Online Poker Tournament Tips

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Online Poker Tournament Tips

Multi-table tournaments are an increasingly popular way of making money in online poker. Unfortunately, many successful cash game players fail to do well in these events because they don’t understand MTT Strategy. Tournaments require a different style of play to other poker games. The following article will go over some basic principles for how to play online tournaments.

Early Stage MTT Strategy Tips

When you’re sat at a nine or ten man table at the beginning of a tournament, concentrate on playing only top hands. These include AK AQ, high suited connectors, and pocket pairs. The biggest mistake new tournament players make is calling in early position with rag ace hands such as A7 or A3. The problem here is that with the number of players at the table, you’re almost statistically certain to be up against someone with an Ace higher kicker. You’ll lose your stack early playing rag ace hands or anything else below the range I suggested.

Another thing to remember in the early stage of poker tournaments is not to worry about stealing the blinds. At the early stage of poker tournaments, the blinds aren’t large enough to provide value for bluffing or stealing. Wait till the later stages of the tournament before you become preoccupied with this.

Middle Stage MTT Strategy Tips

This is where you need to earn most your chips. The middle stage of a poker tournament is generally where all the action and best play happens. It’s also where the lucky players to reach this stage will lost their stacks.

Remember that playing optimally in tournaments isn’t necessarily the correct strategy. Instead, you should focus on playing as aggressively as you can, stealing as many blinds as you can; and continuation betting as many times as you can get away with. Don’t be afraid to value shove either. Slow playing hands like KK can be costly in a tournament.

Many professionals recommend value shoving with premium hands in early position because of the value you receive from getting called. Another advantage to value shoving with premium hands is that it looks like a bluff – so players will be more likely to call you. The squeeze play is also crucial at this stage. With respect to hands you should be playing, it’s much more dependent upon your position. In a late position you can call, raise, or even go all-in with a range of hands including AJ, 10J suited or pocket twos.

Also be prepared to defend your blinds. At this stage in a tournament, the blinds can represent anything from 5-20% of your total chip stack; so watch out for players in late positions stealing them. If you notice patterns from poker players doing this, make sure you hit back at them.

Final Stage MTT Strategy Tips

The aggressive action and squeeze plays from the middle stages tends to attenuate by the later stages of a poker tournament. When you’re approaching the bubble, a large number of small and medium stack players will be hanging on for dear life trying to make the money. Try to take advantage of these players by raising them all-in when they’re on the blinds. They’ll often only call with premium hands, which make them a perfect target to prey on.

A common trend at the final table is that there is very limited action on the flop. Most the action occurs preflop. Also, when you find yourself on the final tables, very often you’ll find yourself shorthanded. Taking this into account you should allow yourself to play and raise preflop with a much higher range of hands including A-7 or even A-3 suited.