Multi Table Poker Tournament Strategy by pokerfanatic

Pokerfantaic has been an important part of the 21Ace community since June 2004. He has tons of experience playing Multi Table Tournaments online and he was nice enough to share his thoughts for the site.

Pokerfanatic is in a great rakeback program with True Poker where he gets 27% of his own rake back plus 5% of the rake back for all players he signs up. Join this same True Poker Rakeback Program by clicking on this link and start getting 27% of your rake back plus 5% of the rake back for the players you sign up. If promted for a referral code you can enter FTR.

Pokerfanatic has a Poker Blog which has some detailed notes about his play:
Dec 2005 to Present Poker Blog
Jul 2005 to Dec 2005 Poker Blog

Here are pokerfanatic's Multi Table Poker Tournament Strategy postings from the message board.

I thought I would start a new link about this since it seems to be very popular around this site...

NOTE: I suggest also reading books such as Theory of Poker by David Sklansky and Mike Caro's book of poker tells...

1. Tight is right

Last night I played the biggest freeroll yet, 5000 people winner got to take $1000 real money to the bank... So the blinds went up it seemed like every 5minutes but I think in reality it was more like 10 min... so as I said before this was a big freeroll the first hour you could rebuy for $5 and at the end of the first hour add-on for $5 not exactly your typical freeroll I know, but like maybe 100 out of 5000 used the rebuy/ add-on, anyways I played tight for the first hour built my chips up to around 11k average was like 10ish at that time... after the first hour 4000 players had busted out of it... "tight is right" is a damn sure saying for this freeroll so I started opening up my game more because I know I needed more chips to have a chance of making any sort of good money... 100th and better paid out but 100-40 all got $5 and it went up from there... so we get down to 250 players blinds 500-1k and bout to go up again to 1k-2k or something like that I have been catching crappy cards and blinds eat me down to 8k I pick up AJo in the BB everyone folds but a late position button, he raises (doubled) I call to see the flop comes down 10QK (nice flop for me since I have the nut straight and it's a rainbow) I checked slow playing it because I figured he might make a steal attempt (a lot of those at this level in the tournament especially when your small stacked) he moved all in (putting me all in) I called... we flip them up he see I have the straight he hit trip Ks on the flop (damn), turn comes down a blank, river comes a 10 (I'm out of the tournament)... I got my money in when I had the best of it, placed 236th (not bad for 5000player and absolutely no rebuys or add-ons)...

Tight is right, I made 236th out of 5000 by only playing premium hands, in freerolls people play loose as can be and a majority will pay u off when you play like a rock and have the nut hand.

2. Timing/ Playing Your Rushes

In poker patience can be your best friend in a freeroll it can mean life and death, for that tournament, you have to make strong moves when you have the best of it... I said play to tight for the first hour or so this holds true but if you catch cards play your rushes, your rushes can be more profitable and carry you farther in the tournament then just waiting for premium hands... play tight but if you start winning play that rush... Timing can be everything, if you make a great bluff at the right time you can make your table image swing to whatever you fell like, say I have been playing tight for the first hour... maybe have played 3 hands all hour and they were top 10 hands, then I get about half way though the players enrolled I open up my game some and make a few more plays until I get nailed on a bluff... with a tight image people will be more hesitant to call you, but once you get pegged on a bluff or steal attempt then your table image goes from tight to loose, so you can play your table image to build that chip stack...

3. Table Position

As we all now table position is a big thing in no limit hold'em, but what some of you may not realize is in the later stages of the tournament you can use it to your advantage... You have to know what kind of players you're playing against are they fish or are they a rounder (can't really call anyone a rounder in a freeroll tournament )... If you playing with a table that are better then average and not a lot of fishes late in the tournament then you can use position to your advantage greatly... in early/ bad position you can make blind steals by raising like you would if you had say pocket pair of Qs or so they will probably put you on two big cards and be more hesitant to call your bet... in late position it's the opposite like most players like to play tight up front and loose in the late position, so if you have As in late I sometimes like to just call making my hand a little harder to read, because most people will put you on something like a marginal hand. Playing your position can be profitable if you're an aggressive type player such as myself... Most of you probably already knew that but I figured I touch on it anyways…

4. Falling In Love

Yes I know this point sounds funny, but I'm referring to falling in love with any pocket hand. A hand people over play a lot of times believe it or not is no other then pocket As. What goes though your head when you check your hole cards and you see bullets? I know I used to think HELL YEA! This s falling in love and you can't lay them down if you need to… I fell victim to this several times then I realized that I fell in love with the hand, I played 4 Multi Table Poker Tournament free rolls in one day on a Saturday about 5 months ago, 3 out of the 4 tourneys I went all in with AA and busted out of that particular tournament, the 4th one I think I went out with KK, I fell in love with these hands after seeing crap for a straight hour, to make it to the money you have to make the right bets along with the right lay downs, this is easier said then done believe me. Falling in love is a hard thing to break up with… but in the long run it's for the better…

5. Bad Beats/ Fishes

Well I have been thinking a lot about this topic lately for many reasons, my main one is I teach people around where I live how to play hold'em better, of course I make money of this in the process but I'm doing this whole post for free, might make you wonder. The reason for this post is because the fishes don't think to do searches on the web for poker strategies most the time but the people I tech they want to know there tells, since I play live more often then not, and so do they that's more important to them then basic way to make it in the money online. Live poker and online poker are like night and day, some people play strong online poker other play strong live poker really depends on if you're more statistical or more scientific… (with no limit hold'em I mean limit is different) so on to point 5… Fishes, they will always be around, you have to learn how to take you hits from bad beats due to these players, I have fallen victim of loosing my cool once or twice after a horrible bad beat before but you can't do that realize what I was doing was wrong. I have seen other topics on this site and others about bad beats and how when someone gets lucky people online type "gh", "nh", or something along those lines, well that's actually the right then to do as strange as it sounds. Why make a fish play better because you tell him off and tell him he shouldn't have done what he did? You scare of fishes you'll never make money over the long run. Same with Multi Table Poker Tournaments get your chips in when you have the best of it and if you get bad beat, say good hand and focus on the next hand think of an Multi Table Poker Tournament as a war. Each hand is a battle, the over all tournament is the war, you can't win every battle in a war you just have to make sure you don't make your enemy stronger by telling them they play bad. You want your enemies weak and unknowing what leaks in front of them to kill them (take there chips and put them out the Multi Table Poker Tournament). Fishes you can easily win money off of, and in tournaments they will pay you off when you have the nut hand because they don't know any better, if you tell them they play bad then it's really hurting you and everyone at the table more then helping the situation, you just turned a fish into one of us the curious player that wants to improve there game and win. I personally would rather take a couple bad beats and say nice hand to a fish then to turn a fish into a dangerous player. So the nest time you get a bad beat don't blow up in the chat window or at the table, say or do whatever it takes to keep that fish thinking "poker is all luck"…

6. Online poker tells

Ok so this one explains it's self, many players have the misconception that there are no tells to be had when playing online poker. This in my opinion is not right, online players do have tells, harder to find but I'm sure they are there. For example your playing the big Multi Table Poker Tournament 5000 players 1st get $1000 real money top 100 pays out real money, there is about 110 left, you are ten away from the money, now is not the time to play it safe, a majority of players will show you hesitation and weakness by there betting, you can really open up your game here and steal some blinds (especially against shorter stacks) you play to win at this point, ok say you make it though thus 10 players your in the money, a lot of times players will start bull shitting in the chat box "congratulations everyone we're in the money" or something along those lines, this means "I reached my goal I'm going to play like a dumb ass now" tighten up and you'll usually make it 10 or 20 more spots with out having to play a hand. That is just that time in the tournament, but this example is all the time on-line from what I see, if someone talks shit to you they probably aren't that great of a player and just want to get you on tilt or something (most the time but not always these people have to make up for there bad card playing by shooting off their mouth). One thing I really watch for is betting patterns it's amazing how many players online bet a monster the same way every time they get it. Same with when they have crap cards they bet the same. Also one to watch for is how long it takes the player to call or make there move, do they use the auto buttons a lot or only with a monster? Do they use them at all? Just pay attention to every little thing you can think of about how someone bets/plays a hand and take note of it. In the long run it will help you out tremendously…

7. Let's Play

Ok as your Multi Table Poker Tournament begins you sit down, what's your first thought? Are you excited to play some poker, thinking "here we go, we'll see how this goes", or are you thinking "lets play some f*cking cards"? I personally am thinking the first one, I personally am ready for battle for them moment I sit down to the moment I bust out or win. You have to go in to the Multi Table Poker Tournament with an attitude of your going to win, and you must do whatever it takes to win. You must play the game of POKER not play the game of CARDS. Always expect the unexpected especially online. It seems that people online especially in freerolls due anything but what's expected from a knowledgeable poker players point of view. You most always calculate what outs you have EVEN if you flopped the best hand possibly even the nut hand at the moment. Hold'em is not a game of 5 cards the opposing player can still out draw you, I see a lot of bad beat stories on forums which I used to post myself, bad habit really. So on the flop you start running though your head how to play this hand and hope not to get out drawn, sometimes it's better to take down the pot right then rather then let the other player "draw cheap". I have seen a lot of freeroll players let me draw to flushes and straights by beating the min or checking, and when I hit I bet big to make it look like I'm trying to steal the pot lots of times I'd get called by a weaker player. If you haven't seen the movie rounders, watch it. "As Canada Bill Jones Always said, it's immoral to let a sucker keep their money" You'd be surprised how true that is in a freeroll and how easily accomplished it is in early stages by using point one...

