Online Poker Tournaments

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Jeffrey | Poker Articles, Poker Tournament

Submitted by Mr. White, this article belongs to the Poker Tournament series.

What’s the big advantage of online poker? That you can play any kind of tournament anytime you want! Fixing a cash game at home isn’t that difficult, find a couple of players, get some chips and a deck of cards and you’re playing poker. Try organising a tournament for a change: you’ll need a certain amount of players to be there on time, some kind of software that serves as a tournament clock and a blinds structure. By the way, people will get bored once eliminated and the blind levels will never be long enough because you’ll notice that you aren’t playing that many hands while talking about what everybody did last week.

Instead, sit down behind your laptop, log in to a poker room and start a tournament of any kind within a few seconds. Of course, the time it takes before a tournament has enough contenders varies per room. Anyway, you’ll find the largest choice and shortest waiting periods on Pokerstars. You can choose between shorthanded or longhanded tables, tournaments with 9, 45 or even 180 contenders, default or ‘double or nothing’ prize structures or play the big multi-table tournaments (MTT’s), starting on a fixed time. Whatever you choose, keep some things in mind while playing tournament poker.

If you really want to play some ‘quality poker’, you better avoid the so called ‘turbo’ sit and go’s. The blind levels move up a lot faster than in regular tournaments, so you’ll be short stacked a lot earlier. You can’t really wait on a hand in such circumstances anymore and will have to move all-in with some kind of a decent hand, hoping it will hold up. On the other side you’ll find the ‘deep stack’ tournaments: you’ll start with more chips than usual and blind levels will move up somewhat slower. In that case you can play some poker which doesn’t differ much from cash games during the first couple of hours.

Most tournaments are always somewhere in the middle. In the beginning (one, two blind levels) you can try to limp with a wide arrange of hands (especially in late position). With your premium hands, you should raise a little more than usual just because a lot of players would like to see a flop cheaply. So 4-5 times the big blind instead of 3-4 times. Of course, you can also just limp and wait for a big chips explosion in front of you, like this guy did ;) . Anyway, if you become short stacked (that happens when you’ve less than ten big blinds in front of you), you should start to play very aggressive and bet all your chips with a decent hand, but pay attention: you should best do this with a tight player in the blinds (big chance you can pick up the blinds) and not after a raise in early position (you’ll probably get called by a better hand).

When the next person to be eliminated will be the bubble boy, it’s the ultimate timing for some short stacked tournament aggression. Few players will risk their position ‘in the money’ by calling your all-in’s. Finally, when the tournament becomes shorthanded and it’s just the three or two of you, stay very focused and concentrated: don’t waste a bigger cash-out by playing impatiently because you’re ‘already in the money’. If you kind of pay attention to this simple rules you can improve your bankroll in a relatively short time period just like we did, which you can read on our blog. Good luck at the tables!

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1 Comment to Online Poker Tournaments

Bridget Reno
January 26, 2009

This is certainly true for all people who are beginners in Poker. It takes time to learn different strategies to the game, and most strategies come with experience. The more time you devote to poker, the better your skills will become in the game. For the beginners, it is in fact smart to head this advice and play with your opponent’s money, in what is called OPM, or Other Player’s Money. Starting out in a game such as poker, you must be prepared to lose, probably many times, before you start to win big.

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