So here you are, you want to play a poker tournament but before you start here are some things you may want to take into consideration:
Avoid registering for a tournament that's going to last at least 3-4 hours if you need to be at the school to pick up your kid within the next two. How many of you have been in a situation where a player suddenly starts shoving every hand saying he "has to go"? lol. Or, you register for a game without realizing how long it's going to take to complete? When you first look at an event, you need to evaluate it's tournament structure the type of tournament is it deepstack, turbo, rebuys? What is the pay structure?
It is always important to be aware of these things before choosing your game. How aware are you regarding tournament structures/blind levels? Here are some examples of blind structures in a typical microstakes $2 and change buyin on multiple sites that I found to be very interesting:
On Pokerstars the blinds go up every 15 minutes. They start at $10/$20 in the 1st level by level 10 they are $300/$600.
On Merge the blinds increase every 12 minutes. Like Pokerstars they start out at $10/$20 but by level 10 you are playing $50 Ante & $250/$500 Blinds.
So while the buyin is the same and the blind levels start out the same; the entire structure of each tournament is completely different.
Deepstack: You start out with roughly 75-100 Blinds. Depending on the site most blind levels are 15-30 minutes in length. But again, it's the blind structure of the tournament that you need to watch out for. The blind structure is where the majority of deep stack events actually end up being not so deep in the later levels. Many tournaments give players a lot of chips and then implement a tournament structure that it will enable the game to finish in the same amount of time as a normal stacked event. The Deepstack GTD $25 buyin on Doyles room is a classic example of this. Position is probably the most important in Deepstack Tournaments.
Turbo: Players will normally start out with 1500 chips.Turbos seem to be more suited for those whom prefer a more aggressive approach to the game. Position is not as relevant here (but still useful) compared to the Deepstack tournaments. I say this because the blind/stack ratio is very short to begin with.There will be a lot of Pre-flop action and players will be shoving allin. It's very easy for stacks dwindle down quickly. The blinds usually increase every 5 minutes and it's not unusual to see other players at the table with short stacks (5-4 Blinds) within a very short period of time. You'll want to see as many flops as possible during the first 2-3 levels but then you will want to tighten up, play more premium hands & steal whenever possible. The majority of players are looking for a double up and will shove with any hand that has showdown value. You have to pick your spots wisely here. If you have chips use this to your advantage on the bubble by pushing medium-sized stacks around. Avoid getting into hands other big stack cannons unless you think you have a premium hand.
Is another important factor to consider. For example, if the top 20 players get paid but there's not much difference in profit between placing 20th-10th position then you're basically in the anti-bubble, the exact opposite of a bubble. Play will be different here than from playing the bubble. In bubbles, players tend to take fewer risks because short-term survival is essential. Larger stacks will be exploiting that by open-shoving a lot.
Set goals into your game before you begin playing. Think about your intention. What do you want to do? Do you want to cash, finish in the top 3, the top 5 if the top 10 get paid, or do you want to win it all? Obviously your primary goal would be to win it, but many players would be satisfied with just placing ITM (In The Money).
So the next time you decide to enter a tournament remember to consider the type of game you would like to play. Know your game.
How much time do you spend on your computer? When is the last time you did something other than play poker with your 2-3 closest friends in real life? I know very few people that make a living from playing online.
The majority though will blame dumb luck for their bad beats or they will lash out at other players blaming them for their loses. I will then see that same player who just experienced a "bad beat" after writing an, "I'm venting and hate donks post", 2 minutes later register for another tournament. How much poker is really enough? You've already lost 4 games & are on tilt now you're going back to the very thing that's upsetting you.
I came across this interesting article about playing online poker and the statistics are surprising. A new study of gambling behavior that suggests players, especially beginners, win less money the more hands they play.
The findings, which came from a study of 27 million online poker hands, suggest that small stakes translate to more wins, while playing longer means you'll lose, occasionally by a whole lot.
According to Cornell University sociology doctoral student Kyle Siler, the findings show that "people overweigh their frequent small gains vis-a-vis occasional large losses, and vice versa." The study, released online in advance of publication in an upcoming print issue of the Journal of Gambling Studies, also reports that pairs of small-numbered cards -- from twos to sevens -- are more valuable than pairs of eights, nines, 10s and Jacks for small-stakes players.