8. Emotional rollercoaster

So life is like one big emotional rollercoaster, life has its ups and as I know first hand it has a lot more downs. Poker is the same rollercoaster, cards come funky sometimes, we get our money in the pot when we have 95% odds to win the hand then it happens, the unexpected happens we get rivered. This along can send you on a loosing streak if you are apt to loose you cool and blow up in the chat box about how someone plays bad. A huge win can also send you on a high in turn you start playing loose and wildly chasing cards. I have seen a chip leader by 50K in chips loose it all in a matter of an hour, by the time he quit playing loose his stack was gone. I'm talking about emotions of life because it can and for a lot of people it does affect their poker play. I had this happen last night to me, I fell a victim to the advice I'm bout to tell you not to do. The thing that happened to me was I got in a fight with my girlfriend, well to get my mind of that I played a freeroll, bad mistake. I was completely off my game for the first hour i played really poorly and my finish proved it. The fight was of course over something that was said and did type thing but it got my emotions all jacked up, and it was an extremely poor diction to play poker there after words. I'm just thankful I played a freeroll and didn't decide to blow off some real money. So my suggestion to everyone is, if for some reason you have something heavily on your mind, it's not always best to play poker. Find something else to do, like call a friend up and go out on the town for the night, night on the town: $40 (maybe more depending on what you're doing) playing poker on the life emotional rollercoaster: potently $500 (more or less depending on the stakes), what would you rather lose? What do you have to gain? Sure you can win money at poker but if your mind isn't set on the game most likely wont unless you get one hell of a run of cards. Personally I suggest the night on the town and a good time to clear your head…

9. Poker, more than a game, a way of life

This post is regarding those people that are considering making poker their life. I'm a college student, I have no job unless you want to call playing poker my job, but by no means would my winnings pay the bills of a house, car payment, etc. My winnings since I'm on a low budget at the moment are mainly pocket money for gas and food. So ask yourself this, do I want to spend the rest of my life looking at a computer and dealing with the wild players/ rounders online, do I want to travel all over the world to play in the "big ones" to possibly become a millionaire? How much are taxes going to cost me? (US issue mainly), I know in the US if you consider yourself a poker player by profession, you basically run your own business and you have to pay uncle Sam all the stuff that normal gets taken out of your check by the place you work for. Why am I a saying all this, it's simple we are talking about Multi Table Poker Tournaments, the money you win from a casino online or brick, if it's over $600 it's taxable in the US. So when you win it big you don't get all your winnings (well you do but you'll be paying Uncle Sam in April). So if you win it big my suggestion is to do the calculations on how much is going to be taken and then put the amount in an account and do whatever you want with the rest. I was watching an $11 + rebuys game on poker stars the other day a guy from FTR won it he won $10k, but I'm pretty sure he lives in the US so he wont see a lot of that, I'd say he'll see about $7k or so. Multi Table Poker Tournaments are very profitable, a good thing about them is you don't have to win them all, you can win only one or two and still be ok. On the other hand in a cash game you most win continuously. I personally stick to Multi Table Poker Tournaments, my style seams to fit that kind of play better an all in move in an Multi Table Poker Tournament has more power to it then one in a ring game, a ring game someone could most likely call you if they were skeptical in a Multi Table Poker Tournament the think this could be the end of the road, where ring game, they can just rebuy and try to win it back from you. I personally like Multi Table Poker Tournaments because I play a game of science not statistics (I use it some but not much) in a ring game your looking more at stats, I believe this because with the right pot odds I know people that will call you with anything just because they have the pot odds to do so. So my point is know what kind of player you are, and play that type of game, whatever it is Ring or Multi Table Poker Tournament, remember your goals, your not in it for the thrill of victory your in it for the money (not only the case if you do it for a living). If your not thinking of playing cards for a living I give the same advice still, but Always play within your means, playing for a living or not it's always good practice...

10. Games of chance

Is poker really a game of chance? Is it actually a sport? What is poker to you? My answers to these questions are simple ones, poker is in the long run not a game of chance, and I don't really think you can consider poker a sport but I can see where people come from that say it is because synchronized swimming is one. Poker to me is a way of money, as poker pros say "it's a hard way to make an easy living". So what does this have to do with an Multi Table Poker Tournament you might ask, it's simple you'll play poker the same way you fell about poker. If you only play poker for fun you're more or less likely that you'll chase a lot of cards that you shouldn't and play the chance of the game more then the poker. You'll see these people all the time, their called fishes. If you play to win you'll play the players, you'll play the odds, you'll bluff when shown weakness, you do everything you can to build your chips up. Early in the tournament you should have a good hand because the blinds are not big enough yet to play poker, when the blinds go up this is when it's time to play poker, but be careful because you might run into a big stake that's a calling station. I was playing poker stars freeroll the other day played tight for the first hour and we had lost a little over 4000 player out of 6000, bout 30min later we were down to 800 left. So by playing poker I survived all the way up to 636th where I got into a coin flip situation all in and lost. That point of the tournament I needed to double up since I was literally half the average stacks because blinds and antes had eaten about ½ my chips. Pocket pair to two over cards. I got unlucky that's part of the game, I simply said good game and left, wasn't pissed off at all, I knew it was a point where I needed to make a stand sooner or later, you'll get into thus situations a lot in Multi Table Poker Tournaments if you have a run of cards that simply suck and you can't seem to even play poker with because someone is always calling you or raising… that's the problem with freerolls, it's more getting cards you can play then out playing the player, or so it seems that way a lot of times because the leaders all got great run of cards and got real lucky and built their stacks fast as all hell. Best thing to do is try and win as many small pots as possible middle to late in the tournament, unless you get a hand you think someone will double you up with win the little ones and stay alive, at least that's my method of madness...

11. Playing the player

Ok so you just sat down at your table and are ready to kick some poker ass, when I get dealt that first hand I watch everything that's going on at the table I could care less about my hole cards. Is there someone saying good luck, are there people bull shitting with each other that have played each other before, is there someone that starts beating like a jackal first hand, look for anything that might help you determine a players style when playing the first 3 to 5 hands, that goes for the hole tournament when you have players moved from table to table, and you'll most likely get moved at least once or twice if it's a big Multi Table Poker Tournament. So your goal is to find out wither or not the other players are, aggressive, passive, weak, strong, average, loose, tight, or a mixture of both. Do they mix up their play, weaker players wont know how to change gears so they will be the easy ones to make your chip stack grow off of. The "tricky" players are the ones you need to take note of and hopefully find one of the online tells I mention before on them. I'm one of those players that you would need to put into the "tricky" category, I play any two cards around the same, if I see weakness I will play very aggressively into the player opposing me. If I see strength and think I'm beat I can lay down whatever pocket hand I have. This is a very good thing, since sometimes if you are against a player like me and think that they are trying to steal the pot from you don't call, reraise them and see what happens, not many players can reraise a raise when they are bluffing, especially if they go all in, a lot of times when they come back over the top of you, most likely they have something worth putting more chips in the pot on. In other words if you don't have the nut or second nut, I suggest really thinking about the moving all in or folding, I really don't like to call in this position because your more then likely going to be all in on the next card. In NL every hand you get involved in could be your last, take that into consideration when you are thinking of calling, moving all in, or folding. Point 11, always pay 110% attention to what's going on in the game, I have missed stuff I wish I would have seen because of spanning myself to thin across several tables. If you have specific questions ask me, I'll try to help, till next time may the poker gods be with you...

