For more early stage strategy for multi-table tournaments that further explores tips offered here by Negreanu, check out the following: 10 Multi-Table Tournament … There’s 10,000 in the pot, and both you and your opponent have 10,000 chips behind. In cash games the money is just money, so you can reload as many times as you want. Yes. And without antes in play, you play less hands, making things even less interesting. You guys have no idea how many big blinds I’ve lost over the years by not following this rule, but it’s probably in the millions. All rights reserved. So, what does this mean for early-stage strategy?We need to play on the tight side and only take highly profitable decisions. Here in Part 1, we’ll show you how to approach the early stage of an MTT when you play poker online at Ignition. There’s some merit to both of these schools of thought, but there are many factors to consider when it comes to grasping the pre-ante levels of MTTs. For example, if you win 100 big blinds in a $.50/$1 cash game, you win $100. Although such a technique could increase our hourly rate, it won’t up our ROI (return on investment) and is hence not recommended for the vast majority of players. Many fish might be weak players, but they will still muster the occasional deep run. The first rounds of an MTT usually involve players having deeper stacks relative to the blinds. That’s your reward for enduring the tediousness of the early grind. Understand that hand values are different compared to shorter stacks. Making the Final Table. The post-flop Game. Read more tournament content from Miikka Anttonen: Signup today for free poker strategy, exclusive discounts, and be the first to get notified on new updates. Convert & replay your hands to study what went wrong... or very right. The strategy for deep-stacked, pre-ante tournament play is basically the same as in cash games. 888 UK Limited is licensed and regulated in Great Britain by the Gambling Commission under the account number 39028. His autobiography is Once A Gambler. Keeping the pots small allows you to expand your range and see more flops. While if we lose, we lose the entire value of our buy-in. Early Stage Tournament Strategy – Is Tight Right? Early Stages. The address of our Malta based companies is: Level G, Quantum House, 75, Abate Rigord St., Ta’ Xbiex, XBX 1120, Malta Being seated at the very start of the event ensures that we give ourselves the best chance of becoming a profitable player overall. There’s no reason to play a GTO strategy with 33% pot c-bets when you have a chance to get a huge donation. Players’ raise and bet sizes. Find the course that fits your poker-playing needs. Pots are generally small since there are no antes just yet. You just want to be the player who seeds doubt in opponents’ minds when there’s no showdown. The exact moment the antes start being taken may vary based on the tournament structure. The quickest & most efficient way to improve your poker game. Today’s Hand of the Day is from the early stages of a poker tournament and features some tournament poker advanced strategy. While it’s true that you’re a long way from winning the tournament with 10% of the starting stack, having a short stack during the pre-ante stages is one of the most +EV scenarios in tournament poker. Having said that, deep-stacked players should still be cautious about getting into battles with other deep-stacked opponents. But when you bust a tournament, you’re done, which is why you should generally be more risk averse in tournaments. Let’s break it down by stack size -Hopeless Short Stack – Assuming we have one of the smallest stacks out of all the remaining players, there is little chance in holding on. This aggression is not going to make a lot of sense until after the bubble unless we are almost sure we have the best of it. Can You Win More with a Loose-Aggressive Poker Playing Style? Stealing the blinds is less important with no antes. (Note: Want to turn your poker hobby into a profitable side job? But there are good reasons to play the pre-ante levels. It’s not surprising that some players begin to fold absolutely everything in the hopes of picking up a min-cash. Early Stage Poker Tournament Strategy. First hand of a tournament with 15,000 chip starting stacks. Medium to Large Stack – We have a stack size that is above 30bb (perhaps even 100bb or more). Because the goal of a tournament, by definition, is to win the last hand, there is a lot of pre-planning and waiting that should be practiced throughout the tournament. MTT players don’t like folding, so tone down the big bluffs. With starting stacks of 30,000 chips, playing for 600 chip pots feels tedious. When observing your opponents, try not to be specific. Top 3 Strategy Tips for 5-Card PLO from Team888’s Vivian Saliba! For more information on support tools, please visit our Responsible Gambling page. Is it tedious? Learning how to play the early stages of an MTT correctly will increase our chances of being in a favourable position towards the end of the tourney. In this video, Alec Torelli covers online poker tournament strategy. The regular prize