Poker tournaments offer you a chance to win a large amount of money for a small agreed upon fee.These tournaments work by eliminating players who lose all their chips.To ensure that a Poker tournament ends in a reasonable amount of time, the blinds or antes are increased at regular intervals.The smart player’s objective, therefore, in a Poker tournament should be accumulating chips, and minimizing his / her chances of being eliminated.
Before you enter a Poker tournament, make sure that you know how it’s organized.
“Freezeout” means that the total cost of the tournament is the initial fee, and that you cannot re-buy chips.Either way, you should know the exact rules and costs, if you can re-buy chips, of each of your options. Also make sure that you know what you’re playing for, and if the tournament is played until there’s only one winner, or ends after a fixed amount of time.
Unless your opponent out classes you, it is quite wise to re-buy chips at any stage, if you can spend the money, of course.Even if all of the other players have more chips than you, don’t worry, it is still a wise move.Check the blind / ante structure. Know how, and how frequently, it changes.
In the early stages of a Poker tournament remember:
If it’s a ‘Freezeout’ tournament lots of players will be playing tightly in the early stages, as a result of not wanting to be eliminated early.However, some players will be aggressive, because they’ll want enlarge their stack quickly, if things don’t go their way.Spot the tight players, and play aggressively against them can be very effective.
When allowing re-buys, the play inthe early stages will tend to be a lot looser then in a “Freezeout”.A lot of the players will be prepared to re-buy, so they will play marginal hands aggressively, trying to build a big stack early in the game.At the start of a tournament the cost of the blinds will be relatively low in respect of the average stack size and will become even lower if re-buys are allowed.
This allows you to play much more marginal hands than normal.If you’re an aggressive player, use these stages to try building a substantial stack.You’d risk early elimination but if successful it will give you a sufficient amount of chips to survive the first few blind increases even if the cards turn against you.
If your natural game is passive, the best strategy for you is to try achieving a steady accumulation of chips.Finally, don’t be concerned with eliminating other players. You are too far from the prize list to worry about how many players are left. Concentrate on keeping your stack in good condition.
In the later stages of a Poker tournament the game’s structure, as well as the strategy, change.The blinds increase, and are represented by an increasing percentage of the average stack.Therefore, now, winning the blinds becomes more significant. The first player into the pot will normally enter with a raise rather than just a flat call.The reason for this act is based on the fact that it is now more expensive to call a raise.
If a player raises at this point, other players will probably think that the hand is really good. As a result, all will fold and you some hands can be played for a very short period of time. All players, regardless of their natural playing style, must play aggressively; the general strategy in these stages is to gradually loosen requirements for an opening raise and to tighten requirements for calling.
If you’re lucky, you’d get to the point where you are down to the last few players. The blinds will be so high that all players left will have critical sized stacks. Not only that, but you’ll be able to see fewer and fewer hands before your stack is anted away.If your stack is average or large, remain with aggressive raises, and conservative calls. If, however, your stack is below average size, you probably should be tighter.