"This is because small pairs have a less ambiguous value, and medium pairs are better hands but have more ambiguous values that small-stakes players apparently have trouble understanding," Siler said. Siler, a poker player himself, analyzed hands of No-Limit Texas Hold'em. "Riskiness may be profitable, especially in higher-stakes games, but it also increases the variance and uncertainty in payoffs," he said. "Living one's life, calibrating multiple strategies and managing a bankroll is particularly challenging when enduring wild and erratic swings in short-term luck and results."
So the question I have to ask here is how much is enough?
This is a blog about a HU Heads-UP scenario:
The blinds are $25-$50. Player A's stack is $2300. Player A makes a standard 3xBB preflop to $150 in early positon holding AK suited in spades (because that is what player A was taught by reading poker books & articles). Player B calls you in late position. Player B's stack is $5575. *Addition: Player B has been raising quite a few hands PF but this is the first time Player B is calling a hand.* flop comes down 10d, 8c, 6h rainbow, Player A shoves the rest of his stack into a $375. pot.
Player B snaps calls. Player A flips over his cards, grinning, confident that his ace high is still good after that flop. Player B flips over Q-10 suited in hearts and Player A calls Player B the "donkey".
There is actually an important lesson behind this blog that can be quite useful if you can see it. Who do you believe is the "donkey" or bad player here and why or why not. I would like detailed responses not just, "Player A" or "Player B". Please specifically state. Thanks.
Each and everyone of us here have one thing in common and that's poker. Poker is my passion and here are some of the key reasons why.
I sat down and played my 1st live poker game 6 years ago and instantly feel in-love with it. I wasn't sure back then why I loved it but I knew that there was something more to the game something deeper, more intruiging then it appeared to be and I was already set to unravel it's mysteries.
Initially, I played poker as a "distraction' from my RL. I had gotten laid-off, was broke, fighting with my EX everyday and was dealing with a lot of crap going on with my family. I loved escaping from this reality and logging into an online poker site provided this for me.
I made many online friends and I found poker entertaining although I wasn't taking the game seriously. Basically just go to a play money table where my buddies were, crack jokes, have some wine and shoot the shit with them until the wee hours of the morning.
I still enjoy playing the freerolls after a few wines. However, I've also learned to become a "serious" poker player. I will often take myself too seriously and tend to be way too hard on myself when analyzing the stats, hand histories; how I should've played the hand, analyzing my hand-ranges vs. opponents etc...
When I won my 1st ever freeroll I realized, "there could be some potential for making money in poker" That's when I began to take the game to the next level and I became a more "serious" player. I set myself poker goals to accomplish.
Poker no longer just means "fun" or "escape". For me, poker now represents "opportunity" & "development". I've seen many friends cash big with poker, win trips, travel because they've won ME's etc...Not only monetary and travel opportunities but the chance to meet onlinepals in RL and to formstead-fast friendships. I've been staked to Vegas a few times to compete in Events. It's always a great feeling when you can put a face to a name of someone you've known for years. The feeling is undescribable.
We live in a society where we are taught to control our emotions even though latest research tells us to "let it out" and to express our feelings. Poker isagreat wayto help us learn to control our emotions and it's a wonderful tool for gaining self-discipline. I've noticed that the way I cope with RL situations is very similar to the way I handle problems at the poker table and it's thanks to poker that I have discovered this.
Even though I prefer live poker, I've been playing more of the online during the past couple of years. I like online it's a faster game but also a lot calmer. Nothing beats the thrill and excitement of live poker. Heart pounding in chest, sweaty palms as your putting your chips into a huge pot. There's a thrill beyond any other getting your opponent to lay down the best hand. ;)
It's kinda like the feeling you get when you're about to have sex for the 1st time! Poker truly is a mind f*ck. I love the psychology of poker. Outplaying my opponents out of their hand by bluffing them out of a pot. Sizesing them up, putting them on the spot watching them squirm in their seats. It's an adrenaline rush.