12. Multi Table Poker Tournaments in General

I have been thinking a lot about online poker lately mainly for real money. I have heard a lot of people talking about how they think online poker is rigged. Those people have an argument that can be justified by code, but the thing is why do this, why would party poker or poker stars due something like that? What do they have to gain out of it? They make money no matter who wins. So why the hell would they rig it, especially in an Multi Table Poker Tournament hold game.

Online tournament move a lot faster then brick tournaments that's for sure the blinds move up faster and you see about 2 to 3 times the amount of hands in a single hour. Remember this when your in an Multi Table Poker Tournament online, another thing is people draw more online because they are going off a lucky run, or the odds that are given to them. A smarter player uses everything he can to their advantage. Online especially in freerolls, you'll come across fish after fish after fish. That's way some players consider online play to be the most profitable. In the long run you're supposed to be able to beat these fish. In an Multi Table Poker Tournament these fish won't last long, they most likely bust out in the first hour or so. If they make it though the first hour somehow I don't think they will make it though the second, if they due, maybe they're not the fish you thought they were, or they are just having one hell of a run of cards. Bad beats are part of the game. A good player will suffer more of them. You can't let this effect your play, especially online, you'll see more bad beats more often because of the amount of hands dealt out per hour. The way I figure it, if you play 10 no limit holdem Multi Table Poker Tournaments online say at $50 a Multi Table Poker Tournament that's $500, say first gets $1000 (unrealistic online will be higher), you only have to win one out of 10 to still be profitable. So they way I see it, your goal is not to win every damn Multi Table Poker Tournament you enter, it's to finish in the money. Even if you finish out side the money say 6 out of 10 times, bout you get one good sized pay out like a 5th on up and a few in the money's for the other 3, you're still profitable. An Multi Table Poker Tournament is not always about the win (even though that's always your goal), it's more about finishing at least in the money.

Example of this since we all watch the WSOP, main event $10k buy in, 225th and better pays out, of course everyone wants to win this thing it's the most prestigious tournament in the world. So lets see here, I buy in for $10k 225th and better pays (depends on the amount of players it varies tournament to tournament), there were 2576 players, with a prize pool of $24,214,400. You needed to place 180th to actually make money. So the pay outs were 225-181 $10k, 180-111 $15k, 110-82 $20k, 81-73 $25k, 72-64 $30k, 63-55 $35j, 54-46 $45k, 45-37 $60k, 36-28 $80k, 27-20 $120k, 19-18 $147.5k 17-16 $175k 15-12 $275k, 12-10 $373k, 9 $470.4k, 8 $575k 7 $675, 6 $800, 5 $1.1mil, 4 1.5mil, 3 2.5mil, 2 3.5mil, 1 5mil… So with that knowledge my goal would to be to at least place in to top 180, that way you can make a little money out of your time spent, but once If I made it past the 2nd day I would be in it for the win, the chip leader one day one has never in wsop history gone on to win this event. So getting though day 2 you're almost in the money anyways so you might as well play for the win, from there on out, you can open your game up a lot more since most the fish that have money had already been busted out by the end of day2, at least from what I saw. I do believe this is accurate for most Multi Table Poker Tournaments you'll play in, wither be top level or a $5 home game. Know the type of players that will play in the level Multi Table Poker Tournament you'll be playing in and use that to your advantage.

13. Making mistakes

Making mistakes is a big part of poker, you want to minimize your mistakes and force the other players to make them, in no limit a good player can take one mistake you make and break you. When you make a mistake hopefully it's not too costly. We are human. As humans we are going to make mistakes, for some people a huge hole in there game is this, not capitalizing off their opposites mistakes. In poker you need to use your entire arsenal to win, you must be 100% focused on the game and what's going on. Multi Table Poker Tournaments are this way. You most know what each player is doing at the table. You most do this in ring games also even more so then an Multi Table Poker Tournament, I seem to play Multi Table Poker Tournaments a lot better than ring games, this is because I think some players have the fear of busting out and loosing that money, in ring games you can just rebuy and make it back, a Multi Table Poker Tournament it's a make or break thing. An Multi Table Poker Tournament for me is easier to play well since I know one mistake will cost me the tournament, in a ring game it will only cost me whatever I put in the pot at that point in time. Since I'm only talking about Multi Table Poker Tournaments, we'll go into them farther.

Mistakes players commonly make playing Multi Table Poker Tournaments (especially online):

1) Their attention is not fully on the game, a wife might be nagging in their ear that they should gamble over the internet, they have multiple games going at once (online), or live they are not playing the game they usually do because they are only trying to have fun.

2) They might be playing out side their means, for example they normally play the $10 and they decide to roll up the stakes before they are ready.

3) They chase down cards in hopes of cracking pocket As with rags, also could over play hands way to much, hence "falling in love"

4) In live games they might have a tell that sticks out like a sore thumb and they don't realize it, online you might see the same thing, such as they always slow play a big hand and bet when they have nothing.

5) Letting bad streaks of cards get to you, or going off on someone after a bad beat, commonly known as tilt.

There are many more but I just name a few that I see a lot of in Multi Table Poker Tournaments and ring games for that matter. To be successful in this area, you must know how to use it to your advantage. An example you show constantly that you bet only on strong hands, you can take that and swap it around and bluff 72o at the right moment. That's using your table image to your advantage, to use your holes to your mistakes and your opponents mistakes to your advantage is what makes your game improve, always learn from your own mistakes and other peoples mistakes, just hope when other people make their mistakes your in the position to capitalize from it chip wise. If you're not in the hand take note of it because I'm sure you'll end up in a similar situation eventually…

14. The learning curve

If you like me when you play you don't typically sit and play for an hour and then quit you play for several hours at a time and sometimes multiple games at once. It's easy to get tired mentally and possible physically if you play in the middle of the night like me. A few simple things I do to keep myself focused on the task at hand is to drink soda, take notes on players, or play a couple tables at once (helps the grinding, your less likely to play hands that are ones that probably should be laid down). How does this pertain to an Multi Table Poker Tournament, it's simple the key to winning is staying focused, I usually can focus on two tables at once, I've tried 3 and that didn't work real well lol, three freeroll Multi Table Poker Tournaments on different sites, 2 of which I was winning and one I just busted out pretty much on propose because it was Omaha. One was Holdem one was Razz, and one was Omaha, yea I play a lot of different games besides holdem. Omaha was actually Omaha hi/lo, I was doing shitty in that thing and just got the pot up so big by betting max pot every time I could I was all in, the razz game was only an SnG however it was almost down to heads up and I had the chip lead, holdem I think I was about 4k in chips above average, so I took my two winning games and tossed the other one, those concentrating on less things. I like to play freeroll Multi Table Poker Tournament holdem games mainly because you get such a wide spectrum of players, I see it as good practice at picking out the different styles of players, in poker your always trying to learn something, if you clam you don't need to learn something then well your wrong. Sure you might be a winning player right now but what about on down the road? Learn as much as you can for as cheap as you can is my theory. I'm sure by reading this post your trying to get something to add to your game, well I'm giving you something, never stop learning, players change over time so will your play, taking notes is always good to look back on to see what has changed over time. Keeping records is a good habit to get into if you're serious about improving your game.

15. Keeping records

I mentioned in the last post that keeping records of your games will improve your game, for online players I also suggest getting poker tracker a trial version can be downloaded for free from Also is free and a great online site to store your data. Here is an example of one of my old records from the results of a game:

Date: Sunday September 26, 2004 Location: Pacific Poker Game: Free Roll Limits/Style: no limit/ Multi Table Poker Tournament Length of Play: 2 hours Start Time: 3pm Win/Lose: up $5 Players (names or number): 2000 My Play: good Type of Tables: suck-ok-good Secondary Expenses: none Dealer/ Waitress Tips: none Narrative Remarks: none (33rd out of 2000)*

Things such as plus minus, maybe converting your plus minus to BB if it's a limit ring game, example +10BB in a 10-20 game would be +200. You can add or subtract anything I think I would add in Narrative remarks the place you came in instead of saying none I would put 33rd. which I show in bracts and a star. Also put anything else that you can think of that you might find useful down the road, such as a bad play you made that you want to make note of. I think keeping track of your wins and looses, also the games you have played like shown above is a good idea, I have an excel sheet that keeps track of my plus minus ratio and gives me a total amount of how much I have won and loss. If anyone is interested in it I'll help you set one up just pm me or aim me one of the two.

