Poker tournament strategy

Of all the advice they may receive on strategies to improve their game of poker, players new and not new will often hear this one: “Have patience!”. Indeed patience is often what will make the difference between winning and losing money at a poker table.

The lack of patience in poker will often lead to bankruptcy. Why?

There are mainly two types of errors that a poker player can make: either bet too much with weak hands or play too many hands. But apart from wisdom and patience, you must also prepare and implement a coherent game strategy which adapts to each table and situation.

A good poker player knows that his strategy will be different every time. There is a strategy game for ring games, a strategy for single table tournaments and another strategy for multi-table tournaments. Here are some helpful tips for the last category.

For multi-table tournaments, we must distinguish between the early, middle and late stages. In the early stage, when there are tables full of mediocre players, ready to shove and double up randomly, it is recommended to play conservatively, waiting until most of these players have been eliminated. In this phase of the competition, professionals are accustomed to playing only the top hands pre flop (AA, KK and AKs).

The middle stage of a poker tournament is when most of the bad players who play at random have already been eliminated. The game is intense, the players remain focused on developing robust strategies to win pots.

The final table or latest stage of the tournament brings together the best players who stayed upright until then. In exceptional cases there could be among the finalists poor players who had great luck. In that case the game becomes aggressive, the blinds increase fast and the short-stacked players are obliged to make moves or to get eliminated. In principle you should still play tight pre flop at the beginning of the final table.

For single table tournament, there are also the same steps to go. The strategy game for the first step remains the same as multi-tables. We only play big hands. The risk of bluffing is not justified, because the blinds are ridiculously small. At the final stage which is the heads-up where only two players remain in contention, the odds are more on the side of aggression. There are two ways to attack the enemy: the repeated all-in or the progressive growth of the pot.