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. The first rounds of an MTT usually involve players having deeper stacks relative to the blinds. Early Stage Poker Tournament Strategy. It doesn’t matter whether you have 28,000 chips or 32,000 chips after the first few levels, whereas just getting one steal through at the 5,000/10,000 level can make or break your tournament. But that’s part of the job, and a quick way to learn exploitative play. 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. Everybody loves an axiom, especially if it rhymes. As always, I’m happy to answer early stage poker tournament questions in the comments section below or on Twitter @chuckbasspoker. Remember: the early levels are when all the fish are still in the tournament. Pots are generally small since there are no antes just yet. Your strategy needs to be related to where you want to finish. Loosen up steal attempts post-ante and as our stack begins to dwindle. For example, if you win 100 big blinds in a $.50/$1 cash game, you win $100. Convert & replay your hands to study what went wrong... or very right. Early stage tournament play, before the antes kick in, is a subject that players have varying ideas about. 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. Let's start by saying if you just remember to never let your stack fall below 10 big … It’s true that the pre-ante stage of a tournament is less valuable than the post-ante stage. The goal will be to restart the aggression as soon as the bubble is over. Mathematically, a 3BB button steal would have to work 66.6% of the time to break even. 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. Start slow. (Note: Want to turn your poker hobby into a profitable side job? 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. Having a fundamentally strong early-stage strategy will help you to make deeper runs in tournaments. Why Fold Equity Should Be a Priority in Your Poker Game! Everyone knows that the bubble is a time to start abusing tight opponents and trapping aggressive ones. 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 … These are tips, tricks, and strategies that greenhorns and intermediate-level poker tournament players require to become hardened tournament competitors. You can add content to this area by going to Appearance > Widgets in your WordPress Dashboard and adding new widgets to this area. The key is to stay calm, collected and in the zone until the middle rounds. However, this much depends on the structure of the tournament(s) you’re playing, and it’s tough to pinpoint exactly when it’s better to late register a tournament than play one from the start. Blinds are low and effective stack sizes are huge early on in the tournament. If you can identify a player as weak, particularly post-flop, you want to play more hands against them. But if you late register a tournament, you miss out on all that information, and perhaps won’t know how to exploit certain opponents as a result. Look to capitalise on overly tight players as we approach the bubble. Learn how to take your poker skills to the highest level. 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. Having said that, deep-stacked players should still be cautious about getting into battles with other deep-stacked opponents. Find out more at, How to Build Stacks and Avoid Spewing Early in a Tournament. But if you win 100 big blinds on the first level of a $100 tournament with 100 big blind starting stacks, you have not won $100. The strategy for deep-stacked, pre-ante tournament play is basically the same as in cash games. These words still hold true today. 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). 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. When observing your opponents, try not to be specific. If your strategy for the early levels of a tournament is to play conservatively and wait for either good cards or blinds that are worth stealing, then you are easy to play against. Early stage poker tournament strategy tips The strategy for deep-stacked, pre-ante tournament play is basically the same as in cash games. While we’ll play more aggressively in good steal spots, we’ll avoid putting our stack at risk unnecessarily. First hand of a tournament with 15,000 chip starting stacks. 3-bet shoving decent hands into massive overlay wins you a ton chips. If you’re playing online, note-taking and setting up dynamics are less valuable, too, since you have a HUD to rely on and some opponents might be mass-tabling robots. Pots are generally small since there are no antes just yet. 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. These categories are helpful, but they usually don’t capture the truly valuable information you get from paying attention to showdowns specifically. 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. Others think that it’s a waste of time to enter the tournament before antes are in play—that “real” tournament play begins when the antes kick in. Most of the money in tournaments is made in the late stages, and so that the slot on your screen is better used by adding a table at the ante stages. I just had to say this one more time. I’m not advocating going crazy—you should still be reasonable about your hand selection. In cash games the money is just money, so you can reload as many times as you want. The first rounds of an MTT usually involve players having deeper stacks relative to the blinds. Tournaments also attract weaker players who hate folding. Top FOUR Ways to Improve Your Poker Gameplay Starting Today! Some players might look to maximise their hourly rate by only joining a tournament in the post-ante stage. A precise and easy to use visual representation of GTO preflop ranges. Everyone in the tournament wants to make the final table – it’s a badge of … You really want to fold most hands in this blind level until the fishy players are weeded out. © 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. 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. Making the transition to playing Poker can be difficult, even for those who are winners in their local card game. As a rough guide, we can stick to the following principle - The shorter our effective stack gets, the more aggressively we need to play. We will need to stack off lighter than we would have needed to in the pre-ante stage. For these reasons, it also seems fine to late register most regular speed tournaments. Why? Early stage tournament poker should be considered different than middle and late, and so forth. 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. 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. While if we lose, we lose the entire value of our buy-in. 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. Chips won are not as valuable as chips lost.So, why exactly is this the case? Imagine a cash game with a $10 buy-in. Now, I’m by no means a cash game expert, and my deep-stacked MTT play falls short of specialized players. You’re considering moving all-in. *Note that SNG models aren’t directly applicable to MTTs, but the above example illustrates how ICM works. 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. Learn more now!). Making the Final Table. In this article we’ll cover the tight strategy for the early stages of tournament play from a pro-con perspective. During the early levels, it’s not uncommon to see a 3x open and five calls. Early Stage Poker Tournament Strategy. Today’s Hand of the Day is from the early stages of a poker tournament and features some tournament poker advanced strategy. 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. That means you’re basically starting the tournament with a negative ROI to begin with. Despite all the reasons to register tournaments from the get-go, there’s merit to late registering some tournaments, especially if you’re an online player. Daniel Negreanu: In the early stages of many tournaments there is no ante. This is especially important in turbos and most small live tournaments, which are essentially turbos, where the late-game edges aren’t very big. 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. So, why do professionals sometimes do it? 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 →. When you hit a big hand, lean towards going for big value. Gambling can be addictive, please play responsibly. 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. 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