Live Poker Tournament Tips

Live poker tournaments are a beast like no other when it comes to the poker world. To conquer a live poker tournament it takes hours upon hours, and often times it takes a couple of days to complete. This game is for the players who can play solid for the longest period of time. It takes a lot of mental stability to get through poker tournaments and if you don’t have that stability it will be very difficult for you to advance in them.

Some ideas to keep in mind for live poker tournaments are first off that it is not a race. You don’t have to accumulate all of the chips at the table in the first couple of hands dealt. A poker tournament is a large, far and wide journey and is the complete opposite of cash games. In cash games you look for loose aggressive tables, in tournaments you get the table you were assigned. When you get to your table you should categorize players, but you should also see who is willing to fold their blinds and who isn’t willing to fold their blinds. This will play a big role in live poker tournaments as the blinds increase and the pots become more significant. The first hour or so of a live poker tournament you should feel out your table and learn what every player is capable of doing. Most live tournament players who are regulars will not give anything away immediately, but other players do. What to look for is how the player is dressed, and if they are talking or not talking at the poker table. When a player talks constantly at a poker table this will mean one of two things; the player is strong, the player is weak. How to tell the difference is by paying attention to the tones of their speech and if they are choked up when speaking or they are speaking loudly and clearly. Often times players who talk a lot will say things that don’t make any sense when playing a bigger pot. They get choked up and nervous when they don’t have a hand and aren’t sure what to do about it. This is also you should note the immediate reaction. Once they are relieved of this stress, you will see them fall right back into their talking groove again. When one of these players is silent in a hand, beware of the monster. They just don’t know what to do, so they shut up completely. This is difficult to figure out because often players who talk a ton at the poker table are losing players. These players will almost never give action because they aren’t focused enough to read individuals. The bottom line is the more you talk the more information you give away. From individual players you will see that they will almost never talk or talk a lot. There isn’t much in the way of part time talkers. Most are one or the other.

Also, in live poker tournaments you should look for a slow growth in chip stack. If you look for a slow growth as opposed to rapid swings you will have more success and stability in a poker tournament. Some players look to out play others at the table and some players look to shove all-in in the first couple of levels. This is a terrible strategy and not one you should consider when learning how to play poker tournaments. The best way to go about it is to gather information from players and find a style that best suits your table. If your table is playing passive then play aggressive. If your table is very aggressive then you should stay passive and look to trap your opponents. You want to be a target more or less at all times. The reason to be a target is because eventually you will have a hand and get paid off for it. If you are always a target, players will always fire chips to you, and you can build a stack up very nicely. Building a stack is your main goal in poker tournaments and when you are a target all the time, you will have a greater chance of getting that big stack.