Single Table Tournament TipsIn single table tournaments, it is important to play tightly in the early stages of the tournament, but capitalize on good hands. All it takes is one big pot, then you can ride it out and wait for your next big hand as players knock each other out of the tournament.
Be careful of playing aggressively on suited connectors. Their value is lower than you'd expect since people are going to be short stacked. If you still decide to call, only do so near the beginning of the tournament.
When you're down to the last few and the blinds become very big, aggressive play and blind stealing can be very effective. Remember that with fewer players at the table, weaker hands such as pairs are much stronger – make sure you keep on the aggressive with those hands and continue to scoop up blinds to maintain your chip lead.
Pay attention and keep track of the players you're competing against since you may run into them again if you continue playing single table tournaments with the same buy-in.
If you do find yourself short stacked (running out of chips), wait for the right moment to go all-in and double your stack. It's all or nothing – desperate times call for desperate measures!
Multi Table Tournament TipsMulti table tournaments really are a matter of patience. With sometimes hundreds of players in a tournament, you want to pick your battles very carefully in the early stages. Often in big tournaments, you'll find 'loose' players. Identify those players early, and make them your target for the big hand that you will eventually have. When that hand is dealt to you, reel them in and hit them with big bets. If you can increase your stack size significantly on one or two of these hands, you can ride out the tournament for a while as you watch other players knock each other out. Wait patiently for your hands, they will come.
As Pete 'The Beat' would say, "Don't attack the big stack". This is of key importance in tournament play – your aim should be to knock-out the players with smaller stacks than you. They will only go up against you if they have a very solid hand, so stealing blinds and 'bullying' them out of pots is a great way to increase your own chip stack. Eventually you will leave a short-stacked player with no choice but to call your raise and go all-in with a mediocre hand, and slide you his or her chips on the way out of the tournament.
If the cards are not going your way and you are running low on chips in the latter stages of the tournament, consider going all in pre-flop to try and steal the blinds even if your hand isn't looking so great, rather than waiting and going all-in on the flop.
Multi table tournaments can often last hours, so be prepared for a long event and pace yourself. Place your bets wisely and maintain concentration; refreshments are very important. If the tournament provides time for breaks, make good use of them.
As with Poker in general, tournament strategy takes time to master. Keep these tips in mind and practice your game, you'll be ready for the WSOP in no time!
General Tournament TipsBe patient - One problem that befalls Texas Holdem tournament players is that they get impatient as the blinds move up. In order to be successful in tournament play, you must have the discipline to wait for a solid hand.
Let players eliminate themselves - The goal in a tournament is to outlast the other holdem players. The goal is not to beat everyone at the table. Other players will eliminate themselves. To often, people build an early chip lead only to watch it dwindle from making loose calls. If you are in good shape don't be afraid to sit out or play tight.
Take risks early - If you plan to take risks, do it early. The lower blinds mean you can afford to see more flops and make looser calls than normal.
Sit out a round when you join a new table - You will be moved several times during a tournament. Each time you are moved, take at least one round to get a feel for the table. Learn how each player plays before getting caught in a hand and not having any idea of how your opponent plays.
Watch for traps - Often, players will trap more in a tournament than in a ring game. Be careful when making a bet with a dangerous board, even if you plan to fold if you get raised. These small mistakes will eat away your chips quickly as a tournament progresses. Recognize the possibility of a trap and try to make a smaller bet to entice your opponent to reveal more information about their hand.
Don't be afraid to go all in - When you're playing in any no limit texas holdem tournament, chances are you'll have to go all in at least once. The key is to not fear going all in, but to recognize when you have the best hand and force someone else to catch you.
Avoid pushing all in on a draw hand - Going all in should be reserved for instances when you feel you have the best hand. In order to go all in with any sort of draw hand, you must be getting tremendous pot odds. Be absolutely certain that if you do hit your hand, it will be good enough to win.
Try to steal blinds - If you're in a late position, do not be afraid to make a play for the blinds. For every blind you steal, it's like not having to post one the next time around. You can buy time while you wait for a big hand.
Be a bully - If you see someone is low on chips, don't be afraid to push him or her around. Make them uncomfortable and force them to go all in. It is a great way to win small pots if you are facing someone who has a lot fewer chips than you.
Latter rounds - If you have a decent amount of chips, you should play extremely tight in the later rounds. This is when low stacked players will be looking to move all in and chip leaders will only be playing the "nuts". Your starting cards become extremely important because it is very likely every hand will result in someone going all in. Adjust your game accordingly. Even if you're not where you want to be as far as chip count, be extremely patient and wait for a very strong hand.
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