Tuesday, June 9, 2009

Poker Quiz: Early Rounds of Tournaments

The Anatomy of a Poker Tournament

Early Rounds: A simple concept of low risk for high return

Let's say you have $5,000 in starting chips.


1. Blinds $25-$50. You are in early position with 8-9 offsuit. What should you do?

2. Blinds $25-$50. You limp in an early position with 8-9 offsuit. Two payers limp. But the big blind raises. There is $225 in the pot, and the big blind raises to $300. What should you do?

3. Blinds $25-$50. You limp in an early position with 8-9 offsuit. Two payers limp. But the big blind raises. There is $225 in the pot, and the big blind raises to $100. What should you do?

4. Blinds $25-$50. You limp in a late position with 8-9 offsuit after two players limp. The big blind raises to $200. The two limpers call. What should you do?

5. Blinds $25-$50. A player upfront raises to $150. Everyone folds to you in the big blind. You have pocket 2's. What should you do?

6. Blinds $25-$50. A player upfront raises to $150. The small blind re-raises to $600. You have pocket 2's in the big blind. What should you do?

7. Blinds $25-$50. You raise in late position to $150 as the first player in the pot with pocket 2's. The big blind calls. What are you thinking?


1. You are going to see the flop for only $50.

2. Fold. It is too expensive to call the raise, especially with players behind you.

3. You have to call since it is only going to cost you another $50.

4. There is $675 in the pot, and it will cost you $150 more to call. Call and take the risk; although it would have been easier to make this call if your cards were suited.

5. You don't fold. You call. You want your opponent to have pocket Aces, so if you hit the 2 you will win a big pot.

6. Fold! It's too much money and the original bettor may raise again.

7. I tried to steal with my small pair and it didn't work. I don't want to lose more chips in this hand. What range of hands does the big blind have? How much is in the pot? How much does the big blind have in chips? What will I do with a good flop--I hit my set? What about a bad flop--most likely there will be three overcards?

Key Strategy In Early Rounds

Your strategy is to look to play a marginal hand rather than fold a hand early in the event. Consider risking 20% of your stack for small risk, big reward plays. Here, you will use $1,000 to take these small risks.


Tanner said...

I disagree with answer 1 ... you will get plenty of "Better" marginal hands than 8-9 off. I agee to some extent that you can risk 20% of your chips early.

answer # 4 is marginal in IMHO. What range of hands do you have the raiser and the 2 callers on and what flops can you call the c-bet after the flop? What trouble have you put yourself in when you get a flop like 10-J-Q or if the flop is 8-9 with an A K Q or jack did you just flop your 2 pair and run into a set?

Mitchell said...

On the #4, if I flop two pair or a straight, yeah, I'm not folding.

On #1, if the table is limping all the time, it is about implied odds not really about getting better marginal hands.

It really goes back to the level of risk you are willing to take in your game. The more risk you take early on the wider your variance early on.

So, you may build a nice chip stack or get busted. Bu, there's always going to be another game.

Anonymous said...

I agree with the idea of taking small risks early, especially with connectors. Suited connectors are usually better, but with lesser implied odds when the flush-draw hits home, and sometimes even worse so when you hit your flush with another limper hitting the nut-flush with A-xs. The idea I think is to know beforehand precisely what flop I would like to see, and specifically what flop I do not want to get involved with! Which is the most of them anyway.... The worst hand is always the second best hand (as this hand loses the most money), so the danger is to hit a flop halfway and not being able to dump it azap when the action heats up a notch. Big hand - big pot, small hand - small pot, but in the early stages a small hand is usually top pair - good kicker. Which is a big hand later with a stack at about 10 x BBs! This is heresy, but I have no problems with limping along early with 7-6 offsuit. If somebody raises behind me, I'll just dump it rightaway!! Which I will usually do in any case having raised with KQs and flopping something like A-x-x, with several guys to act behind me. The thing is to know when to stop bleeding without hitting the flops. When I hit my straight I want somebody in there with a hand just a little too good to fold, like top pair - top kicker or 2 pairs. But as always, I'll just try to take what the table gives me, whatever that is...

No risk, no reward!


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