16. Tilting

I know so many players that clam they don't "tilt", and I find it funny when they get pissed at a suck out. So is this tilting, yes very so could be the start of a huge tilt.

You might wonder what "tilt" actually means to me. If for some reason you're not playing the regular game/style of play because of something that accord earlier such as a bad beat or your nagging wife about you playing to much poker could be anything for that matter if it's on your mind going into the game you could be in some serious trouble.

Going into a poker game Multi Table Poker Tournament or ring game with your mind split between the game and some other occurrence that might have affected you in some way can through your game off and be a potential whole in your game. It could turn into a parasite that sucks your money out of your wallet and into other player's bank rolls. If you get frustrated over a bad beats and let them affect the way you might play a hand then you are on tilt. If for some reason you like the things you're thinking about affect your play in anyway, you are playing on tilt and could be potently a target for sharks since playing on tilt is the last thing you want to do. If you start to lose and this affects you get up and walk away not playing the rest of the day, do anything you have to from tilting, i often try to put people on tilt by showing them my bluffed hands that actually worked. An example I have 74o and I see weakness so I bet out preflop, get called by one player, flop comes down no help to me at all, he checks to me I bet out again and he folds his top pair because his convinced I have pp over one pair, then I show him the 74o and he starts cussing me or something I have him on tilt now all I have to do is sit back and wait to crush him. That play works because players online know hand charts and can't see why people would play 74o into them like that, 74o is one of the trashiest hands you can get to start with we all know that and so do they.

17. Hand Charts/ Bluffing

The hand charts that everyone knows typically. This thing has many versions but below is one I happened to find browsing the web:

This is a little different then most I have seen but it will do for my point. Notice how 74o, 72o and similar starting hands don't even show up on that chart? Using this chart to your advantage against weaker players that seem to know them, and can recognize what hand that you're representing, if you do this and make it work and show this type of player (typically statistical based style), you might get him thinking about your play and maybe get him thinking you play bad so the next time you hold the monster you'll have this guy wanting to catch you on another bluff. Picking out the players that you can bluff out and the calling stations, you can make these plays more affective. I typically don't show my hands, if I do it's for a reason, it's because I think if I show them that hand they will start playing against me badly and I'll take their chips. It goes back to the tilt point I made just before this one. "A good poker player can win with any two cards. A weak player needs a hand to win." This is true, but the exception is when playing calling stations/ fish, you don't try to bluff them. "You can't bluff the unbluffable, they don't know what hand you're trying to represent." This is also very true don't try to make a play at a player that has no idea what "making a play" even means, when dealing with players such as myself and others that are more knowledgeable of the game the play can succeed, but against players that are weak, you most make the most obvious play there is in that situation, if you have the nut bet it like you have the nut they wont know any better, if you have rags fold. Using the hand chart to your advantage to players you know live and die by it when bluffing can make your earning potential go way up.

18. pot/ implied odds

Pot Odds: Odds of your hand hitting v. the amount in the put and what it is to you to call

Example: You have 4 to the flush in limit poker 10-20 on the flop. You're sitting in the co position, there is already $100, it only costs you on big bet to call so you are getting 100-10 or 10 to 1 on your money, where you have about 4.5 to 1 to hit the flush giving you well over enough to make that call.

Calculating the pot odds: When calculating the pot odds, you must first know what your odds are of hitting the hand, shown in the example above a flush draw, with this figured out (or close to it) you most then figure out about what size the pot is, also shown in the example above, if you have "good pot odds" your hand of hitting most be less then what the many ratio is 10 to 1 for the money is good odds for a 4.5 to 1 flush draw. If say the pot only gave you 4 to 1 on your money then typically specking it's not right to draw.

Implied Odds: Odds on which you will possibly win more money if you hit your hand then currently in the pot, the pot odds my not be enough for the call but if you catch that perfect card you will win a hell of a lot more on the future rounds of betting. Typically Implied odds matter more in pot limit and no limit games since the future betting rounds could be all the persons chips they have in front of them.

Example: In the 1980 wsop the final table with Doyle Brunson v. Stu Unger, Doyle held A7o and Stu had 45s of spades. Before the flop 30k went into the pot flop comes down A72. Stu checks Doyle bet 17k, Stu called thinking that he would take all of Doyle's chips if he hit the perfect card, the 47k in the pot gave him less then 3 to 1 for his call where a gut shot 10.75 to 1 but his implied odds were 14.5 to 1, Doyle had 232.5k in front of him where Stu had 497.5k in front of him at the start of the hand. On 4th street (the turn) a 3 fell Stu bet 40k, with some reflection Doyle moved all in Stu called. The only outs Doyle had were the last two As or 7s (4 outs) with one card left. Stu won, later Doyle said he should have bet more in to make Stu not draw for that card and Stu said he wouldn't have called much more on a gut shot.

Calculating the Implied odds: You need to realize that implied odds are very helpful in no limit and pot limit. The later rounds the betting can be as large as what you opponent has in front of them thus making a gut shot become a call rather then a fold as shown in the example. There are 3 things you need to consider when calculating implied odds: 1) The size of Future bets 2) How hidden your hand is 3) The ability of your opponents

Those three steeps will make it considerable for a call now because if you hit you think you might take all there chips. In no limit any hand you play could be your last, especially if someone has you covered.

You might ask why all that is significant to an Multi Table Poker Tournament well your playing no limit so almost all the hands you play you could go broke or your opponent could, these two ideas can change a fold into a call because of the great odds you're getting to draw to your hand. Some players my have never even heard of this concept, but you must understand, love, and adopt it into your poker arsenal. I've been working with it a lot lately and I have been seriously interested in my ev (expected value), which is more for ring games but can apply to an Multi Table Poker Tournament. In an Multi Table Poker Tournament your positive ev would be to finish ITM, where your negative ev would be to bust out side the money. This isn't a big concern with freerolls mainly because they are free but if you play a real money Multi Table Poker Tournament lets say $10 buy in with first getting 2k (for simplicity I'll say that you play this game regularly and the winner takes 2k always), you can now play 200 of those games and win one and break completely even, so if you finish ITM say 5 times and win only once you have made money. The goal of a serious poker player is to turn o profit over a set period of time, I usually like to look at my winnings / looses per month and then year. This will show you if you are a winning player or if you a swingy or a straight loosing player, then you can adjust your game accordingly or none depending on your win loss ratios. No mater what kind of player you are you should always realize that you always need to keep learning and talk poker with people about strategies and if they think you have a whole in your game. My main goal in posting is to hopefully give you as a player some sort of new perspective my it be small or big my goal for you is take finish ITM more then 60% of the time, if you finish ITM more then 60% of the time that pretty solid, nothing to complain about but 60^ is a good place to shot for when first stating, say 100th and better usually gets paid in real money Multi Table Poker Tournaments then your goal when playing any Multi Table Poker Tournament is 100th or better, by setting a place you hope to achieve you can practice the strategies that it takes to get to that particular place. a goal of ITM and winning are two different strategies completely, if your goal is to win then your going to have to take a lot of risk and play a lot of close hand (coin flip situations), if your goal is ITM then you would want to avoid some of those close hands (coin flips as an example) to insure you place ITM.

18. Extended

So I have described pot odds and implied odds to you and hopefully you understand how to use them. So these odds are great for cash games but how would that apply to a Multi Table Poker Tournament. That is simple implied odds are a powerful tool in no limit holdem, you can figure that if you make a hand say a flush and you have your opponent on two pair or high PP such as Aces you can figure to double up off him or even put him out (depends on how many chips you have verses what they have). An example, your in last position holding A9s in lets say clubs, 4 players limped plus the blinds still to act and it's on you, blinds are 25-50 no ante, you have an adv stack for this point in the Multi Table Poker Tournament, it only costs you one big blind (min bet in nl) to call, there is 5 x 50 + 25 = 275 in the pot, 275 to 50 or 5.5 to 1 on your money to see a flop plus you have to figure the sb completing to call and the bb checking thus giving you 6 to 1 on your money, so you call why not see a flop where the pay out could be 6 to 1 immediately and even bigger implied, the flop come down two to your suit, two players check third bets out say 100 into a 300 pot, one guy call in front of you making it a 400 pot you have a 35% chance to hit your flush, and lets say you figure one more player will call behind you, thus giving you 5 to 1 on you money at that particular monument you have to figure that bettor probably has at least Top pair with a solid kicker, so lets say you call, which in that situation I would because I figure that if I make my flush and let the original bettor do my betting for me I might be able to bust him or make a lot more out of the hand then I would if I raised as soon as I made it. So lets say you hit your money card you make you flush on the turn, one guy checks bettor bets out 300, one guy folds it's on you, you call, and the other guy folds, river comes down and it looks harmless, bettor bets 100 (very weak) bet into that big a pot 100 into a 1100 pot, you raise to 600 (if you have a flush or not, this play could work), if he raises obviously he has a smaller flush since you have the nut but if he folds he'll never know what you had in the first place, if he calls you made an extra 500 that you wouldn't have by simply calling, if you raise you still will win the 100 he bet same as if you called if he raises you'll probably be able to move all in those busting him, or doubling you depending on your stack verses theirs. I wanted to give you a situation that I run into a lot when on the draw for a flush, when drawing having the odds makes a fold a defiant call and profitable in the long run.

