Multi-Table Tournaments, commonly known as MTT, are the most popular form of poker. Hundreds of thousands of players try their luck in tournaments everyday but many come away disappointed. With these tips you will have an edge on the bad players and hopefully, a better bankroll.
Tip #1 – Adjust your play
Many players do not change their style of play when playing MTT’s or cash games. This is the biggest mistake you can make as both forms of poker have different concepts. The strategy in tournaments is to last as long as you possible can not to win the most amount of money in the shortest period of time. Tournaments are a marathon not a race, and remember, once your chips are gone it is game over, there is no way to reload.
Tip #2 – Play Tight
In the opening stages of a tournament you need to play much tighter then you normally would. In most tournaments there will be a significant amount of players raising and going all-in on bad hands and you need to steer clear of calling in the early stages. Don’t waste chips donating into pots which don’t have the right odds and when you are out of position. Perhaps play just the top five hands and wait for the donkeys to knock each other out, then pick your spots.
Tip #3 – Start Building your stack
Once the tournament has entered the middle stages, play should have improved. Players will be intelligent enough to respect your raises due to your tight image so start to exploit that. Use your position to steal pots, blinds should be worth stealing at this stage and you should be able to keep a steady stack from stealing a few blinds each round and protecting your blinds.
Tip #4 – Strong Finish
By following the above steps you should find yourself in a good position with a healthy chip stack. Around the bubble, play will tighten up dramatically and smaller stacks will be hanging on to dear life and will likely fold decent hands just to get into the money. Even poor opponents who have a good amount of chips will tighten up so try and steal of the bad and low stacked players. After the bubble players who were hanging on will find any decent hand good enough to risk all their chips. Start to play tighter now until they have been eliminated. Once you are approaching the final table you need to adopt the style of play of which we played coming up to the bubble.
Players will be desperate to reach the final table, especially in top heavy tournament structures, and will play very much like those around the bubble. Once at the final table you will need to exploit the weaker players and try to stay away from the larger stacks. They will be trying to bully players out of the pots and you will not want to risk your tournament life trying to defend yourself against them. Position is vital on the final table and if you aren’t stealing blinds wherever possible you will find yourself slipping down the leaderboard. Once down to three players play will loosen up and hands which seem terrible normally are often strong. You can either try to take out the other two players yourself and try to go for the win whilst risking your chips, or wait for them to knock each other out but face a huge chip deficit during heads up.