pool is $18,772.50, as is the bounty pool. Top FOUR Ways to Improve Your Poker Gameplay Starting Today! If said player went on to raise on a Q-x-x flop in position, what does that mean for his range when he just flats the c-bet? Top pair top kicker is a hand that you’ll basically never fold with 25 big blinds, but for 200 big blinds you want to be cautious. I just had to say this one more time. You should avoid doing this. This forces you to play very conservative. Why Fold Equity Should Be a Priority in Your Poker Game! Right, now that that’s out of the way, it’s important not to overload players with too much information about what to do, … Find out more at, How to Build Stacks and Avoid Spewing Early in a Tournament. If we are unlucky and run into a monster, we still have the possibility of being left with sufficient chips to reach the bubble. If you want their chips, you need to be there to collect them. If we win an opponent’s stack, we earn an additional $10. Every showdown gives you information that can be used later on. But from a big picture perspective, whether you add 1.5 big blinds to your 300-big blind stack is inconsequential, and so you should tone down your steal percentage in general. Short to Medium Stack – We have a stack size in the range of 15-30bb. Learn how to take your poker skills to the highest level. Everyone knows that the bubble is a time to start abusing tight opponents and trapping aggressive ones. In some ways, it’s the easiest stage to learn, but it will also test your poker skills more than any other part of the tournament. Everything You Need to Know About Being a Rock in Poker, Learn to How to Play Loose-Aggressive Poker, RFI Strategy in NL Hold’em – Crucial Items to Consider, Study these Top Three 5-Card PLO Strategy Tips, How Fold Equity in Poker Affects Your Bottomline, Mastering the Fundamentals of Texas Hold’em. A Dead Simple Guide to Poker MTT Strategy: Level 1 to Final Table The early blind levels in a multi-table poker tournament are the easiest blind levels to play. Learn the fundamentals of profitable Short Deck hold'em. These are tips, tricks, and strategies that greenhorns and intermediate-level poker tournament players require to become hardened tournament competitors. Immediately improve your Mixed Game strategy and win more money. Why? Stealing the Blinds. Now, I’m by no means a cash game expert, and my deep-stacked MTT play falls short of specialized players. A double up at this stage will certainly be beneficial as it will allow us to apply more pressure on our opponents when reaching the bubble. In this article we’ll cover the tight strategy for the early stages of tournament play from a pro-con perspective. Tips Online Poker Tournaments Play Tight. But that’s part of the job, and a quick way to learn exploitative play. It’s often exactly like that in tournaments. As a general rule, this will not maximise our expectation for the tournament. © Copyright 2020 | Sitemap | Responsible Gambling | Affiliate Portal | Terms of Service | Contact, Miikka Anttonen is poker professional from Finland with $2.4 million in career earnings and a world championship title under his belt. So, why do professionals sometimes do it? It’s true that the pre-ante stage of a tournament is less valuable than the post-ante stage. Early Stage Play Learn early stage MTT strategy in tournament poker. Learn more now! That being said, here are some basic tips to ensure you don’t make mistakes at pre-ante levels. Many players don’t bother playing early levels because they feel like a waste of time—like they don’t mean much as far as one’s chances of doing well in the tournament overall. 20 Rules for 3-Bets that will make your win-rate skyrocket! “Open small and often.” This phrase … We’d still prefer to pass the bubble with a short stack as opposed to spewing our stack away in the vain hope of a double-up. You’re considering moving all-in. Timothy "Ch0r0r0" Allin is a professional player, coach, and author. A tournament might start with blind levels of 10/20 chips and you will usually have a starting stack of around 1,500 / 2,000 chips. Because he understands how important it is to “respect your tournament life,” as he once put it. With 100BB+ stacks before the antes, a good rule of thumb is to add about one big blind to whatever you’d open to with a 20-30BB stacks. Assuming our stack is in the 20-30bb region at this stage, we are not yet desperate for a double up. While early stage play is typically considered less crucial than late-stage play, we still want to capitalise on any opportunities we are presented with. Strategies, tactics, and ranges for heads-up Short Deck play. These words still hold true today. Virtual Global Digital Services Limited is licensed and regulated to offer online gaming services under the laws of Gibraltar (Remote Gaming License Numbers 112 and 113) and makes no representation as to legality of such services in other jurisdictions. Use big 3-bet sizes. Early stage poker tournament strategy tips The strategy for deep-stacked, pre-ante tournament play is basically the same as in cash games. The best tournament poker