Mike Sexton’s Tips for partypoker presents: WPT500 at ARIA

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The partypoker presents: WPT500 returns to Aria Resort & Casino on Sunday, July 31 with the first of 10 starting flights. The event carries a whopping $ 2 million guarantee, and concludes during Independence Day weekend with Day 2 on July 5 and the final table on July 6. Every player who reaches Day 2 will not only make the money, but they will also be credited with an $ 800 bonus.

Online and live qualifiers are running now. For more information and a full schedule of events, head to WPT.com.

We had a chance to talk with WPT commentator Mike Sexton, who offers a few tips for both professionals and first-time players.

How excited are you for the return of the WPT500 at ARIA?

Mike Sexton: I’m very excited about it for a number of reasons: 1) the guarantee has doubled ($ 1 million to $ 2 million) since last year, 2)  it’s going to pay a lot of people with the winner getting at least $ 260,000, and 3) you know if you’re in the money on Day 1.

How often do you get to win at least $ 260,000 for a $ 565 investment?

How many bullets are you willing to fire?

MS: I will use every opportunity I can to qualify for Day 2!

What is the best way to navigate such a huge field?

MS: Don’t think or worry about the large field.  It’s irrelevant. Just concentrate on beating your table. If you continue to beat it, you’ll advance to Day 2.

Are you playing differently than you would in any other tournament?

MS: The first 8 levels are 30 minutes each, then 40 minute levels to the final table, and then one-hour levels. This means you can take your time and feel the table out the first 4-5 levels as you’ll have chips, but if you haven’t accumulated many more than the starting stack at the end of Level 5 or so, you’ll need to start playing faster. I love the structure and think it’s very fair.

Is the $ 800 bonus for making Day 2 going to affect your strategy? Will you play the earlier flights during the first weeks of June?

MS: Everyone wants to make the money, me included. My strategy could change, however, if I’m very low on chips near the money on Day 1. I’m liable to gamble more then to give myself the best chance to accumulate chips to bring to Day 2. Obviously, your chances to win increase if you have more chips going into Day 2,  but regardless of your chip count, “if” you get to Day 2, you’re on the jellyroll for the BIG bucks! As for me, I’ll be playing on Day 1A (and 1B if necessary) for sure.

If you could give one piece of advice to new players who are coming to ARIA for this great event, what would it be?

MS: Just enjoy playing poker and feel blessed to have the opportunity to play in this first- class event at ARIA. Simply put, have FUN!

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