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No Limit Tournaments Can Be Fruitful
No limit holdem has become the big game in poker. The WSOP world championship is a no limit holdem event. Let’s look at some ways to improve your strategy for these events.
As in any poker game, first get a feel for the table you’re at. If everyone is playing an aggressive style, you might want to pick your spots and just look to double up. If the table is more passive, take control and see what you can do.
At the start of a tournament, the blinds are very small in comparison to the players chip counts. This is when your poker skills have the biggest effect on the game. Once the blinds become large relative to stack sizes, all the chips go in pre flop, and it’s more of a crapshoot.
When players have a lot of chips compared to the blinds, you can play weaker hands, looking for well disguised monsters. On the other hand, big poker pairs need to be handled with care. If you don’t hit the flop you might be behind. These hands can be hard to fold, and become costly.
When the blinds get big in relation to the stacks, especially your stack, the opposite becomes true. You play your big pairs, and top pair top kicker hands fast and hard. The small suited connectors and small pairs need to be folded to raises.
Too many tournament players just look at their hole cards to make decisions. Experienced players consider stack sizes, along with other factors, to make decisions. This gives them a more complete sense of what might happen.
When blinds are big, stealing the blinds has good value. But, you need to judge how each player will react to your bet. Their stack sizes are your best clues. I’ll give an example.
You’re on the button with a stack of let’s say 2,500 chips. The small blind has 15,000 and the bb has 20,000. The blinds are 200/400 with a 50 chips ante.
It is very hard to go all in without a very strong hand here because it’s easy for either player to call your bet. It might be better to wait. This is dictated by the fact that these two stacks are very large compared to yours.
If these two players have only 2500 chips each the situation is totally different. Neither player will want to risk not cashing, unless they have a huge hand. Your stack can damage them enough to be more cautious. So you can push all in more often in these cases, because you will get more folds.
Well, these are some of the things that you need to pay attention to if you want to be a good tournament player. It’s a lot more than just the cards. Good luck at the tables.