strategy is to recognize the three stages of any poker tournament and to have a distinct tournament poker strategy for each of the vital crunch times during a poker tournament. As the mid-stack, all-in decisions against shorter stacks will typically carry a higher monetary expectation than all-in decisions against players who have us covered. Since most tournaments provide players with a starting stack of 1,500 or 3,000 chips, and blinds usually start at 10/20 (no antes), each player has anywhere from 75 to 100 big blinds. Take the Most Popular Quiz on Upswing Poker! Back in the day, short-stacking cash games was a popular thing to do online, because people were playing too loose and you could shove your 20 big blinds into 6-way pots where 5 of the players were dead money. Using an ICM model from a $10, 10-handed sit-and-go*, here’s what your stack would be worth (in dollars) after the hand if you choose to check and continue the tournament with 10,000 chips, and if you shove and get a fold, resulting in a 20,000-chip stack: If you get called, your stack is obviously worth $0. During the early levels, it’s not uncommon to see a 3x open and five calls. Phil Hellmuth might be terrible at many aspects of poker, but he’s arguably achieved more success than anyone else at this game. By contrast, you can roughly double your investment by limping into the money with a tiny stack, and without ever making a whole lot of big blinds. Everyone knows that the early stages reward ABC play, as the stacks are so tiny relatively that gambling rarely pays. A Tournament with more entrants may have a longer early stage whereas a tournament with a fast blind structure may have a faster early stage. We should be cautious about getting all-in against players who have us covered since our tournament life is on the line. You will have to learn to judge when the tournament you are playing shifts from one stage to the next. In cash games you need to regularly fire three-barrel bluffs because the edges are thinner and the competition tougher. Failing this, it is not worth putting an overly large chunk of our starting stack at risk. There are two approaches you can use when playing the early stages of a poker tournament. Making the transition to playing Poker can be difficult, even for those who are winners in their local card game. Don’t make the mistake of 3-betting too small, no matter how tempting it is to lure your opponent in when you have a big hand. Not only will the blinds now be larger - relative to the average effective stack size, but the antes will mean each pot is significantly larger than previously. Daniel advises you to play conservatively early on in a tournament, before the antes kick in, because the early stage of a tournament is more about survival than about getting value. Push of Fold? Playing the early stages of an MTT, correctly, will increase our chances of being in a favourable position by the time we reach the mid and late stages of the tournament. Remember: the early levels are when all the fish are still in the tournament. … Avoiding the urge to "go crazy" doesn't mean being "sane" to … You absolutely need to be there early to capitalize on the gamble aspect of these tournaments, but notice also that by late registering you’re playing for a smaller prize pool: when a player busts, his bounty is gone, thus making the remaining prize pool smaller. Pots are generally small since there are no antes just yet. In a heads-up match where hundreds of big blinds will be flying around, 11 big blinds is not much to be risked, but getting caught will help create a favorable image for later in the match. The only difference is the ‘big picture’ (tournament life, chips won being worth less) to consider, but when it comes to how to play specific hands, there’s no reason to deviate much from standard deep-stacked cash game strategy. Let’s get started with the 5 essential elements of an effective poker tournament strategy. Your strategy needs to be related to where you want to finish. Note: Learn and master over 50 of fundamental and advanced topics in the Upswing Lab training course. It's divided into 3 parts: early stages, mid stages and late stages. (Note: Ready to take your poker game to the next level? We hence have some measure of decision regarding how aggressively we should play. The only difference is the ‘big picture’ (tournament life, chips won being worth less) to consider, but when it comes to how to play specific hands, there’s no reason to deviate much from standard deep-stacked cash game strategy. I’ll be covering: The fact that tournament chips don’t have a monetary value is the main factor that differentiates pre-ante tournament play from cash games—even if the stack sizes in terms of big blinds are the same. For example: Consider a player who flatted a cutoff open with AQs on the button. MTT Strategy: The Early Stage Tight is Right. Blinds are low and effective stack sizes are huge early on in the tournament. You really want to fold most hands in this blind level until the fishy players are weeded out. Late Stages Strategy for Poker Tournaments (This article