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POKER TOURNAMENT STRATEGY

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If you google the term ‘Poker Tournament Tips’ you will find lots of different advice people are trying to give you. Some of it is good and others, not so good. To help you improve your poker tournament play the Global Poker team has put together a few tips to be mindful of when you are deep in a Situs Poker Online tournament!

#1: Steal a lot… but not too much

Always remember the phrase: “Open small and often’. There is a reason that the pro poker players are often the most aggressive preflop poker players. A great reason to steal more at this stage is that you can pick up a lot of chips with little or no resistance.

For example, in a 9-handed tournament table, with blinds 500/1,000/100, a player raises to 2,200. Then, there is a 2,400 in the pot from blinds and antes and the player risks 2,200 to take it down. It means that the player’s open only has to work 47.8% of the time to make an immediate profit. Even if the blinds are aggressive, there’s a fair chance they aren’t playing back with 52.2% of hands.

You can normally expect the small blind to play back with around 10-15% of hands, leaving the 40% on the big blind.

If the big blind is likely to be folding hands like Q-5s or K-7o to your opens, raising 7-2o would show an immediate profit.

Raising small and often still works against weaker opponents, especially if you’re in a late position.

Most hands are easily decided between opening and folding in early and middle position. Skilled players will open A-Q in every position and fold 7-5o without any hesitation.

Don’t forget to have a grasp of how the math works and what types of hands you’re expecting your opponents to call. Also, keep in mind to focus on your opponents instead of opening charts in the late position.

#2: Defend Your Big Blind

One of the most important poker tournament tips for late in a tournament is that you must always defend your big blind. If you’re the big blind, it is your duty to prevent other players from raising too often. One factor that make us defend is that the big blinds have extremely generous pot odds.

Pretend there was no post-flop in poker, you would really need to defend every hand with raw equity higher than our given price. Of course this isn’t reality though as in actual poker we need to reach showdown before we realize our equity.

Creating a flawless defending range is almost-impossible given the unlimited post-flop scenarios and board runouts, so you only need to estimate what the best range should be. One way to estimate is to defend with a range that’s somehow close to stopping the open-raiser from having an instant profit.

In most cases, this means defending at least 40% of hands against late position opens. You’ll need to defend way more if you’re a strong player or if the opener is a weak one.

It’s good to flat with hands that have some post-flop playability especially if you sense weakness from your opponent. Even the lowest ranking suited hands profit as flats against late position opens.

You also need to consider defending your big blind in a multiway pot. The more players there are in a pot the greater your pot odds are. However, the more players there are the harder it is to realize your equity due to the multiple players in the pot. Whilst you can defend with more hands preflop you will need to be wary of opponents making a strong hand as there are more players in the hand who can connect with the board.

#3: Be wary of 4-Bet Shoves When 25-40 BBs Deep

3-bet bluffing is another great option to keep in mind for when you feel players are stealing too much. However, a poorly timed 3-bet bluff can cost you a large portion of your stack very quickly. For this reason players should have a relatively planned 3-bet bluff range. For example, good 3-bets include hands like Ks 9s, Kd Js and Ad 7d. These are good hands to bluff with as they have good blockers and flatting with them might be a bit on the loose side.

It’s really no big deal if you fold to a 4-bet with a hand like Ks 9s. But if you’re folding a hand like Kh Qh, you may be doing damage to yourself.

It is also very important to use hands with high card blockers as it makes a shove by the opener less likely.

In summary, players need to choose blocker hands just below their calling range as 3-bet bluffs against good and aggressive opponents.