Early Stage Poker Tournament Strategy Play – OMG that loose “donk”
Accumulation of chips in a tournament is vital in the early stages, some players prefer to play a tight range of premium hands and pairs and try to extract as much value from them as they can.
They use a variety of bets and raises to define hands, and play aggressively to extract chips. This may be the “by the book” or “old school” approach to poker.
Don’t get me wrong it can work for people especially if they are comfortable with it, always play with a style you are comfortable with! But there are a few inherent flaws that go with this strategy.
Poker Tournament Strategy Video – It’s always good to see some live action!
Here are the top reasons why I think it’s better to adopt a more loose approach to the game at this stage, and no I’m not talking about shoving with 72, that’s just stupidity.
- > Players at this stage are getting huge implied odds to call with speculative hands.
- > If they lose 2 or 3 big blinds on a flop big deal, especially if they possess another 97 blinds, the big hand wins a small pot, and the loose players.
However, when the “weak” hit 2 pair or better, the player who loves their aces or kings, they will find it very hard to get away from them.
- > You’ll get aces or kings approximately once in every 110 hands on average, and players will expend a significant amount of chips trying to extract max value out of them.
- > This is what the clever player looks for.
- > Get married to Aces early on and you’ll have a “bad beat story.” It’s not at all so great to slow play aces early on in a tourney.
Why not take the opportunity to see a cheap flop with a marginal to speculative hand. These hands are easy to get away from, profitable most of the time if you do hit big.
Over betting with big hands is better than slow playing at this stage
- > Unless you are the most talented mind reader of the poker world, and know exactly where you are in a hand, slow playing is a mistake.
- > People associate over betting with donkeys especially at the start of the tournament.
- > What better way to get maximum value out of your hand by putting it all in with your aces earlier on.
You usually will get called by a straggler with some sort of pair or drawing hand, preferably an underpair like jacks is optimum, when you will win mathematically 4 and a half times for every one time you lose.
No better time to double up, just when you sit down.
Play Small Ball in position, don’t sit tight for big hands it’s just too predictable
- > I think it’s just too easy to fold to the patient tight aggressive player; because when they raise or call they usually have something in or around premium.
- > As poker is a game of deception this is counter-productive.
- > It’s all about playing all kinds of marginal hands, in a funky yet deceptive fashion.
Married with small bets raises and re-raises it keeps your opponent guessing.
- > When a player is playing any two cards it’s nearly always possible that you could have a hand that busts your opponent.
- > At least that’s what your opponent should be thinking, if they do think.
Poker Tournament Strategy Summary
Take for example the best players in the world, Negreanu, Antonius, Hansen; consistently show their opponents improbable holdings to win big pots.
As a final end note, this is not a strategy for the inexperienced or the faint hearted. If you are a beginner or comfortable with your own style of play, don’t change it.
However, if you want to get a bit funkier with your holdings and really reap some rewards, and have played a little while, this could possibly be the new profit making strategy for you.
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