Valuable Tips for Poker Tournament Play
Making Complex Moves
Make your complex moves only when you’re up against players who will understand what you’re doing. A weak player is likely to misinterpret a sophisticated move and might do the exact opposite of what you wanted him to do.
Example: You’re running a complete but well set-up bluff. The only read your opponent has on you are your betting pattern and the bet sizes. A small bet from you on the end will mean to a strong player that he’s beaten and you’re offering him almost irresistible pot odds just for him to call to get more money into the pot and may therefore elect to fold.
A weak player in the same situation will see your small bet in the end as weakness and come over the top or call if he’s got some holding.
Medium pairs in the Big Blind
Holding 88, 99, 1010, JJ when you’re the Big Blind is good but don’t get too excited. If there is a raise from a player in early position don’t re-raise unless he’s short-stacked and desperate to make a move and/or a weak and tight player. Just call the raise if the price is reasonable, like 2:1 pot odds or better. All you’re looking for is to hit trips on the Flop - and your chances for that are 7.5 to 1 against - or that all 3 cards are lower than your holding. If there are high cards coming on the board then let that hand go when another player bets big.
KQ, KJ, QJ are treacherous Hands
Every poker professional and every halfway decent poker book will tell you exactly that: KQ, KJ, QJ are nice looking hole cards but trouble hands. Poker novices and weak players naturally think that they’re holding great cards – don’t fall into that trap! In most situations it’s better to fold them than playing them. When you play them, be very cautious and alert because most players tend to stick around with high cards and if the flop comes with high cards, you may have found something but so they might have.
Holding Aces or Kings
If you hold a pair of Aces or Kings before the Flop, raise so that you cut down the number of (potential) opponents. Your perfect scenario is to go heads-up against a single player. AA & KK are about 85% favorite to win against a single lower random hand. Against two other random hands, this figure drops to about 65%, so you could easily find yourself in trouble after the Flop.
A finely sized bet
Scenario: Halfway through a Multi table tournament; you’re in command of your table and have a solid chip lead. There’s a short-stacked player with 1120 chips in front of him. The blinds of 100/200 are closing in and will hurt his stack, so he raises pre-flop to 600. One player with a medium sized stack calls. You pick-up AA. Now, here’s the tip: raise to 1,100 (or even 1,110) and do it quick. If the small stack then goes all-in for his last chips, he will have re-raised you by a few chips only and the caller is caught in a sandwich and might not realize that. If he calls again it’s your turn once more before the Flop, so you can put the caller all-in as well.