Tournaments Games Strategy
Unlike cash games, in tournaments, all the players start at the same time with the same buy-in. At such times, losing all your chips ends your run. Your aim, in a tournament game, must be to not return empty-handed. So, you have to play to get into the later stages of the game where you are guaranteed to win a good amount of money. A poker game has three stages: early, middle, and late. Each stage requires a different winning approach.
- Early stage: This is where all of your opponents have the most experience. Rarely do people go all-in without having the goods. While you can try to steal a few blinds if you are confident of winning, there is no point in trying to be aggressive. The blinds are small and it is difficult to increase your stack depth to a size that will give you a meaningful advantage. Only a few players will be able to gamble aggressively during this stage. If someone is willing to gamble a decent-sized pot, then, in all probability, he/she has good cards.
- Middle stage: This is when you have to start making your moves. At the beginning of this stage, you will still have a deep stack (compared to the blinds). As the blinds increase, unless you take initiative right from the start, you are likely to slowly lose your chips and end up having to go all-in very soon. At this stage, you have to work to steal the blinds. You have to take the risks when you can afford to, because even if you lose, you still have more chips with which you can play. On the other hand, waiting too long can lead to a situation in which your hand can potentially get you a win, but you may not have enough chips and may have to risk going all-in. The only aim in the middle stages is to make it to the final stage and be guaranteed of money.
- Final Stage: It is characterized by few players holding most of the chips and a lot of players holding few. Everyone at this stage is trying to win it all and you will find a lot of people gambling. You have to be aggressive as even a single mistake can eliminate you.
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