19. Check Raising

Lets start with check raising, this play is going to be one of your most powerful tools in poker, by not allowing check raises into your home game that's like saying you can't use the bunt in baseball. So let's consider when a good time to attempt a check raise is, 1st you must be in early position on your opponent, that is obvious if you know what the concept of a check raise is, but if you don't your about to find out what it is and how to apply it. So your in early position on your opponent, you have to know they will bet for this to work, if you are more then 80% sure that the player will bet if you check, you might want to try this play, so you think there is a 100% chance that the player will bet if you check so you obviously know the play will work so you check, that player bets now you raise, but for this play to work you most be holding something strong enough that can stand a call but not so strong that a slow play would be more profitable.

So let's look into this a little more some conditions when considering a check raise would be: 1) The Strength of you hand 2) If you check will the other player/s bet behind you 3) the position of the possible bettor in comparison to you set 4) What your intentions are with the check raise and the probability that it will succeed.

With that said I can now explain what the points are meant for I'll skip the first two you can gauge those to pretty easily, the 3 point is the position of the bettor, lets say the bettor is directly to your left so you check he one bets in limit 3 players call you two bet it, those raising it only one more bet for everyone to call instead of two at once. If the bettor is to your right then this play wont work effectively if your goal is to have a lot of people call but if your goal is to drive players out a two bet what make that more likely since they know have to cold call two bets instead of just one. Those driving the opponents behind you out, thus making your hand a more favorable hand to win the pot since you have narrowed the field giving a hand that once had a 35% chance of winning to possibly 40 or 45% depending on what you think your opponent my be betting out with. That explains point 4 also your intentions with the play, may your intentions be getting an extra bet in there or getting other players to fold giving your hand better chances you want to try and evaluate a probability of success.

20. Slow playing

Slow playing is counseling your monster hand in hopes that the other players will pay you off on later rounds of betting. The difference between check raising and slow playing are that a slow play you want people to by you off because you hold a monster hand, where a check raise you are risking taking down the pot right then if your opponent doesn't decide to call your raise. So you would check raise with a hand that is strong but not so strong that you have very little or no fear of getting beat, you would slow play the hands you have very little or no fear of getting outdrawn. The slow play is also a very powerful tool "trapping" your opponent can pay off a ton if the play works out, but you have to realize what kind of player you're up against. This play gets touchy when you are playing different level players. Weaker ones it's just better to not make this play because it's too fancy for there understanding, average player are the best ones, since they know they play is possible but don't give it as much thought as tough players, so they are more likely to pay you off, weaker players you could get more money out of just by making the obvious bet. The good player will know what your doing but still might pay you off depending on there hand and how good they think it is, but the very solid players and pros will not majority of the time pay you off on a slow play, because they have the 6th since that is what you are trying to do, even if they think you are trying to manipulate there knowledge and use it to your advantage they still might fold because they don't want to give you more chips then they already why make a player more healthy then they should in a tournament, they can always wait for a better spot if they have a conferrable amount of chips in front of them.

So with that said I'm going to give a few points about when you should consider the slow play: 1) The ability of your opponent 2) The strength of your hand (pertains to whether you should check raise or slow play) 3) Your goal with the play is to be paid off, what's the probability that's going to happen 4) Is there a different type of play that could make me more money in this particular situation (if there is obviously use it, kind of goes with #3).

I'm not the biggest fan of slow playing hands such as AA simply because it can and will get cracked in a multi way pot, AA stands a better chance up against one or two players, where a suited connector so to say you would want a lot more players in the hand for drawing reasons explained in point 18 above. Using the slow play at the right moment against the right player can leave you doubled up or having someone busted in a Multi Table Poker Tournament. Using it at the wrong time against the wrong player can bust you in a nl Multi Table Poker Tournament. So use this play with caution even though we know it's going to be one of your power tools in your tool box.

21. Playing AK AA and KK/ online misconception

It's all rigged I swear!!!! COME ON, this point is a break off from a post in the online thread about AK never holding up online, well AK has the same odds of holding up live as online, you only see more hands online, so it makes it seem that you loose with it more then you win, besides you shouldn't fall in love with any hand AK AA or KK, because you need to be able to lay it down if you know your beat, I think I have a point in my Multi Table Poker Tournament Madness post about that concept. I mean seriously do you really think it's an online thing… I don't I just think that you play more hands per hour online then live use the same frequency of hands live and online and you'll find that the odds are the same… Maybe AK doesn't hold up because the level of play that your playing, fishes seem to play anything, well AK into a table full of fishes isn't as strong because it looses some value because you guarantied that some one will hit when you miss, AK is a lot like AA and KK because it's a strong hand you can't lay it down as easily, well I'd have to say AK is an easier lay down then AA or KK, but just as KK and AA loose value the more people in the pot, you most narrow the field to at least 4 players seeing the flop or less (if your playing low limit a lot of time an average of 6 player will try to see the flop on a full 9 or 10 person table (on a side not I have heard of 20-40 limit games being like that, talk about a great game to make money)), So when you have 6 players seeing a flop AA goes WAY down in value so you raise preflop to narrow the field down to like you and two other players 3 people total, 4 is doable but I like to see only 3 including me or a HU (heads up) situation, hell I'll take the pot right there it doesn't really matter to me as long as I don't have 5+ players besides me seeing a flop.

AK is the same way if you bet to protect the only hand that should be able to call are ones you would dominate, such as AJ, AQ, and KQ… KK and AA you're in a hurting with AK so they obviously might call or come over the top depending on your opponent. So AK AA KK are all hands you want to protect, but obviously don't fall in love with them if you get say 3 callers and the board looks real bad to your AK lay it down if someone shows strength they are betting into the preflop raiser and are usually fully aware of it, if there not they defiantly have a strong hand. If the board comes down nasty like 3 to a straight (like 789 or something) or 3 to a flush and you have AA or KK you might want to consider laying it down if 1 or most defiantly 2 players show aggression into you (assuming you're in late position) one of the two probably has the made hand or maybe both do, in this case if both do you can generally a raise from the first bettor and possibly a reraise from the raiser unless you have one of that suit and you can draw very cheap (usually the min bet and in late position to have good odds to draw) to try and make the nut flush (be careful with the KK doing that unless the A of that suit is out), I would seriously think really hard about laying it down right there.

Now lets say you hold AA and the board comes 3 to a flush with no A and you have none of that suit, 3 players besides you seeing this flop of lets say 5s 10s 2s you hold the two red Aces and the board is all spades… your in early position lets say first to act since everyone in front of you folded preflop after you raised, what do you do here? Some players actually bet some check what's the right play? You check a good player might bluff the flush if you bet your surely probably going to get raised by a made hand, so what's your play? That easy what kind of players are you playing weak ones strong ones, or a mix… with weak players I think I would check to see if any of them make a bet because most weak players wont know that you were representing pp preflop with your raise in early position, thus they wont most likely make the scare board bluff, so if they bet it's because they have something, determining what that something is where things get messy, you have to know your player if that player would bet into a flush board with say top pair top kicker (TPTK), and you act appropriately depending on what player are in the hand. If you're in a hand with average player I would toss out a bet to see where I stud, average players are the ones that realize you could have AK/AQ suited or a pp (pocket pair), but could that make a raise on a complete bluff if they think you're on a PP and will lat it down, if they put you on AA then they wont make the play because not many people can lay down AA/KK, if they raise there they have it most likely. A strong player can make that bluff depending on what he thinks your on, is it's a pp he places you on then he's going to make the bet or raise to see where his hand stands (at least I would for information and value), if I have you on AK suited then I might make the same value bet to see what happens, if you have that suit you're for surely going to either call or raise, thus letting me know I'm way behind… (in most cases), so if you know that I'm behind you and will bet the scare board no matter what you have what's your best defiance? Well if you don't think I have the flush it's simple you raise… if you think I might have the flush but not quit sure yet, maybe you should call and then bet out something on next round to see what I do, once you call my raise then come out betting I thinking your on that flush whish beat my hand which I might even fold a lower flush thus winning you the pot, this move will only work against very tough opponents, that are capable of making tough lay downs. This type of play is only to be used against solid players, whatever you do don't try it against a fish because the strategy behind it is WAY too complex for a weak player to comprehend. So when playing thus hands such as AA, KK, and AK you most know you opponent's type of play and what level of play they can comprehend.