is a follow up to " Bubble Tournament Strategy " ) The late stages of a tournament begins when the money bubble bursts, and ends when players reach the final table (or final few tables, if it is a really large tournament). Getting the stacks in vs short-stacks is very low risk for us (since it doesn’t threaten our tournament life). It’s clear that playing for tournament chips isn’t the same as playing for chips with cash value. This is what we would teach our younger selves, if we could send it back in time. Don’t worry though, we’ve got some great poker tips to help you make it through to the early stages of online poker tournaments. However, there are many different online Poker tournament strategies that will help ease the transition for newbies as well as high-rollers. Mathematically, a 3BB button steal would have to work 66.6% of the time to break even. That’s right: the early stages of poker tournaments, when you’re playing for 600-chip pots with a 30,000 starting stack. In this article, I’ll attempt to paint a clear picture of how you should approach the early stages of a tournament. Nearly a decade later, such a simple strategy won’t prove effective anymore in heads-up NLHE, but it does work great in MTTs (especially live MTTs). An elite training course for serious cash game players. You’re in a heads-up pot on the river, holding 4♥3♥ on a board of K♠2♥A♥6♣8♠. Many players have described the correct poker strategy here as being similar to a cash game, but it’s important to understand that there is a crucial difference. You don’t want to squander that opportunity by carelessly punting off your short stack. One thing I noticed was that he would often 3-bet with weak hands very early matches. Once the antes kick in and the stacks get a bit shorter, the aggressive players will begin to get out of line in an effort to win more than their fair share of chips. Because these players are tough nuts to crack and they have a winning mindset. We are not really risking much with the possibility of busting out since we are not that likely to reach the bubble anyway. Poker Tournament Tip 1: Steal a Lot, But Don’t Go Overboard. This situation is one of the toughest tournament stages to play accurately since the average player will typically feel under a decent amount of psychological pressure. Every poker tournament starts at the beginning, and so does our comprehensive online poker tournament strategy guide. Our services in European Single Market member states (except for states in which our services are provided under a local license) are operated by Virtual Digital Services Limited, a company incorporated in Malta which is part of the European Union. Early Stage Strategy – Pre-Antes. If we knock out every other player in the tournament, we might win only 40% of the prize pool since other positions are also awarded even after busting out. A precise and easy to use visual representation of GTO preflop ranges. There’s no way to measure the exact value of different stack sizes when there are still hundreds of players left in a tournament, but we can use a SNG-based ICM model to illustrate the basic principle. We should not shy away from stacking off sufficiently strong hands purely for fear of missing the bubble. Pre-ante levels are like printing the daily coupon: most of the time it pays absolutely nothing, but occasionally you get incredible value. Nothing is black and white, and I’m not going to recommend never bluffing in tournaments, but you should be selective with your spots against weak players, especially during the pre-ante levels. It’s up to you to determine what approach fits best into your game, but hopefully the below will give you a starting point for analyzing whether or not tight really is right for you. If we win, we only increase the monetary value of our stack by a limited amount. So, when’s the cheapest time to create an aggressive image? You know the type – players that nobody wants to see at their table. Learn more now!). This is especially important in turbos and most small live tournaments, which are essentially turbos, where the late-game edges aren’t very big. In other words, it’s absolutely not worth getting all of our chips in on a flip in the early stages. It’s a disaster if you punt off 200 big blinds on a bluff, against a MTT player who hasn’t folded top pair since the first Bush was president, no matter how game theoretically correct it may have been. It's important to have a controlled early tournament strategy, waiting to pick good spots and waiting for strong hands to win chips from your opponents. Unless the tournament is a winner-take-all, any chips won are worth less than chips you lose because of ICM. Our services in the UK are operated by 888 UK Limited, a company incorporated in Gibraltar. When you hit a big hand, lean towards going for big value. It’s true that some professionals deliberately register late for various MTTs. Therefore, by shoving you’d be risking $6.87 to win $6.08 (12.95-6.87): So, a shove would have to work 53% of the time to break even. The main reason is that your hourly rate will in most cases be higher by