Tournament Tips

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There are many strategies required during multi-table tournament play. Here are the top ten tips to hopefully get you onto the final table and in the CASH.

  1. Patience The payout structure for poker tournaments is geared towards the final table. Reaching the final table will usually pay at least ten times more than the lowest payouts and you should always have this in mind. Winning ONE tournament is better than placing FIFTY times at the lower levels financially and mentally.
  2. Play to win The payout structure for poker tournaments is geared towards the final table. Reaching the final table will usually pay at least ten times more than the lowest payouts and you should always have this in mind. Winning ONE tournament is better than placing FIFTY times at the lower levels financially and mentally.
  3. Never give up You may have lost on the river to that miracle card giving you a bad beat or your pocket Aces got beaten by 6, 7 suited. We have all been there but this is no reason to throw in the towel or throw your last chips away. You got your money in with the best hand, that is what is important. Walk away from the table, refocus, stay calm, play your usual game and you will come back.
  4. Be aggressive Aggressive poker is good at any table and in tournaments this is even more important. If you have good cards and you hit the flop well, do not be a caller. RAISE or RE-RAISE making your opponent think and face the difficult decision of calling. Be aggressive and the pace setter, you want to take their stack(s) or make them fold to take the pot.
  5. Starting Hands When first starting a tournament only premium hands should be played. Do not waste money playing crap because the blinds are small, it will only get you into trouble. Play less hands at the beginning and more aggressive towards the end. Small pairs and suited connectors are great at the beginning and mid stages but are less attractive at the later stages. With less than ten times the blinds any good playable hand should be an all-in raise.
  6. Short stacks Players with short stacks can be a danger as they are likely to go all-in with a range of hands. Any pair, Ace anything or two painted cards will look very promising to them. If you are entering a pot, take into consideration if there are short stacked players to act as you may be forced to call their all-in.
  7. Stealing blinds Stealing blinds is essential as the blinds and antes grow. Playing too tight will see your stack wither away. Make it your goal to be stealing blinds when you are first to enter a pot or in late position by raising and hopefully pushing out other players with average hands. Take into account how others are playing on the table and if called that you have a playable hand.
  8. The bubble effect With just a couple of players to go, most players will play tighter than usual to make it to the final table. Take advantage of the situation by stealing as many blinds as possible and raising with monster/playable hands with the aim of making them fold.
  9. Observe the last tables As the end of the tournament draws near, watch the last three or four tables. You will end up playing against some of these players and any notes you can make could be the difference between 9th and 1st.
  10. Aim for first place The lowest payouts at the final table will only be a small proportion of the 1st place prize. While observing which opponents are playing to move up the money is important you should be aiming for the top spot yourself. Do not play too tight, when you get good hands play them to win. If you do bust out, you would of done it with a a playable hand and still feel proud of your achievement. Win with those hands and the money is yours.

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