Playing the scare boards and cards is a tricky thing to do but with the knowledge of your opponents, it makes it a simpler play, weather to fold or try to out play the other person, or bet for value to see where you stand in the hand. With a little bit of experience this type of situation becomes easier, but as you first start to use this type of play you most be aware you might have it back fire a few times. This situation comes up a lot, so it's something you really need to know how to play to make it profitable in the long run. In a ring game you might call but in an Multi Table Poker Tournament you might want to fold, it truly depends on the situation so it's hard for me to give you solid examples and tell you exactly what play to make. It's one of thus things in poker we need all the information we can get to make the right play, that information I'll list some of the ones I think of: tells, type of player, skill level, how many players saw the flop, is it online or live, and this list can go on almost forever when you get into looking at how the player played preflop up until that point, in the hand, on top of everything else I said you have to calculate odds that your hand could be good and pot odds compared to the odds of the player bluffing or holding a hand… all this in under 60seconds, I personally take the hole time unless I'm sure that I'm bet then I simply fold. In live games, you have a little more time then online (usually) unless there is a time limit of like 60seconds in the rules of the casino or Multi Table Poker Tournament. Talk about pressure right, well that's what makes a solid player the way he/she is making the right decisions on the pressure. When working on this you want to play for low stacks typical against a verity of skill leveled players, this way you're not risking too much trying something new to your game.

22. Position

Ok here it is... you ready for this...

Position has been said to be THE most important concept in no limit poker, and poker in general. By knowing your position verse the table you can easily make profitable plays. Here is a little code talk for you at a full table of 9: SB, BB, UTG, UTG+1, MP1, MP2, CO-1, CO, Button

Going left to right I'll now explain what all the terms mean.... (Numbered by seat on that hand): 1. SB: Small Blind (first person left of dealer) 2. BB: Big Blind (person just left of SB) 3. UTG: Under The Gun (first player to act preflop just left of the BB) 4. UTG+1: just left of Under The Gun (thus +1) 5. MP1: Middle Position 1 (first person in middle position just left of UTG+1) 6. MP2: Middle Position 2 (just left of MP1) 7. CO-1: Cut Off - 1 (Player just one short of the Cut Off Position (see CO)) 8. CO: Cut Off (the player just right of the button, CO/-1 are commonly referred as late position) 9. Button: player that has the puck labeled Dealer (used if there is a professional dealer and the dell is not passed to each player to deal that hand passing the deal is commonly found in home games, where the button is found in casinos/ card rooms.)

Yea I know that you probably knew what they were but on a few of them but did you know that the way you play changes dramatically from SB to button? They way you play a hand in each position is going to change, for example at a level of play where your opponents are weak to average, a raise from a player UTG most likely means he has a strong hand because he is completely out of position, and to play a hand strongly in early position with lots of people behind you it better be pretty damn strong… (If you're playing tough players you can use this factor to bluff), If that same amount was raised by the Button say people might think you to be raising on more marginal hands, since you are in position… a perfect example where a hand is position sensitive is drawing hands such as connectors, particularly middle connectors. UTG I almost never play this hands, but on the button if enough people have limped in so where if I limp I'm getting great odds on future beating rounds to draw if I make a draw or simply fold if you miss any sort of draw, connectors in late position give you significant pot odds to call a lot of times especially in low limit where an average of 6 or more players see the flop. I have heard that people have seen 20-40 games like that… so the stake is really irrelevant because it all plays the same why. A connector UTG however will not give you significant odds to make calls on the later streets.

As a general rule of thumb, you play looser the later the position your in becomes starting with tight in early and loose late, by doing this you are playing position along with the hand. For an Example you pick up AA under the gun would you raise or just call here? Well that depends on your opponents, if they are tough opponents they most likely wont pay you off but if there weak they will probably pay you off given they don't out draw you. So if you're at a table where you might get more then say 3 players trying to limp no matter the blinds, then it would probably be a good idea to raise (easier to protect your hand in nl than limit), if your in a tough game where you might get a bunch of folds without raising you might consider just limping in thus somewhat giving your hand deception and someone that is aggressive might make a nice size raise in mid to late position with a marginal hand in an effort to protect his hand or take the pot right there. Thus you could play accordingly from that point on, this play works great if you limp early get a raise and a reraise in front of you, in no limit you move the hell AI at that point your guarantied to probably get at least one of them to call you, most the time it will be the player that mad the reraise. There are some exceptions that you wouldn't won't to move all in right there, for example if you think the other might come over the top of the reraise, then you might as well let the original player that made the raise and the one that made the reraise move there Chips AI with out you showing any aggression at all… That's a rare case, but possible, but fore surely get your money in there with AA when there is a raise and reraise behind you after you limped. In late position you might want to raise with the same AA as if it were something marginal, given it a little bit more deception to the other players, especially if they are average to good, they might think you're just rising on something marginal because you have position on them. If you have position on someone you can easily out play them if they can make a fold if they miss. One great example you're in MP2, UTG+1 makes a bet and you call (lets say you have JQ off suit for this example) everyone else folds behind you the flop comes down 496 rainbow UTG+1 checks you bet, and UTG+1 mucks their hand… would you be surprised if I told you that UTG+1 had JQ 0ff suit also? I wouldn't be at all I've seen that situation numerous times, but your opponent needs to be able to fold the hand this play won't work against a calling station or a fish. With position you can sometimes outplay opponents purely for that reason, and if you have early position in this situation against a player that realizes what concept we are talking about right now you might want to consider a check raise, this play will also only work against a stronger player since a weak one will simply not know what play your trying to make, and call anyways. In this situation if you check raise someone that bet with JQ off suit and they only have Q high they most the time will not call you, simply because they understand what powerful of a play check raise is, so good players think about it and assume you have at least a little piece of that board, and fold, thus changing you from the looser to the winner if you're the one in early position. Unless you give some sort of tell that you don't have a piece then that play will work against good players, against weak ones don't get fancy fold when you have nothing, and bet on the nuts… Position play is more affective playing against somewhat knowledgeable players more so then weak ones, hell most weak player probably have no clue what playing position means… If you want more examples please ask in the discussion thread that I have created…

23. Final Table

If you make it this far you probably have been playing solid poker for the past 3 to 4 hours, you make it to the final table, you have many emotions running though you if it's the first time there. Your in unknown territory for the first time, you have to play it the same way you have been playing every other full table, and as the field narrows even more you most start to loosen your hands up and play monsters slightly differently, this is where your short handed skills most be sharp, because if you not in a freeroll like I was (I was screwing around one night and decided to play it), then the difference between 6th and 5th could be a few thousand or more or less depending on the Multi Table Poker Tournament, so not only do you have to play well you have to have a strategy to make it as high up as you can, and DON'T start play timid (passively) because you are at the final table, play it as if you were the owner of that table steal players blinds, take shoots at drawing given the right pot odds and implied odds, as you get down to 6 and less it becomes short handed play, 4 or less even more so, then if you make all the right plays and all the right moves and caught cards, you find your self heads up, this is where people lack in skill IMO. Most solid players can play great with a full table maybe even maybe 6 left because that's what they are used to, but get them with 3 left man they start slipping and playing hands incorrectly according to the amount of players and position they have, so if you have a solid short handed game then from 6 or less players left you probably have an edge on your opposites because they will misplay there hands a lot of times… taking your opponents into account is how you win the rest of the chips at the final table, when I get in this spot I think to myself nothing is good enough but the win, so I play super aggressive, probably little bit more on the loose side as it gets less and less players and when I hold a monster I hope to trap some one in there and take a lot or all there chips.

