Advice on what to do and what not to do in tournament poker play...
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WINNING TOO EARLY Our various columns on tournament play have spawned a few good reactions. A lot of players it seems gamble aggressively very early on in a tournament, setting their sights on a big chip stash in order to ensure their survival in the later stages. This is a good ploy but all too many players who succeed with this early strategy begin to get an ego-rush and keep going at the same level of risk. Failing to change gears when you’ve built that stack cushion is immature and usually ends with crash and burn. Set your target and stick to it.
Another tournament sin is being over defensive when you find yourself in the blinds. A hand that’s not up to much is not worth betting on just to justify your blind bet position. Don’t get handcuffed to a medium hand. Be prepared to fold and wait for a better set of cards and let the blind bet go. Most professionals agree that the prudence and care you take while in the blinds is often the deciding factor in really successful tournament play.
LATER STAGE TIP
In the late stages of a tournament you need to pay as much attention to the size of your opponents’ chip stacks as you do to your own. A lot of the decisions you’ll be required to take at this critical stage will be as much to do with the chip-power of your fellow combatants as they are to do with the quality of your own cards.
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