For me, poker is about self-growth, self -awarness, adventure. It's learning about how I react under pressure and how others react under pressure. How we react to stress @ the tables is a clear indication to ourselves, how we react to everyday stress. It's about what I'm doing vs what others are doing at the table. It's about preparation, thinking ahead. Predicting what your oppenents next move will be; cause and effect.It's about being mindful of my actions and reactions.It's about making money, bankroll management, setting goals,taking opportunities of a lifetime and most importantly (for me anyway) it's about self growth. Whether it be among friends or with complete strangers. Poker is one huge puzzle and I am determined to dissect it and put it all back together eventually one day, peice by peice. What is poker for you? I hope you have enjoyed my blog.
BECOMING A WINNING MTT PLAYER: We all aspire to be winning poker players in MMT's Multi-table tournaments but how do we do it? In this blog I will introduce the following key, important component to winning a MTT: Value bet, Value Shove, The Squeeze play and the ever mind-boggling (lol joking here) The Stop & Go along with their definitions. I will also describe in what stage of tournaments these actions are useful. When you're in the early stages of a Multi Table Tournament (MTT), play top hands only AK, AQ, High Suited Connectors, Pocket Pairs. You'll see a lot of basic ABC poker playing here . You can use this stage to take notes of the other players. You don'treally have to worry about stealing blinds at this stage it isn't worth it. There isn't enough value yet at this stage.
Middle stage MTT's is whereit's at. This is where all the action happens. This is where you need to focus on building your stack. Be aggressive here. Steal the antes/blinds and as many pots as possible. C-bet often.
Value shove: A Value Shove is when you overbet the pot for value it tends to involve a committment of shoving your stack all-in. Value shoving is used because of the value that is created from players calling you. Value shoving can be profitable when you're drawing for a flush/straight or when you hold the best hand and want to make it look like a bluff to get called.
Squeeze play: A bluff reraise in no limit hold'em with marginal or poor cards, after another player or players have already called the original raise. The goal is to bluff everyone out of the hand and steal the bets. Assuming a standard raise of 3-4 big blinds, a Squeeze bet is about 20 big blinds.When a player raises, a second calls and a third re-raises to squeeze the others out of the pot. Pressure is placed on the original raiser, because he either has to call or raise with 2 players left to act. If she folds, the second player either has to call or (what I like to do here)- re-raise against the third player who showed a lot of strength. Avoid trapping yourself. A check on the river is always a safe play if you are last to act.
The aggressive action and squeeze plays from the middle stages are reduced by the later stages of a poker tournament. Play the bubble. Here you will be seeing a lot of
Stop & Go's: The stop and go play is where you have a hand that you intend on moving all-in with. However, you call an opponent's bet before the flop instead of pushing, with the intention of pushing all-in on the flop instead. A large number of small and mid-stack players will be trying to make the money. Take advantage of these players by raising them allin when they're on the blinds. They'll tend to only call with premium hands, which make them easy targets.
There's limited post-flop action at the final table. Most the action occurs preflop. Chances are you'll be shorthand. So play and raise preflop with a much higher range of hand range including suited connectors, and wired suited connectors like 9-J, 8-10 and suited aces like A-3, A-7 etc.
Squeeze playing, value betting/shoving, Stop & Go's are ideal tools toutilizein becoming a better, more profitable multi table tournament player in the long run. Remember to also avoid those common poker traps. I hope you enjoyed my blog. I look forward to your feed-back.
Hi I am new to this forum but I am no stranger to online poker forums. I've been an active members in a few forums & I have seen forums come and go. I see a lot of familiar faces here too,lol. What I like best about being part of a forum is meeting new people and exchanging ideas & tips in ways to improve my game. I've been playing for about 6 years and I am still learning. I've met some AMAZING people in real life from being an active member. I don't talk much at the tables because I'm usually mutli-tabling but I always have time to exchange a word or few with my friends in the forums. Soooo...looking forward to seeing some of those familiar faces and also looking forward to meeting some new friends. I'm even thinking of getting on a team-but a really REALLY good team. Okay that's about it for now. Good luck both on and off the felts.