So with that said I'll tell you the story of how I busted out, we have 6 left I'm sitting at the 6th place stack which was pretty close to 5th place stack, guy raised the blinds 3 times in a row and I folded, all three time next hand I pick up KK He moves all in everyone folds around to me I under call, and one guy over my stack under calls also, this is a pot that would triple me up for a hole lot of chips, we show our hands First guy A10off suited v. my KK v A4suited, I'm think this is looking solid because they share the A leaving them with 2overs against me… the flop comes down KQx, rainbow and I make top set, I'm think hell yes, but I know this guy with A10o now has 4 outs the gut shot Jack makes him the straight, turn card is no other then the J, I'm like mother fucker!!! Now on the river I most pair the board to win so I have the case K, 3Q, 3x, 2J that's 9 outs not real promising with one card left, it's a 19.5% chance to hit… the river is no help and I bust in third… to make that gut shot he had a 16.5% chance with two cards left, odds were seriously in my favor with that flop… that's just how it goes sometimes, what can you do?

24. Multi Table Poker Tournament v Ring

In poker if you play for a living or play in hopes of making money you already know what I'm about to say, this point is about the swings of poker, and how to grind out the shit to continuously make money. I don't know about you guys but I'm not playing for the thrills of winning when I wake up in the morning I think about what games are going on that day if any, and if I can play in those games because I have classes that day. I don't stop thinking about the games even after I walk away from one if I'm up I reflect on what I did right, and how I possibly could have mad more, if I'm down or even I wonder what's the reason behind it, why didn't I come out ahead when I obviously had a huge edge because of my knowledge over the opposition. If you're playing for solely money you need to take this into consideration, if you're playing solely tournaments then you're typically facing harder opponents though the whole Multi Table Poker Tournament, but in a cash game or ring game it's usually softer and if it's not a good table you can always find a new one. So since this is an Multi Table Poker Tournament thread it's simple and I've said this before your one goal is to make it in the money, so at least you have some return on your money even if it's a very little, the variance of the game is going to be higher if you solely play Multi Table Poker Tournaments then it would be if you only played ring, so you have to take in account that you might not win any money playing Multi Table Poker Tournaments for a long time, this time could be over an entire year or more, but with ring games you're probably going to have winning sections a majority of the time. Yes Multi Table Poker Tournaments have a higher return on your initial investment, but cash games will bring you in a constant flow. Deciding which one to play the most of is up to you, I have realized that to be a winning player like everyone that's serious about poker wants to be, you have to play both Multi Table Poker Tournaments and Ring games, you can limit yourself one or the other.

So if you can't limit yourself to one or the other how do you balance the totally different styles of play, well I'm not here to tell you how to play ring games, I spent most my time playing freeze out Multi Table Poker Tournaments, so I'll mention a couple differences in the ring and a Multi Table Poker Tournament. First I want to mention one that I have found to be a big difference, if you go broke you're done, if they go broke their done. In a ring game people might be justified to call because they know if they loose their stack they can just buy more chips and hope to win it back, but in a Multi Table Poker Tournament they think about that call even harder because they realize if they my all-in and don't have the best hand then they're gone. So using your chip stack in a Multi Table Poker Tournament is an important thing if you want to build it up to have a shot at even making the money. If your short stacked you know or should know in a Multi Table Poker Tournament the big stack is going to lean on you until you crack or double up, in a ring lets say that you buy in for the min of say 50 but the 8 other players buy in for 100 you shooting 50 at possibly winning 800 or even more if the player busts and rebuys, hell one double up and your with everyone else and the player or if you more then doubled players that called are now down the money you have, any one that gambles knows that shooting 50 at a possible 800 is a smart play, with the right skill behind the 50. In an Multi Table Poker Tournament you don't have that luxury of players buying in for more then you, you have to start the same and build you stack to hopefully dominate most other players stacks, if you have the chip lead in a tournament that's a powerful tool if it's used with the proper way, as long as you don't let your chip lead get to your head and start thinking your King Kong or some shit then you should easily be able to steal blinds and bust people when you have a hand, typically if you make it to the final table you have been blind stealing, bluffing, and playing poker as well as you can for the past 3 hours or more. In a Multi Table Poker Tournament you can get away with bluffing at a higher frequency then a ring game because the fear of going broke in some peoples minds is too high to call even if they think you are bluffing, that is if it's late in the tournament or towards the bubble, you wants to play for 4 hours just to get bubbled? I sure as hell don't but I can use that to my advantage, in the same since, if it's extremely late in the tournament you might be able to get away with some push steals meaning you move all in to steal the antes and blinds (given that the place you're playing bring antes into the mix). In a ring game you have to bluff with less a frequency because people don't have the fear of going broke and being out of the game, they simply throw the dealer some more money into the game, so you stack value goes down IMO if you play NL ring. The only time that your chip value might be more significant is if you since a player doesn't want to make a rebuy, then playing against that player is just like playing a Multi Table Poker Tournament. I could continue to list many more differences between the two types of games but I personally think that the all in bet for value and as a strong play goes down for the reasons I mentioned. So if you play a Multi Table Poker Tournament that's a Rebuy & Add-on say $20ra then during the rebuy it plays like a cash game in most cases, and be prepared to rebuy a couple times, and if everyone at your table adds-on at the end of the rebuy you might consider it unless you are sitting extremely pretty, like 5 to 1 on the next closest person or bettor. So I guess my whole point is that Multi Table Poker Tournaments don't have the same playing style as Ring games do. With that said I'd like to hear about some of your opinions in the discussion threads about NL ring and NL tournaments.

25. Going up the Ladder

This could mean a few things but what I'm talking about is stakes and in a Multi Table Poker Tournament the chips stacks and position in the tournament. So lets start with stakes… when is it right to move up the stake for tournaments, well this is more complex then if you were playing limit ring games, my rule of thumb is typically that you can win or finish in the top 50 90% or better in the current stakes your playing., so lets say you play 100 Multi Table Poker Tournaments and you make the top 50 (or about half way into ITM if it's less people top 50 is not a great goal I'm talking about half way up the money ranks 90% of the time) 90 times out of 100, then you might want to consider moving up and seeing how you do at least for one or two buy-ins. To figure out your exact percent of making your goal you would take the total number of Multi Table Poker Tournaments played and divide the number of times you reached the goal then times that by 100, it looks like this: (# goal reached / total Multi Table Poker Tournaments) * 100 = x %. Hope that makes since to all you that's pretty simple math, so if you percent is above your goal percent then you should try moving up and see how things go for at least a couple buy-ins, you wont see resolute after your first Multi Table Poker Tournament at the higher stack, so you might want to try playing a couple then if it doesn't work out simply go back to the stake you are conferrable playing. If you're not conferrable at the stake you are playing drop down a stake maybe two so that you are conferrable and can make the right plays with out having the money issue on your mind. Always play within the limits of you're conferrable playing and what your bank roll can handle. There are 3 dumb bets in a casino, 1) bad, playing games with high house advantage 2) worst, playing the sucker bets 3) straight horrible, playing with more then you can afford to loose. I'm a poker player as many of you are, some of you might be card players, but hopefully I can change you into poker players, there is a difference. Know what you're limits are and stick to them and slowly bring yourself into a higher stake so that you slowly become comfortable with that stake and play right.

With that said lets move onto the Multi Table Poker Tournament position ladder. This becomes more complicated simply because you could be chip leader one hand and out with-in the next two if you're not smart about the size of your stack. You must realize the size of your stack compared to your tables and the tournament in general. I usually check to see about where I stand during the breaks, compared to the rest of the field, and I always know where I am compared to my table, if I'm chip leader at my table I'm going to use that to my advantage, I'm going to lean on short stacks quit a bit and possibly steal a few blinds here and there. If I'm short stacked compared to everyone else I realize if they are semi good tournament players they will try to lean on me and I need to make a stand eventfully and hope to double up off someone. Playing a short stack, average stack, and the big stack all have different ways of looking, and you must realize how you would play each to play against each type of stack appropriately. So if I'm a big stack I know that if I was the short stack I would be looking for a hand to try and double up of my big stack at the table, if I'm average I'm thinking of ways to bully small stacks and possibly a way to win a big pot of a bigger stack or and even stack, so if you know what your opponents are thinking and how they might play each type of stack you can keep/ build your stack because of it and move up the position ladder even more. There is a thing in poker where you think 3 levels but I think that's going to be better as a totally different point, knowing how you would play in your opponent's situation may bring you more chips then if you wouldn't take it into consideration.

