No Limit Holdem Live Poker Tournaments
No limit holdem live poker tournaments are a beast in their own right and often times take hours and days to complete. The main event in Las Vegas every year takes 10 days and sometimes longer just to finish up. Poker tournaments are the purest form of poker because they take long strenuous hours to determine a winner. To be standing there at the end of the day takes a lot of preparation and practice. If you are transitioning from online to live to play poker tournaments you should keep in mind that it is a completely different game. The pre-flop raises are different and the players are different.
You will have to keep in mind physical tells of players and you should always look to gather information as soon as you sit down. Live poker tournaments are a game of consistently gathering information and adjusting to different players. The live poker tournaments tend to have older players as opposed to younger players simply because there aren’t many old poker players that are willing to stare at a computer screen for hours on end. If you look to have success with them you need to have a ton of patience and also be able to set goals for yourself.
Beginning to middle of live poker tournaments
At the beginning of poker tournaments you should look to first identify players at your table as something as simple as a passive player or an aggressive player. The passive players tend to outweigh the aggressive players in lower stakes poker tournaments. As you move up in buy-in level you also move up in the level of competition you will see at the table. You will find a ton more aggressive players at higher stakes buy-ins and that is why they are so difficult to win.
When dealing with lower stakes tournaments you should basically know right away who is a good player and who is not a good player. These players will almost let you know right away by starting table talk or just seeing the anguish someone might have in their face. Everything you do should be accounted for and have a reason behind it. Some players at low stakes tournaments will boast about how good they are or also how bad they are running lately. To keep everything in perspective, you should keep track of table talk as you can certainly use this later on in the tournament to your advantage.
There is no exact way to play poker tournaments as many styles have been proven to work, but ideally you want to play pots with weaker opponents. If you can play pots with lesser opponents you will always know the best move given the situation. Also, it will give you more opportunities to chip up in spots that would not be there otherwise. Playing hands in position also helps even if you are seated with strong opponents. If you play pots in position you will more or less have control over every hand you play and you can dictate the action. This is important because aggression is a big reason why players are still there at the end of the day. Winning pots without a showdown is so important for live poker tournaments.
End of live poker tournaments
To reach the end of a live poker tournament you need to have a number of hands go your way, but also you need to play with no fear. If you play with no fear then you will allow yourself to dictate the action and do what is best at any given time during a hand. The final table of a poker tournament is where you want to be at the end of the day, and to get there you need to be lucky by running good, but also you need to play well and build your stack effectively. If you can do those two things you may have trouble getting there in a few tournaments, but the more you play the better chance you will have of winning one. When you get down to a final table you should be locked in and never let a hand effect you.
Your goal now is to win the tournament and to do so you have to be on your game. Winning poker tournaments is increasingly more difficult today because fields are larger and players are better than they used to be. All you should look to do is put your money in with the best hand and see what happens. If you avoid bleeding chips off by raising before the flop and folding to shoves, you are putting yourself in a better situation at a final table. If you are short stacked it is difficult at final tables, but you should look for good spots to move your stack in. If you are a big stack then you should prey on short stacks and attack them until they are gone. In either spot you can capitalize on mistakes by players as they will make them, and look to win it.