My Multi-Table Tournament Strategy
November 18, 2011 12 Comments
I have decided to take a break from cash games and work on developing my tournament game, in particular, small buy-in, large player pool events.
The beauty of these tournaments is that they are filled with inexperienced players who don’t know how to play large tournaments correctly. For a small buy-in, you can land a huge payday if you make the final table, and more importantly, win the entire tournament.
My only goal in a tournament is to win. All the big prizes are at the final three spots and first place usually is awarded anywhere between 17-38% of the entire prize pool depending on how large the tournament is.
For this reason, I like to try to accumulate a big stack early so I can put a lot of pressure on my opponents and accumulate even more chips allowing me to play increasingly more aggressive as the tournament gets down to the money bubble.
The money bubble is what will usually define the rest of my tournament. I will either bust quickly or end up in a top spot if I can abuse the weaker players and build a huge stack in the process.
No one wants to go deep into a tournament only to bust out right before the money. This is completely the wrong mentality that too many players have which makes them extremely exploitable.
If I have a big stack on the money bubble, I am willing to open almost every pot with any two cards. It is amazing how many times it will fold around and I pick up the blinds and antes which get increasingly higher as we progress through the tournament.
It is tough for the smaller stacks to play against a big stack especially when I am playing super aggressive and keeping them off guard. I let them play the guessing game while I apply the pressure forcing them to pick up a monster hand or donate me plenty of blinds and antes.
Putting someone at a decision for their entire tournament life is one of the strongest moves in tournament poker.
The dynamic of the blinds increasing at a certain time interval makes it even more essential to accumulate chips or you will find yourself blinding out with little hope of rebuilding a stack.
With less than 10 big blinds, you are forced to shove all-in preflop with a wide variety of cards hoping to get lucky and double up or steal a few blinds.
Without 10 big blinds, you have limited fold equity when you go all in meaning many players will be willing to call your shove with less than premium holdings limiting your ability to steal blinds effectively.
Aggression is more important than the cards you hold. You simply cannot sit and wait for good cards because they don’t come as often as you think.
You have to get in there and gamble. You have to define each players breaking point and how much heat their hand ranges can take.
Sometimes I am willing to bluff my entire stack off if I know there is a good chance the other player will fold and I can take down some crucial pots.
This type of fearless aggression is necessary if you want to succeed in large tournaments. Your table image will be that of a maniac helping you get paid off on your good hands as well. Players will start playing back at your bets and raises and when you wake up with a good hand, you can potentially send them packing.
What I love about tournaments is the dynamic of the blinds raising, people switching tables and players playing too scared to bust out. It creates a necessity to be constantly adaptable to the changing dynamics and adjust your play accordingly.
Tournaments are a lot more exciting that cash games as well.
Cash games generally are very tedious and boring without a changing dynamic. For this reason I like to play a lot of tables at one times and play a set loose aggressive strategy that doesn’t vary very often.
I play them purely for profit rather than enjoyment. Tournaments can get very exciting at the end and they force you to stay focused and play your best if you want to win.
As of right now, I am playing as many tournaments on Lock Poker as I can on my free time. I have had some good runs and cashes so far with a few wins along the way while fine tuning my game in preparation for bigger events that I have won satellites into. If you would like to follow my tournament progress,Click Here.
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