registering a similar on-going tournament around the first ante level as opposed to registering another tournament from the very start. Some think that the pre-ante phase of an MTT is basically a cash game played with tournament chips. After competing in some of world's toughest lineups (and winning) he now shares his insights and strategies with the 888poker magazine. Why chips you win are worth less than chips you lose, 3 reasons why the early stage poker tournament levels are worth playing, Why skipping the pre-ante levels is good sometimes, Early stage poker tournament strategy tips, Master expert strategies from our world-class team of coaches, Learn and master over 50 of fundamental and advanced topics, The Ultimate Guide for Dominating Weak Tournament Competition Preflop, How to Check-Raise with Short Stacks Like an MTT Boss, 5 Poker Tournament Myths Way Too Many Players Believe, ← Poker Game Theory – How You Should Think About the Game, Boost Your Winnings by Using Blockers in These 3 Common Spots →. Is basically the same as in cash games game with a larger stack levels are like the... Could probably make a living at MTTs without firing a single three-barrel bluff to by. Fish who donate 100 big blinds after just losing a poker tournament strategy early stages pot also typically get a much better price defend... See more flops rule, this poker tournament strategy early stages not maximise our expectation for the tournament with a stack! Turbos should come from the lowest limits online without depositing a single three-barrel bluff t Overboard! An overly large chunk of our buy-in general rule, this will not maximise our expectation for the stages... Early matches MTT usually involve players having deeper stacks relative to the.. Lean towards going for big value for newbies as well as high-rollers playing chips! Dashboard and adding new Widgets to this area by going to Appearance Widgets. Aqs on the London Stock Exchange printing the daily coupon: most of the bounty pool $ 10 early of... Three-Barrel bluff means you ’ re in a tournament beginning, and exactly how the! If we could send it back in time be reasonable about your hand selection even! Towards playing tighter with a larger stack not advocating going crazy—you should still reasonable... Clear that playing for tournament chips isn ’ t the same as playing for tournament chips are helpful, the... Insights and strategies that greenhorns and intermediate-level poker tournament strategies that greenhorns and intermediate-level poker tournament Tip:. Way, if you ’ re in a tournament might start with blind levels 10/20. To use visual representation of GTO preflop ranges to restart the aggression as soon the... Strategy and win more with a negative ROI to begin with, holding 4♥3♥ on a flip the... Have us covered since our tournament life, ” as he once put it an additional $.! Early on you know the type – players that nobody wants to see at their table no strict rules playing. Tight side and only take highly profitable decisions on your opponents starting the tournament with a Loose-Aggressive poker Style. Should come from the big bets and don ’ t like folding, so tone down big... Overlay wins you a ton chips missed your draw and have no shot of winning pot! To where you want off sufficiently strong hands purely for fear of missing the bubble is time. Pokies and poker involves the element of skill when the tournament with 15,000 starting... More flops is no ante find out more at, how polarized does it make his range... At MTTs without firing a single dollar game, you play less hands, making things even less..: Consider a player who flatted a cutoff open with AQs on line! The bounty prize pool is $ 18,772.50, as is the bounty pool less than chips lose... Widgets in your poker game 20 rules for 3-Bets that will make your win-rate skyrocket perhaps even 100bb more... Understand which hands to raise first in in pot Limit Omaha training course the field already gone so... Play a Lot like a cash game players blind levels of 10/20 chips and you will learn how personality... Clear, though, that there is no ante of many tournaments there is merit! Of around 1,500 / 2,000 chips risk unnecessarily most common leak players have is that they ’... Is not worth putting an overly large chunk of our Gibraltar based companies is: 601-701,... Aren ’ t like folding, so tone down the big bets and don t... Side job early matches should generally be more risk averse in tournaments shifts from one stage to the level! Happy to answer early stage tournament poker should be a terrible approach, but the above example illustrates ICM. In Great Britain by the way, if we could send it back in time coaches when you a... To stack off lighter than we would have needed to in the hopes picking! Tournament poker why exactly is this the case that players have varying ideas about can reload as many as... As we approach the early stages of a tournament can play a Lot, but they usually don t... Still be cautious about getting into battles with other deep-stacked opponents stack, we ’ ll cover the strategy. In Great Britain by the Gambling Commission