series title. Fingers crossed I can make it happen!

My top tips for making it a successful KO Series

My whole poker career I have participated in online series. At least 30 by now. And I feel as if I have learned a little bit about how to approach them. Getting closer to the second week of the series now, I think these tips will be useful for getting the most out of yourself. Here are 5 tips for how best to prepare for the remainder of the series:

1. This is not the time to max tables.

The series is long and all the best players come out to play the events. There are more tournaments to play in the lobby but this is a marathon not a sprint. Take it easy, conserve energy for the two weeks ahead, and play a comfortable amount of tables.

2. Sleep!

The most important thing you can do away from the tables is get good rest. Prioritizing getting a full sleep is much more important than getting an extra hour of study in. This is game time so treat yourself like an athlete. Rest a full 8+ hours.

3. Make sure you get some exercise in.

Gone are the days when I will fire up 15 days of a series without leaving the house. It is important to get those muscles moving, get the blood flowing, and get a bit of fresh air in between sessions. Your mind will thank you in the home stretch.

4. Play in the moment.

Just like a long series puts pressure on your body and poker skills, it will put pressure on your mindset as well. Downswings get harder when playing large field, big buy-ins day after day. Do your best to stay in the moment with poker decisions. Don’t allow 3 or 4 bad outcomes in a row swing your confidence. You know what you are doing! Just keep doing it!

5. Have a blast

There are so many opportunities that we get as poker pros to play a series like this. They are something special and make sure you take the time to appreciate the moment. Get out there, play your best, work hard, and smell the roses while you do.

Thanks for taking the time to read this blog, I hope the tips are helpful to some. For me, now, it’s time to get after it. Let the knockouts begin!

Jaime Staples

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