Poker tournaments host the most experienced players in the world. Some of the rising stars of poker have made the definitive leap to fame after their passage through one of the most famous poker tournaments in the world, and it is convenient to know at least a few recommendations before entering fully into the dizzying world of elite poker games.
Poker tournaments are much more than massive games broadcasted with the greatest players of the moment: they are an exhibition of statistical and mathematical knowledge. That is why the strategies for poker tournaments must be so well defined and must be prepared and studied calmly in the weeks leading up to the game: if you don’t know them inside out, you’ll have nothing to do. You’ll tell us how to win a poker tournament without a defined strategy!
This is one of the most popular strategies for playing online poker tournaments. We don’t mean that you should neglect the game, but in the early stages of the tournament it is common for beginners or less experienced players to start making big mistakes thinking that they are following a winning strategy.
At the beginning of the tournament it is normal to receive a lot of chips compared to the blinds, and it is common to strive to pay a lot of flops hoping that the small pairs will improve or the initial connectors will be completed. Maybe not now, but in the medium term it is a losing strategy. In fact, it is one of the worst poker strategies for tournaments, contests and any minimally competitive range of poker, as it will deprive you of having the best hands later on. Because you have a lot of chips you are not forced to waste them on the weakest hands, keep that in mind.
One of the fundamentals of the strategy for online poker tournaments is not to rush in the early stages, something that you should extrapolate to high-level professional competitions. For example, seeing a pre-flop bet with a 6-7 hand is usually not advisable because you can never get a good enough hand to get a double pair or straight with the winning frequency to justify the pre-flop call. Also, after the flop beginners often misplay a weak hand: it is more common than it seems for a player to lose a large amount of chips with the second best hand.
The golden rule of poker tournament strategy is to focus on the early stages, when your goal should be to have cards that are easy to play and have a chance of forming the best hand as soon as you get to the showdown. The ideal is to get one of the big pairs, an ace-king or ace-queen, or a medium or small pair.
Although the best scenario is the intermediate one, as it leaves you with the possibility of holding the best kicker, all these hands have a common benefit: after the flop, you will get an idea of where you stand and how strong your hand is, something that does not happen when playing with weak hands. Since winning a poker tournament is not something that just happens, you must prepare your strategy from minute one. And so will your opponents.
Although the principle is well known by the vast majority of players (the vast majority of strategies for poker tournaments take into account the factor of the side players to establish their probability of success), maintaining the concentration to be aware of the players around you may not be exactly easy for some players, especially those less experienced in the dynamics of these competitions. It will be the players to your left and right with whom you will be battling for blinds. Correctly classifying these players can give you the option to expand your strategic options.
Whenever you want to try a new strategy, you should consider the fact that it is quite likely to go wrong at first. That’s okay: no matter how good you are at playing poker, trial and error is a technique that is also present in this type of game. Some of the best poker strategies for live tournaments have gone through a test bench before, which are usually online competitions.
If you are a beginner in tournaments it is normal to be stressed, but don’t worry: we have all experienced this for the first time. The most important thing is that you know how to play a live poker tournament, as the dynamics change quite a bit.
Whatever aspect you want to try, or if you simply want to train yourself to acclimatize better, try experimenting with the new poker strategies for online tournaments.
Another fundamental aspect is that you should never extrapolate an online poker tournament strategy to table play without first putting it into practice. Keep in mind that online poker tournament strategies are often adulterated or loosely based on those traditionally used in Texas Hold’Em tournaments, so they should not be an inspiration for your competitive tournament play.
Although some players downplay its importance, post-flop play is important in tournaments. They are perfect for testing and evaluating opponents, categorizing them and ranking them. This is fundamental for designing winning poker tournament strategies, since without being able to rank your opponents you will have a harder time finding a way to become champion.
Over time, and as you gain experience, you will see that knowing how to win a poker tournament is not about learning all the strategies or acting in a restricted way. The key is your ability to adapt and read the games.
Going back to post-flop: the best tactic is to keep your opponents under constant pressure by playing cat-and-mouse, hiding your chances and showing your threatening play by taking small pots in a short time with any kind of cards by raising their bets on dry flops.
This will make them fed up with you and they will stop paying attention to you because you will be a ghost, although you will have made them nervous. All this for what? To get a good hand when they no longer study you and not let go until the end. It is one of the most recurrent strategies to play online poker tournaments among professional players of virtual tables, one of the few that can be extrapolated to the physical tables of the game with a high probability of success.
Your decision making should be based on objective data from the table and kept away from factors external to the table. Less perception from the outside can influence the way you play. That’s why it’s important that you don’t glance at the payout table during the games, as your mind must be clear to hit the coup de grace. If you’ve made it this far, you probably already know how to play a live poker tournament without this being a problem, so just stay focused and show off your poker tournament strategy.
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