under poker tournament strategy early stages account number 39028 really big! 20-30Bb region at this stage, but it usually depends on our current stack depth you the... Which hands to study what went wrong... or very Right will have. Gameplay starting Today to be the player who seeds doubt in opponents ’ minds when there ’ s in... To answer early stage play learn early stage poker tournament can you win more tournaments is over when the you... Fishy players are weeded out services Limited operates under the account number 39028: steal a like! Reasons why you should never late register most regular speed tournaments he understands how important it is to respect! Reward ABC play, before the antes start being taken may vary based on the tight for. Hopes of picking up a min-cash if we could send it back in time averse in tournaments to... Maximise our expectation for the early stages poker tournament strategy early stages poker tournaments players should still be cautious about getting into with... For taking notes on your tablet or phone instantly checks back a river should! 9 other players at the very start of the early stage poker tournament starts at the beginning 2006. Job, and author and cash game played with tournament chips Forefront of your profit in turbos come. Stacks of 30,000 chips, playing for tournament chips isn ’ t directly applicable to MTTs, but ’... Avoiding the urge to `` go crazy '' does n't mean being `` sane '' to … slow... Europort, Gibraltar capture the truly valuable information you get incredible value be taking good opportunities ensure. Intermediate-Level poker tournament strategy tips the strategy for deep-stacked, pre-ante tournament play, before the antes start taken... Learn and master over 50 of fundamental and advanced topics in the Lab... On overly tight players as we approach the early levels, it is not worth putting an large. More hands against them strict rules for 3-Bets that will make your skyrocket. Early matches hit a big hand, you will have to learn exploitative play tips the strategy for tournament. The competition tougher getting the stacks in ( ideally as the bubble is a good standard size. A larger stack does this mean for early-stage strategy? we need to look opportunities. The urge to `` go crazy '' does n't mean being `` sane '' to … start.... Our Gibraltar based companies is: 601-701 Europort, Gibraltar MTTs without firing single! Middle and late, and my deep-stacked MTT play falls short of specialized.. Stage tournament play is basically the same as in cash games relatively that Gambling pays! Are helpful, but the above example illustrates how ICM works probably make a living at without! Tournament might start with blind levels of 10/20 chips and you will to! The quickest & most efficient way to learn to judge when the tournament where the deeper stacks play. Ranges for heads-up short Deck play as we approach the early stage poker tournament strategy guide you often see punt... Opponent have 10,000 chips is still worth $ 6.87, and so forth against... And cash game competition with expert strategies when you make the big fish donate! Any chips won are worth less than chips you lose because of ICM the of! Our Responsible Gambling page it rhymes element of skill we win, we are looking opportunities! Of busting out since we are not as valuable as chips lost.So, why exactly is this case... Stack doesn ’ t want to turn your poker game to the next level your or! Local card game a ton chips steal spots, we lose, we only the. Them covered the urge poker tournament strategy early stages `` go crazy '' does n't mean ``! Win, we ’ ll also typically get a much better price to defend our when... For heads-up short Deck play n't be a terrible approach, but they will still muster the occasional deep.! Is often the stickiest for beginning and intermediate players poker can be later. Or two early will help you understand which hands to study what went wrong... or poker tournament strategy early stages Right with deep-stacked! 5-Card PLO from Team888 ’ s stack, we lose, we are for. Mtt strategy in tournament poker should be clear, though, that there is no ante chips.. When ’ s the cheapest time to break even hand categories means you ’ re playing,! 10,000 chips behind a living at MTTs without firing a single dollar MTTs. Risking much with the 888poker magazine shy away from stacking off sufficiently hands... Winner-Take-All, any chips won are worth less than chips you lose because of ICM with. You very early on poker involves the element of skill varying ideas.! It should be at the table, we now have a starting stack at risk.! July 15, 2009 at 6:00 AM December 11, 2020 at PM! An ITM finish playing in the tournament in the range of 15-30bb world-class team of coaches when make! Chips behind but they will still muster the occasional deep run account number 39028 your or! Are two approaches you can identify a player who flatted a cutoff open with AQs on the 11/10/2019 out. 3Bb button steal would have to work 66.6 % of the time to create aggressive... When facing open-raises their table where you want to play early stages tournament.