Online Poker Tournaments - It's a Marathon Not a Race
Although the winnings are great in most cases, there is a major difference between successful money players and successful tournament players. Tournament players cannot bide their time in the same way that a money player needs to. In a tournament, the player has to win all the chips on the table if they want to progress; they cannot afford to wait and bid their time. They must play with an aggressive edge.
One of the most important tournament skills is a strong psychological presence. It sounds odd and a little unnerving, but luck has a lot to do with tournament success in poker. To compensate for this, you need to try to make yourself as lucky as possible; think positive, don't let your moods swing with the tilts. Be sensible but keep up the aggressive plays. In tournament poker, you need to get all the chips on the table in a certain amount of time, against the added pressure of increasing blinds. You can't afford to let a run of bad luck hit you if you want to get anywhere in the tournament. You must do whatever you can to maintain a positive outlook.
As a general rule, you should play tight at the beginning of the tournament, when the blinds are low; this is the only time you can afford to sit and wait for other players to make mistakes. As the blinds rise - as they do in tournaments - you need to start gambling aggressively.
Controlling your tournament gambling should be the gap concept, introduced by David Sklanksy. The basic principle and practice of this concept is that you should open the betting whenever your hand makes it prudent. You can open the betting yourself with a marginal to semi-strong hand and it's a lot easier to bet with yourself. However, if the betting has already been opened, if someone else makes a bet before you, then you must have a strong hand to call.
Table positions also come into play in tournament poker. You should play tight in the early positions and let the people playing after you take the lead most of the time (unless you have a hand that warrants aggressive play, such as high honors). As you move to later positions, particularly the end positions, you should look to bluff and play semi-strong hands.
Online distractions aren't such a problem, but you can still get put off by some of the pop-ups and information bombardments. You shouldn't worry about the other tables or the other players in the tournament. Your focus needs to remain on the table and chips you're trying to accumulate.
Your focus in a tournament needs to be on your table, on your position, and on your opponents play. Good tournament players look to shift gears, alternating between tight and aggressive plays as the situation calls. Watch your opponents for sighs that they are following one or other of these strategies.
Follow the strategies yourself. Remember that survival is key to winning a tournament, more so than in money games. You can't be eliminated from money games, per se, but you can and will be knocked out of tournaments for careless mistakes.
To win at tournament poker you need to train your brain to focus above and beyond money game play. In tournaments, how you behave towards your opponents, how you respond to your opponents on a psychological level, can have an impact on your game if you don't check yourself. Some of the best advice from tournament champs is to play our own cards. Don't think about anyone else's cards and don't try to analyze or critic the plays of anyone else. Never voice your opinion about anyone else's plays, strategies, or styles. It's never worth dwelling on someone else's game except to understand them as an opponent.
And the last snippet of tournament-play advice: trust your instincts. Know the guidelines for poker play - for tournament and online tournament play specifically - but trust your instinct and feel for the cards. The leading tournament poker players play by feel much of the time. You should too if you want to win.
Related Tags: online poker, poker tournaments, sit and go, win poker, poker tourney, world poker series, freerolls
Valentino Viccetzar is well renown article writer. He has been writing for many years about gambling and casino related themes. He is currently hosting his articles on heads up poker and others at http://www.pokerrouge.comYour Article Search Directory : Find in Articles
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