Now that you have decided to take the bold step of playing in a tournament, we are here to help you with the most useful tips on how to win. We understand that tournaments are the ultimate fantasy of every poker lover, and this is because its promises are huge.
This isn’t gambling, where luck might entirely shine on you, even with just basic skills. In tournaments, you use your well-practiced skills and strategy to match other pro players and carry the award home. Below are the ultimate tips that can bring that award home for you.
- Understand the Tournament Stages
The poker tournament is at the beginning, middle, and late stages. These stages are not meant to be played in the same manner, which is unfortunately the case with tournament newcomers. The aggressiveness with which you apply your strategies must be progressive.
At the beginning stage, the blinds are very minimal, and there’s never a reason to take on big risks for extra chips at that point. For instance, in a multiple-table tournament, keep your A-9 off-suit hand for the late stages and don’t launch them at the beginning where they can strike the pre-flop muck. Never forget that hip reservation is key.
Therefore, use the middle stages to launch an aggressive attack on the weak players keen on folding their way to the money at that stage. Do not interpret this strategy to mean not putting in your best effort at the early stage. In essence, we say start very tight in your early stages but double up on your strategy’s aggressiveness as the stages transition.
- Stage Transition Requires Patience
The ability to use the stages of the tournament optimally determines whether or not you win in any tournament. This starts with patience. The poker tournament superstar Daniel Negreanu has emphasized this many times. His patience strategy remains that the increase and decrease of the blinds are best studied when you are calm.
This will also help you channel your aggression to focus on the value of the blinds and not just play for survival. Don’t build up a large stack through the right application of your poker strategies and then blow them off while trying to win too early. Be patient. Avoid being the table bully just because you have an impressively large stack. Protect your stack and be smart with it.
- Keep the Bluff Out
This isn’t a casino where bluffs work as tricks to get amateur players nervous. In the tournaments, you are probably playing against players that are better than yourself. Therefore, it is always best to keep the bluff out. Even if you have the advantage, use it to sail off the danger zones rather than bluffing.
As described by Daniel Negreanus, danger zones are the middle stages where you have to be very conscious of how thin your blinds are getting. If you find yourself with fewer than twenty big blinds in the middle stage, you have to adjust your strategy as soon as possible. Strengthen your hands at this point and avoid playing speculative games.
- Avoid Making Loose Calls
Tighten your game as it approaches the bubble stage of the game. There’s always a bubble stage in every tournament where players with short stacks are fighting so hard to stay alive in the tournament. In formulating your strategy, as initial preparation for your tournament entry, learn how to understand the position you fall under. You need to quickly understand when you are in a weak or advantageous position. This will constantly help you determine what strategy to apply.
When the bubble is approaching, there are many opportunities, and a flurry of actions is happening. However exciting this may be for you because you have the right hand and stack, do not make unnecessary or loose calls. Instead, be brutal to the end and play to win.
In all of these, the basic virtues remain: perfectly understanding the stages of the tournament to help you maximize your stacks and strategy. As obvious as it may sound, always pay tight and avoid clashing with the big stacks if you aren’t a big stacker. You may start by avoiding bluffing, as already mentioned, and not making unnecessary calls.
Also, constant practice is key if you ever want to win a tournament. You don’t have to wait until you meet pros in a land-based casino. Making the best use of online casinos like JustSpin Casino will keep your poker skills well-honed. So many people have won major poker tournaments, becoming awesome millionaires. It wouldn’t be difficult for you if you kept to these basic tips.