Poker Tournaments: Surviving the Early Stages
Once you are in a Poker tournament, it is vital that you understand that the strategies that you have learned and use in regular Poker games cannot readily apply here, especially in the early rounds. This is something that a lot of players do not realize, and something that you should recognize if you want to make any progress.
During the early part of a Poker tournament, the tables will be filled with a lot of fish and a lot of loose cannons. One of the most costly mistakes that players make is that they try to cash in, due to the "weakness" of the players and the fact that the blinds are still inexpensive. Others prefer to play their usual game, because that is how they play against these types in regular Poker games.
However, you should remember that you are playing in a Poker tournament; what this means is that moving on to the next stage is your priority. Always keep that in mind, because you might end up being too caught in the game. Survival is the most essential fact.
Therefore, you should play as tight as a rock. Cashing in right now would be a mistake, as well as trying things like bluffing or slow playing when you have a strong hand. Remember that the fish and the loose cannons do not play and respond in the way that you might expect, and being in a Poker tournament will make them even more unpredictable.
In Poker tournament play, you should limit your starting hand to only the premium cards, like AA, AK, KK etc. Anything less than the best you should fold. Do not be a chaser, as this will cost you valuable chips. Simply wait for the proper hand and when you do get it, play it tight as possible.
Mental toughness and fortitude is essential in a Poker tournament, and is something that you will want to work on. Just remember that the other players there are just like you, and that you did not buy in just to get beaten by a fish on the early tables.
Poker tournaments are not easy pickings, and the pressure in the early stages, is added to by the presence of so many wild and unpredictable players.
Because of this, you should, as stated above, be tight, and simply let them eliminate each other. By keeping to this tactical approach, you will be in a great position to move on.