All The Aces Daily Poker Column

Playing Poker Tournaments

The key skills YOU need for winning poker tournaments

Win Playing Party Poker Tournaments!

One of the frequently asked questions at is how do I play tournaments successfully as opposed to straightforward money games?
Most people improve their game with lots of online play before they enter tournaments. Their motive on entering tournaments is generally to win a ticket to the World Series of Poker which would normally cost $10,000 to buy-in. There are several types of tournaments offering this kind of prize and you need to assess each type with a view to your available funds. For example: A low buy-in tournament will often offer one or two WSOP tickets as the top two prizes and as the entry cost is very reasonable they seem like good value. The trouble is it’s a bit of a lottery, so your chances of winning a ticket are small.

Large buy-in events offering a bunch of WSOP tickets can be quite costly but of course your chances of snapping up a ticket increase considerably. By far the most popular route is the moderate buy-in event which attracts a majority of poker players. Costs are always reasonable and you have a fair chance of winning a WSOP ticket.

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All of the above events require you to play a disciplined form of poker. Tournament play requires a different attitude.
A low buy-in contest where only two tickets are up for grabs requires you to gamble full out. You have to win chips. You have to bluff and try to steal pots. If you make the mistake of playing a waiting game, someone else will build a big chip stack that you won’t be able to overcome later in the tournament. Go for broke.
A large buy-in contest with plenty of tickets to be won means you can play a tighter game. You don’t need to go all out for pots because if you can endure long enough you stand a good chance of qualifying for a seat. Play smart and tight. The reason the moderate buy-ins attract the most interest is because they enable you to play your usual game. You vary between tight and aggressive.

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ALL THE ACES poker column:
Tuesday December 20, 2005: 
Playing Poker Tournaments