Wednesday, February 25, 2009

3 Tips To Win Your Next Poker Tournament

What It Takes To Win

Do you know why you haven't been a winner at tournament poker?

Is it bad cards?

Is it bad luck?

Is it bad beats?

Probably not.

It's probably because you think that the right strategy is all about those two words: "It depends."

Nonsense. Just like "Depends" is an adult diaper for leaking problems, in poker "Depends" is an adult excuse for leaking problems in your game.

This is poker. There is the right play for every situation. There is the right time to gamble. Hey, you may even make the wrong move at the right time, and take down a huge pot!

3 Tips To Win Your Next Poker Tournament

1. Embrace the risk.

In a poker tournament every hand is a battle for the blinds and antes. You must act to accumulate chips. If you don't act you will bleed out chips...slowly and surely...until you die a painful, slow death at the poker table. (Sort of like those dead bodies in Law & Order episodes who "bled out.")

Embrace the risk in the game. The Poker Pros win for a reason. And the reason is that they do not sit back and wait for premium hands. The reason is that they take action, take risks, and gamble. So get out of your comfort zone and gamble.

2. Get involved in more hands with pre-flop raises.

What do the Poker Pros do in tournaments? They get involved with a wide range of hands. They do not think "Oh, it's early in the event, I need to play tight." They may write that nonsense in their books to keep you down. Don't be fooled!

At the start of the event and in every hand of the event, you should be looking at opportunities to win the battle for the blinds with pre-flop raises.

If you are first in the pot, makes those small raises. The raises can be two times or two and one-half the blinds. Act. You will be surprised how few times you get called.

3. Play suited connectors when your opponent's chip stack is deep.

If you are dealt suited connectors and you are first in the pot, what should you do? If you've been raising pre-flop more often than your opponents, keep up the pressure and raise again.

If there is a pre-flop raise in front of you, look at how deep your opponent's chip stack is and call to see the flop cheap. Any two cards can win.

You've seen Negreanu and Hansen win big pots with small cards. When is the last time that happened for you?

Get out of your comfort zone. Play to win. If you get knocked out in your first hand because you flop two small pair, and your opponent called you all-in with pocket Aces and the board paired, so what? It may be the best thing to happen in your tournament poker game in a long time.

1 comment:

SugarDayFox said...

Thanks for this great post Mitchell! I can't wait to finish up my first poker commitment month (due off in a few days) to go and polish my freshly acquired aggressivity in some fine tournaments.
Keep up the spirit,


What's Your Poker IQ?