How to Win Poker Tournament?
One of the most important reasons to become VIP member at ClubWPT is because you can participate in tournaments where great prizes can be won. ClubWPT offers a lot of different tourneys and that's why this article was written. This guide will help you to understand different aspects of playing poker tournaments. You will become better player and will be able to win more. In this article we have revealed some secrets that will definitely help you at the table.
A Poker Tournament is arguably one of the most tactical games in the world. They range from a heads-up tournament (two players over a single table) to the more sophisticated poker tourneys involving many people across many tables. ClubWPT holds different tournaments every 15 minutes! As some may view poker a regular game, that is only because they do not know what it entails. After all, it involves just but a couple of cards in your hands and a wisp of fate in your pocket. Those who understand this game in leaps and bounds, would definitely have a different perception… “It’s not a game… it is a more of a job to me…it is a way of life!” - They argue.
The list of professional tourney players is endless. But the important thing is to study the different aspects of their game. Analyze how they won their games, and just how lucky are they to get lucky every time. These aspects of the game have been studied and experimented in different games and by different people.
Just like in arithmetic 1+1 = 2, some aspects cannot be disputed. Don’t believe? How about, play the game against mediocre players. Tried that before? From this basic analogy, it goes without saying that in any poker tournament it’s not mostly about how you plan to use the cards you, but how you strategize to beat your opponents. The breakdown of what it entails to win is just but combination of thinking above the cards you see on the screen. It penetrates deeper than just seeing what you have in your hands.
Wonder why they call it a game of fate? This is because sometimes, you might not get the most interesting cards you desire. This is where the “reading” aspect of the game comes in. It ranges from as simple as just how your opponents act and react. It’s difficult to “read” players when you are playing WPT Club online tournament, but it’s possible.
The aspects of physio-psychological reflexes are endless. The trick is to use them to get around your opponent. When they think they know you, ensure you are always a step or two ahead of them. Be keen to learn these aspects from them too so that you can read them. These will go a long way in help you to judge every move of the game, at any stage of the poker tournament.
After saying all these as a basic point of understanding what winning entails, we can now go deeper to explain the different phases of the game and just how to win them. The goal of any poker game or ClubWPT tournament is to stay in the game for as long as possible and get all the chips. But it doesn’t mean that you have to use the same strategy for all stages.
We will not go deeper to tell you what to play, when to play. That would be ridiculously impossible, as different poker tournaments have different conditions, the nature of the players differ and so do the cards. So it is just impractical to tell you what to play, when to play. It’s like giving an answer-sheet to an exam whose questions are constantly changing. But we can break it down into simple tips to employ among the four major phases of any poker tournament.
Early phase begins when the ClubWPT tournament starts and lasts for about 1 hour in general. In the early phase of the game, it is important to stay calm. As much as others may employ aggression straight away, calmness allows one to read the game. Patience allows you not to attract much attention as it may cause you to be a target. We would not advise in stealing blinds as they have little value at this stage. They are just not worth the risk. The secret is to sit tight and “separate the wheat from the chaff”, as these lousy players are your ticket to the next stage.
Sitting tight doesn’t mean waiting for premium starting hands only. You should play as many hands as possible. The blinds are low and your stack is big enough to let you participate in large number of hands. Thus it’s a good idea to enter the game even if you have weak cards. We recommend to play with any connectors (suited or not) and with any pair.
Why should you play many hands? Because you increase the probability to get valuable hand at a low cost. For example you can get Flush or Straight right on the flop and your opponent will be in big trouble, especially if he also has a good hand. There are usually a lot of newbies in the beginning of the tournament and the chances to double up are high. Newbies usually don’t see dangerous cards on the board and think that their hand is the best possible.
What to do with premium starting hands like Aces or Kings? You should raise and play aggressively in most cases. The reason is because you should not allow other players enter the game at a low cost. They may “flop” something strong and kill your hand. It’s a good idea to raise or even go all-in on pre-flop.
Approaching the middle phase of the game, this is where you have to make moves or be moved. Most of the “lousy” players are already out and you are looking that upper hand to be the better among good. This stage ultimately depends on your stack size. The bigger your stack the easier you can steal. But this also means you are probably a target. The major key here is, whatever the case, protect your stack. Some renounced aggressive players have been known to have a tendency of setting traps and outplaying their opponents. That can also be a good idea according to the nature of the game and that of the players.
Don’t ignore stealing. You should try to steal blinds with any average or strong hands. The blinds at middle stage are big enough and extra chips are always great. Moreover, your opponents will see that you are aggressive and it will be more difficult to “read” you when you get really strong hand.
If you have built pretty big stack you shouldn’t worry too much but if your stack is below average you should start playing more aggressively. Your goal is to win the tourney and it’s impossible to win if you have no chips… So the only way to get them is to put your stack at risk. Don’t sit and wait for Aces and Kings. You will have to push any Ace because if you don’t you will fail.
It’s a big mistake to sit and wait. The more you wait the bigger blinds become and very often your stack becomes too small. You will have to double up several times in a raw to get enough chips. It’s a great luck to win several all-ins in a raw, especially if you can’t select the cards. That’s why you shouldn’t wait until the game will force you to push.
If your stack is not big you have an advantage: your opponents with big stacks may call with weaker hands when you push. That’s because they see that your stack is not big and you have to push any two cards. As it was said above, any Ace will be good for going all-in in such terrible situation.
Before reaching the late stage, there is one important phase in between the middle and late stage… The Bubble Stage. You can’t afford to be the bubble of the tournament. The bubble of the tournament is the person who is tossed out of the tournament, right before the other remaining players would be given prizes. It is really tormenting to be the guy who goes home saying, “Just one person and I would be driving a new car today!”
At the bubble point, if you have big stack of course you are safe, and you want to enjoy the game because the other opponents fear you and don’t want to risk calling you. Building your stack to a burst can go a really long way in pronouncing you the obvious winner even before the late stage commences. However, if you are at the bottom, your target is surely the next ranking player. The fear or them being the bubble would instigate fear towards you. You have nothing to lose at this point but everything to gain. You should be strategic and brutal in your moves otherwise you would be blinded.
The final stage is basically a walkover for a very big-stacked player. However, the game becomes interesting when the remaining players have almost the same stack level. If in the bottom, you are now aggressive in your strategy more than ever, depending on the nature of the ultimate price. You choose to do exactly the opposite of other gamers. That way you have a greater chance that playing with floor. It is also important to pay attention on the nature of your opponent’s calling and raising ranges.
We have seen and participated in large number of online tournaments. And we would like to share some ideas with you. If you want to win you should:
- Use different strategies for different stages of the game. As you see different stages have different basic conditions. That’s why the strategies are also different.
- Take risks. It’s impossible to win if you always play tight and don’t put your stack at risk. Most of the tournament winners risk their chips. Yes, you may fail, but it is poker.
- Try to “read” opponents and try to think about what they are thinking right now. Try to feel their fears and act according to this.
- Use different moves and don’t afraid to bluff. Of course you will have to select the opponent and good time for your bluff. It’s an art…
- Always attack players with short stacks. If your opponent has small stack he has limited number of actions. He can’t make big calls just to see the cards. It’s your advantage.
- Be lucky. It means that sometimes you will be in terrible situations but still win. Your KK must be stronger than AA of your opponent. We understand that your luck doesn’t depend on you but it’s an important factor of success.
- Act like a winner and don’t think about survival. You goal is to become the best player and win the tournament. If you think about survival you will never see final table.
When it’s all said and done, Poker tournaments are won by those people who know how to read their opponents. As I said before, it is more important to look above your cards than just your cards.