Live Tourneys vs. Online Tourneys
When you sit down to play a live poker tournament you are most likely gazing out at a massive room full of poker players. Poker tournaments are well known around the world to attract massive amounts of people. The biggest live tournament held every year is the main event, held in Las Vegas. If you want to be successful when attempting to best a massive field of live tournament poker players there are a couple of things to keep in mind. One of the main things to keep in mind when playing live tournament poker is to always look for tells, and most importantly stay focused. If you stay focused and look at every hand played, you will have more success down the road when playing pots with the same opponents. Often times in live tournaments tables may not break or disband until very late in the day or maybe not even until day 2, so paying attention to every little thing is what will help you. As a poker player if you don’t look at the little things and the way other players will play hands then you will not be successful in live poker tournaments.
If you are playing tournaments online there are a number of things to keep in mind, but mainly when you play online the easiest thing to do is go on tilt and blow through your chips in a poker tournament. To avoid going on tilt or playing too many pots, you should do whatever is most comfortable for you. Try to play poker in a controlled setting with as few distractions as possible. The biggest thing that happens with some online tournament poker players is getting distracted. Online tournaments will take a couple of hours and it is difficult to stay focused throughout a poker tournament. To remain focused you should set goals and take notes on poker players. In the live events you will not have this option, but online you can keep track of players and use things like HUD’s to keep track of poker players. Also, you can simply take notes on how they have played certain pots. Most likely they will play big pairs very similar every time and they will play hands like AQ and AK very similar as well. Taking notes is a big part of online tournament poker that is overlooked. You have to pay attention to what players do on every hand because they could go on tilt one hand and you wouldn’t know it if you weren’t paying very close attention.
With a lot of money on the line in both live tournaments and online tournaments it will come down to how well you read situations. If you read situations well and react to them accordingly you will have success in both. There are big player fields to get through in tournaments and coming down to the final table and most importantly winning is your goal from the first hand dealt. If your ultimate goal isn’t to win the poker tournament then you shouldn’t even bother playing the tournament. Setting goals is what will keep you alive in poker tournaments and also it will motivate you to come back from a short stack, and get your money in with the best hand. You should never look at one hand as making or breaking your poker tournament. There are plenty of poker players who have come back from becoming the short stacked player at the table, with long odds against you. Poker tournaments are fights until the end and if you aren’t willing to fight until the end, then you will not be there in the end.
Online tournaments differ from live tournaments in the overall nature of how they are played. In live poker tournaments pre-flop raises are the main adjustment to make mainly because live tournaments tend to have older players in the fields. These 50 year old guys out there playing live tournaments and assuming every young kid is going to bluff them. If you are a young kid adjusting to the live tournament scene it can be difficult at first just because you simply will not see minimum raises before the flop. Online you will see minimum raises to 2.5 times the blind raises before the flop as a standard more or less. This is a big adjustment, but you will get the hang of it after a couple of hours.