Tournament Poker Strategy For No Limit Texas Hold Em

Most poker players start playing cash ring games. I wouldn’t say cash games are easier, but they are generally more plentiful both off-line in local casinos, and online as well. You do not have to make as many strategic adjustments in a cash game, so by and large, it is the better way to learn poker for the novice player. However, for most players, once they have a grasp of the game, switching to tournament play can be a challenge.

The most obvious difference between cash ring games and tournament play is the blinds. In tournaments, the blinds go up at a specific interval, forcing you to reanalyze your play on a continual basis. Not only to the blinds go up, but antes eventually come into play as well. So, if you do not adjust and make different plays as the tournament goes on, eventually you will lose your stack without every having played a hand. What this means is that a hand that is an easy fold, early on in the game, may become a hand that you will raise with later in the game. This takes some real getting used to if you are a player who comes from a cash game because it is something you really don’t have to worry about when the blinds are stable.

Another aspect that requires your constant attention in tournament play is the size of the chip stacks at your table and which ones are in a hand against you. What I mean by that is this: everyone starts with the same amount of chips. Unless you are playing a re-buy tournament, you cannot buy anymore, so once a player busts out, his or her tournament is over. This will have a huge influence on how that players players his cards in a given situation.

For example, if a player has a large chip stack, they are more likely to call you with a wide variety of hands, simply because they can afford to. They will try to ‘get lucky’ because if they lose it will not affect his chip stack very much.

By contrast, a very short stack is likely to either fold to your raise if they have nothing, re-raise and come over the top of you because they feel their situation is desperate and they need to win some chips or bust out trying. Both of these chip stack sizes need to be taken into account as you decide how to play each hand. If you just look at your cards, rather than the chip stacks you will be up against, you will end up in situations where you have to make a hard decision that could cost you all of your chips situs judi online terpercaya.

Tournament play is unique also in the fact that only a certain number of players will make ‘the money’. For example, if there are 90 players in a tournament, then maybe the top 9 will actually get paid. The rest of the players get nothing, no matter if they finish 40th or 14th. How close you are to making the money will dictate how you play your cards as the tournament progresses.

Obviously, you would like to win every tournament that you play, but your first focus has to be simply being paid for your time. As you become within a few players of making the money, you will want to become more selective (or less, depending on the table you are at!) about your cards to avoid ‘busting out’ short of the money. There is nothing worse than playing a tournament for several hours and then busting out on the bubble and not getting paid for your time. The goal in every tournament that you play has to be making the money. Winning the tournament can come after you have been paid.

Speaking of time, tournaments take a lot of time to play. At a cash ring game, you have the luxury of sitting down at the table and then getting up whenever you want. Not so with tournaments. Tournaments are played until there is one man left standing, and while there are periodic breaks, (once every hour online and usually once every 2 hours in live tournaments) it is not uncommon for large online tournaments to run for 6-8 or 10 hours or more and live tournaments in a casino take days in the case of WSOP events. The more players who are entered, the longer it will take to play, so you need to make sure you have the time budgeted to complete the event.

Overall, poker tournaments are a great spend of your money. You gain a lot of experience for limited exposure. You can only lose your buy-in, no more. You also get a ton of leverage on your money; the payouts can be huge for a very minimal amount spent. Once you learn the strategic plays, you can make quite a bit of money.

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