Online tournament play is not for every poker player for various reasons. Some people prefer the face-to-face interactions of playing live poker while others simply lack the patience and staying power to be successful in online poker tournaments. Yet for those who enjoy online poker tournaments, here are some tips that can help your game.
Realize that tournament play differs from cash game play on various levels including mentality, strategy, attitude, betting style and more. Think of a cash game as a 100-yard dash and the tournament as a 10K run. You don’t start out sprinting giving it all you got when you have 10 kilometers to run, do you? The same can be said of tournament play poker. Start out slow, make moves decisively rather than reactively and remember to pace yourself. Otherwise, you won’t make it until the final table, which is the only way to win a tournament game.
Betting smart is crucial for tournament game success. Each bet must be mathematically sound and stand up to analysis otherwise you will likely lose your chips too soon. In Texas Hold’em, for instance, if you choose to bet after the flop, you must ensure that you bet at least one-third of the pot so as not to draw people in and increase the risk of you losing the pot. Furthermore, when you think you have the best hand at the table and go to make your bet, make sure you bet a good amount so that your opponents will be reluctant to call.
Know your odds and know them well. One of the worst things a player can do is show that he is uncertain about the odds of his hand. Make a decision based on calculated odds and make it decisively.
Nine times out of ten in tournament play, it is better to be the bettor than to be the caller – this is especially true in all-in situations. Take advantage of this situation when it presents itself rather than playing timidly in this advantageous spot. Remember, your goal is to avoid a battle and to have your opponents fold instead.