If you're lucky enough to find yourself in this position one day, well done! Now what? In this first of a two part series, I'm going to give you some pointers on what to expect. Then in the second part, I'll cover preparation and play, in the hopes of helping you get ready for the big event.
-The stars are out. You can expect to see many recognizable players in high roller events. Feel free to say hi, tell them it's an honor to meet them, wish them luck... but try not to be too "star struck". It will both take your focus off the task at hand, and give them information about you at the same time.
-Butterflies. You may well be nervous, have butterflies in the stomach. Rest assured that's very normal (in fact I think it wouldn't be normal to NOT feel this way at least to an extent in your first high roller). Try your best to relax, remember to breath. The nerves will pass.
-Electricity. You will not be alone with the feelings of nerves and excitement that comes with the start of a major tournament. It creates a certain energy in the air. Soak it in and enjoy, but keep your balance... there's work to be done.
-A marathon, not a sprint. The slow, deep stack structure will make for a long event, likely a lot longer than you're accustomed to playing a tournament for. This has implications for your mental and physical preparation that we'll discuss in Part 2.
In short, you can expect a big atmosphere with big emotions as a first time player in a high buy in event. But you can also expect some familiar things. You'll receive 2 cards, just like everyone else. There will be a flop, turn and river. Betting rounds ensue between each, just like you're used to. The odds, the rank of hands, and all other things familiar to you will be just as you expect. Enjoy the atmosphere, but try not to let it overwhelm you. In the end, you're still playing no limit hold'em just like normal.