Sunday, May 17, 2009

Tournament Poker: A Checklist for your next event

The countdown continues...

Here are some guidelines to help you win your next tournament.

1. You need to get lucky to win.

2. You need to avoid getting unlucky to win.

3. Play the player and not your cards.

4. Pre-flop it is usually better to raise or re-raise
than to call.

5. Pocket Aces are the nuts pre-flop. If you can get your
opponents all-in when you hold Aces pre-flop do it.

6. A-K is not the nuts pre-flop. Raise and re-raise
pre-flop with A-K. But be careful not to play this drawing
hand as the nuts.

7. Look for a reason to play a hand, and not fold a hand.

8. Learn which opponents you can float based on their betting

9. Identify the table image of your opponents and play against them.

10. Identify what your opponent's think your table image is, and do the

11. Play the flop, your opponents and not your cards.

12. Look to play steal flops.

1x. If you have superstitions, this number is missing.

14. Look to bluff on the turn when a scare card hits.

15. Take weak bets as weak hands on the flop, turn and raise.

16. Get out of your comfort zone--loosen up your starting hands, look for
ways to win with a bet on the flop, and/or a bluff on the turn.

17. Don't hesitate to put your opponent all-in on the turn if you know you
are ahead, and your opponent is drawing.

18. While expected value is a fine cash game strategy, avoid it in tournament
play. Instead, try the concept of unexpected value.

19. Know your pot odds and your implied odds pre-flop.

20. If your pot odds of winning is better than the pot odds you are getting,
you should lean toward calling or raising. However, make sure you know
what it will cost you if you are wrong.

21. Being an aggressive player will be a better strategy than trying to
outplay all your opponents, all the time.

22. Some players make the wrong move at the right time. Don't let it get you
on tilt.

23. Making the right move at the wrong time can also put you on tilt. Don't
let it.

24. If you feel like you are on tilt, take a break away from the table.

25. You don't want to be eliminated with one Queen in your hand.

26. A ten on the flop is an invitation for action.

27. All cards lower than a 9 on the flop is an invitation for a bluff.

28. It is easier to play against one opponent than multiple opponents.

29. When the antes come into the game, look to make your raises larger
than the standard 3x raise.

30 Stealing antes and blinds is a key strategy to winning tournament play.


nerio said...

Very good advice.

Anonymous said...

Can you elaborate about this:

26. A ten on the flop is an invitation for action.

27. All cards lower than a 9 on the flop is an invitation for a bluff.


Mitchell said...

The playing zone is usually Ace, 9-King. If the flop is under 9, the flop will usually miss players and the player who makes a bet will often take down the pot.

As to the power of 10; this is a personal observation that players are willing to draw to a straight. So, if they are playing typical starting cards liks J-K, or Q-K, A-K and the flop misses them but has a 10 and another high card, they will be willing to take one off.

On the lower side of the 10, players will have suited connectors like 8-9, 7-8, etc., so again, the 10 on the flop will often be a card for a stright draw on these hands.

That is why I have found that the 10 can invite more action...examples: a flop of 10-9-2or Q-10-4..and therefore you have less of an opportunity to steal on the flop.

What's Your Poker IQ?