Monday, August 16, 2010

My New Poker Tournament Strategy: Adjustments

Photograph of a marble chess setImage via WikipediaMy New Poker Tournament Strategy: Adjustments

I wanted to provide an update on my new strategy to poker tournaments and make some adjustments. I've used it four times in live events and I have had one win for $2,900 (a 3-way chop).

My Tournament Strategy

Early Stages:

In early stages, preflop limp with premium hands or call one raise. If one player raises and another one calls, push all-in with a premium hand. You don't want to have more than one caller in a raised pot.

A premium hand defined: AA, KK, QQ and AK.

The advantages: 1. Winning a big pot by surprising your opponent. 2. Not losing a lot of chips with AK.

The disadvantages: 1. Losing with a premium hand 2. Needing the internal fortitude to laydown your hand when there is a lot of action and/or a coordinated flop.

Middle Stages and Late Stages

a) Play aggressive with raises and re-raise. Avoid calling. Raise and re-raise with any pair, raise in back positions first in preflop, and attack the more aggressive players. No more limping or calling.

Look to move all-in with A-K.
Look to move all-in with A-9 or better by attacking players who raise too often or when in a back position.
Look to raise with any A, K, Q J-x hand from a back position.

b) When you get a premium hand and you are low on chips, evaluate whether it may be better to limp to win more chips.

c) When you have a strong but not premium hand pre-flop, take on more risk by even calling an all-in player or two. Example: Two players are all-in and you have pocket Jacks. Since this may be the best hand you see for quite a while, and your chips are bleeding away, just call the all-in.

Final Table

Play very tight until you get a premium or strong starting hand, and/or 4 players get eliminated.

Goal: Not to finish on the bubble! Either win or go home early.
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