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Important Poker Tournament Tips

Poker tournament play requires game aficionados to master gaming strategies that are often completely irrelevant to ring games. This is because the two play variations feature completely different gaming structures. Thus, while successful ring game play requires players to display qualities like patience and steadiness, tournament play requires players to be able to catch most of the pots they play. Therefore, brilliant play at ring games will not necessarily bring you victory in tournaments.
To make things easier for tournament play beginners, here go several important tips on how to make the right moves when playing in a poker tournament:
1. Devising play plan. Having an action plan for your tournament play is the smart thing to do. Don't let anything catch you by surprise. You must first decide whether you are going to play tightly in the early stages of the tournament. Or, if are you going to play fast in an attempt to accumulate chips as early as possible. Nevertheless, being able to adjust to game circumstances is an important ability as well. In short, you must be able to survive any situation that comes along.

2. Recognizing opponent type. Although this is also true for ring games, the ability to recognize opponent type is simply crucial in tournament play. It is best to start by figuring out who of your opponents will or won't defend the blinds. This information becomes particularly valuable when the blinds' value increases. Don't hesitate to rob the tight players.

3. Taking advantage of aggressive opponents. Having an aggressive opponent while playing in a poker tournament could sometimes be a very unpleasant situation. Such players are good in betting and raising with the single goal of intimidating their opponents and distracting them from their own hand value. We recommend you to let your aggressive opponents think that your have a marginal hand. This will prevent them from labeling you as their immediate enemy and buy you some time to plan your gaming strategy. Check-raise them when you have such an option!

4. Minding your chip stack. Here goes a highly valuable tip. When the stack of your chips becomes less than five times the size of the big blind, you should seriously consider going all in. But, this will only be a smart move if you're the first one it the pot. The reasoning behind this is simple. In such situations you are just assuming that no other player holds a hand that they can call you with. In a worse case scenario, if you do get called holding the weakest hand, there is a chance that you would be able to draw out on everybody.

5. Staging your own tournament. Practice, practice, practice. There is no such thing as instant winning in poker tournament play. Our advice is that you stage your own tournament so you can control its start time and its end time. Start with the smallest game and slowly advance to more expensive ones. Get to the biggest game only at the very end. This is one great recipe for winning!