Poker tournaments can help you realize your dreams and bring you huge cash money prizes! If you want to improve your performance in poker tournaments, we suggest you carefully follow these 5 key tips. Whether you are a new or experienced player, these tips will be a helpful addition to your overall strategies and enable you to gain an advantage over your opponents at the poker table.
1. Remember, Your Chips are Your Lifeline
It’s only possible to advance in a poker tournament based on the number of chips you have. Unlike cash games, in a poker tournament the adventure stops for you once you run out of chips. Here is where the difficulty lies, knowing that the blinds will increase, it is crucial that you do not lose sight of how many chips you have left. Although each player starts the tournament with a large stack of chips, these tend to run out quickly enough if you don’t play correctly. This is why most players always take it a little easy in the beginning unless they have playable hands. So play smart and remember that your chips are your lifeline during the competition, do not waste all of your chips on bad buy-ins.
2. Always Select Your Starting Hands Carefully
The goal of a poker strategy is to maximize your chances of winning, without draining your bankroll. One of the benchmark techniques for selecting which hands to play is to classify your starting hands in different specific categories. You will have to choose the most beneficial hands carefully, to allocate pre-flop bets. Remember that from the start of the round you will be handed only 2 cards, and there are a total of 169 possible hands in Texas Hold Em. Do not forget to consider your position at the table, and the number of players you'll face. As a guideline, remember that the best hand you can get is a pair of Aces, and the worst hand will be a 3-2 or a 7-2.
3. Learn to be Extremely Patient, Things Can Take a While!
During a poker tournament you will need huge amounts of patience. For beginners as well as for experienced players, it is important not to cut corners and play your game as tight as possible in the early stages of the tournament. Tournaments can be played over several hours or even 2 or 3 days so be prepared for those long hauls. To avoid putting yourself in trouble, or even panicking or eventually losing patience, try to avoid large confrontations from the outset. Your chips are valuable and the more you keep your calm and build up your chip stack, the more formidable you will be as an opponent.
4. During the Heads Up, Be Calm Under Pressure
Stop… Hammer time! This is the epic final duel. By following our advice and playing well you'll be able to reach the final stage of the tournament. This heads-up stage is a high pressure situation, where the slightest mistake can cost you dearly. Learn to detach yourself from the pressure situation so that you can play your game with a clear head at all times. By mastering the heads-up you will become a formidable and ultimately dangerous opponent.
5. Controlling the Psychological and Emotional Aspects
We have to keep repeating it, but it is an aspect of poker which players of this game are just beginning to pay attention to nowadays. Poker is a mentally challenging game that requires perfect self-control, both emotional and also physical. If you are unable to control your emotions, you will take the risk of giving an indication or tell away to your opponents, which could very quickly turn to a big disadvantage for you. To counter this, take the time to mathematically analyze each action taking place around the poker table to keep your mind busy and focused. In this way you will pick up on other peoples tells and keep both your mind and yourself calm in the process.
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