26. Confidence/ dick-headedness

This topic is an interesting and a topic that needs to be covered. I have had some resent inquiries about this. It seems that people like to be complete pricks for one reason or another, they can be broken up into a couple groups, and the first does it because they think they're better then everyone else at whatever or for whatever reason. the second type of person does it because they think it's funny and they get a laugh off the person's anger for there comments, the last i would have to say is the person that jumps on the bandwagon and tag teams someone for even more further enjoyment or some bull shit... You'll find these personalities show though on the table as well... the player that likes to shut off his mouth to you and try to get you on tilt probably fit in this category somewhere.

In poker your supposed to have mental toughness, and be able to take bad beats with out any problem, some people would say if you get mad at someone being a prick then how you going to win at poker, well in section situations I see where they are coming from but if it's something completely un-poker related it wont apply at all. I'm human like the rest of us and I have touchy spots, but they never come up at the table, which is a good thing. At the table handling someone running there mouth and the bad beats is something that takes some players a long time to get used to. Personally I say nothing at the table and usually block the chat box online if I can, and live I just smile and nod ignoring any body that thinks they are the shit and there ability falls short of there mouth... This works for me, I have no reason to get distracted by an opponent, I keep focused on what I need to do.

Having confidence at the table is something that you must have but you most be careful not to act like your shit don't smell also, mainly because your going to get a lot of players "gunning for you", this can be a serious disadvantage sometimes because you wont be able to protect your hands as much preflop because everyone will want a piece of you... against smart players they will simply let you run your mouth then hope to shove a monster down your throat, believe me that I had one guy that ran his mouth like an complete idiot, I simply was patient and then when i got a monster, slow played, and then I rammed it down his damn throat taking him out the Multi Table Poker Tournament...

I guess what I'm trying to say is be confident at the poker table but don't cross the line into being a prick, being a prick at a table gives you a table image that can complete screw you in the future. A lot of times confutation verbally can be avoided completely, just don't say anything, I mean why would you, you have no reason to say a single word while playing, not even check or raise as long as you make it clear what play you are making. So here is my suggestion to this point of the game be confident in your ability but don't ask like your shit doesn't stink because you will get a few "haters" that solely want to bust your ass... It seems that if someone has a soft spot somewhere they can't be a solid poker player, this simply is not true, especially if the soft spot is completely unrelated to the game, just don't transfer any issues you have off the table to the table and make things personal at the table, then even carry them past the table.

You shouldn't have to run your mouth to be a good player, most people that run there mouth fell they need to, this is because they are lacking skill in some sort of area in there own game, your play at the table should have the same results as the person that runs their mouth does. As an example I could shot off my mouth to try and get people on tilt and pissed at me, well couldn't a do the same thing by rubbing in a huge bluff they mad an incorrect fold to? This probably steam up the player that gets mad at you running your mouth also, if you run your mouth and it bothers them, then portraying to them that you are playing extremely bad might get you the same affect. Sure I'll agree that some players are just un-tiltable unless you start acting like a prick, against these players I guess do whatever think might help you get an edge if they are better than you, if they are worse then simply out play them. Also average to weak players would rather see there money in the hands of the guy with the good attitude over the dick...

27. Psychology

Psychology of poker has to be an important factor, since as most of us already know poker isn't about playing the cards your dealt solely, if you think that's the case you might as well play roulette or craps, how have about the same chance of winning at those as you do when you playing opponents that actually notice what your doing at a table, so you need to play the players along with your cards.

My first thought on this subject is just trying to think on multiple levels other then just your typical "what does he have…" thought. What I mean by this, think how he acted up until that point in the betting, you also need to have somewhat a good memory of how that person might typically play a range of hands. Then you have to know about what skill level your opponent is at. Once you have a solid grasp on these things you can continue on to the next levels of thought processing, things such as "what do I think he/she has" (refers to what I just noted), and for average to strong player "what do I think he thinks I have" when you think this you are trying to place your self in the opponents place and do the same thing from his prospectus as you did when you asked "what do I think he/she has". So if you can successfully figure that out, then you might want to think on another level, such as "what do I think, that he thinks, I think he has." This level is only if you think that the player might actually go past the first level of "what does he have". For weak players this kind of mind games won't work because they are in a since too poker stupid, and for very tough opponents it will not work either because they mix there game up so well anyways, they can make any play at anytime. With these kind of players psychology my not be the best weapon to use.

So Psychology is basically trying to out think your opponent, in a real basic simple way to describe it. So when you see people run there mouth at the table, example mike "the mouth", they are trying to get a bigger edge on there opponent by getting there opponent even slightly on tilt. In Europe I'm almost positive that talking at the poker table is forbidden. You can actually use psychology in other games to gain an advantage, if your opponent plays you differently then he should, your weapon has succeeded whatever it might have been. This goes back to showing bluffs that took down big pots, or showing a winning hand, these two methods work against some players but not others. If you are eager to use psychology at all as a weapon you have to know how and where to get to your opponent at. In most cases it takes a well placed strike to be successful. It's sort of like hunting, if you don't hit the right part of the animal with the bullet, it very well might just get a flush wound and not be much affected by the blow.

I'm not sure that I personally could go completely into ALL the logistics of psychology simply because it's so wide of a subject, for this reason I suggest reading poker books that cover this in them to get a better idea. You could also pick a book up on human psychology and it might help. I'm not sure what else to offer besides trying to answer any questions you might have in my discussions thread…

28. Live v. Online Multi Table Poker Tournaments

As this topic evolves I evolve with the issues I fell that I should mention, some of my later posts might start contradicting some earlier ones, and for example the first few I mad were geared towards low stakes and free rolls assuming that your opponents were complete idiots. So the next few might go back and change your game plan a little if you play in different stakes. With that said lets get on with it…

The foremost thing that I can think of when comparing online tournaments to live tournaments is the blind/starting chip structure… Online sites from what I have seen start you off with a typical 800-2000 range of starting chips (800 is ridiculously low and party poker's SnGs start out there)… Where live Multi Table Poker Tournaments usually start you out with something proportional to you stack… like the wsop 10k buy-in you literally start with 10k in chips I'm pretty sure… Like you buy in for $1k that's the amount of chips you get… this isn't always true, different live tournaments have different rules… I have seen some live tournaments run just like online tournaments… When it comes to blinds, the blinds in a online Multi Table Poker Tournament typically go up around every 15min with a 5 min break after each hour… where live tournaments typically the blinds go up at a much slower rate such as ever 30min or every hour, again it depends on the hosts set of rules for the game…

Another thing about online tournaments is they are offered more frequently and have less a house fee... some sites have a 20% rate on tournaments and I have found a few that hade a 10%... this is about typical for online, but I have seen some live casinos take around 25 to 30% or more, which is ridicules… they also don't come up as often and will not work around whenever you fell like playing, they start at one time and that's it there is no multi times per day to chose from… If you are a person that likes to play in your boxers or whatever then you won't be able do have that kind of comfort in the casino, or wherever the game might be hosted… A big thing about live is that you are seriously vulnerable to tells, if you are not used to having to keep the "poker face" in a game because you have the computer screen to protect you, then I suggest you practice your best poker face before you even think about playing in a live Multi Table Poker Tournament…

Live Multi Table Poker Tournaments you see less hands per hour then in a online Multi Table Poker Tournament so I mean if you are one of those people that like to calculate there hourly rate, this might affect that some… There are many other little things that I could mention but it would be almost a waste of time, if you have an specific questions ask in the discussion threads…

29. Playing on runs, good and bad

When playing poker as must of you have probably heard of or experienced, you well get on runs of cards, maybe even runs that last for a whole section of playing. As we progress as poker players and play more for the money then the thrills of victory, we need to tackle this and handle it, thus why I found it appropriate to mention it as a point in this thread. In tournaments you are especially going to have some great runs and some really piss poor ones, you just have to know how to handle each thing as they come and go.

For an example you'll be sitting about half way though the field blinds are around the half way point (depends on blind structure set up on what they could be), your just came off a solid run, you get a few hands of rags, if your opponents are the type that realize that you have been on a run of cards they might tighten up a bit against you and respect your raises more, this gives you an opportunity to be a thief, you steal the blinds a couple times, this play is well used in later rounds of the tournament because people begin to play slightly tighter and will give up there blinds easier to a big raise that might make them think "do I want to put my tourney life at risk on this hand", this play becomes very profitable if there are antes established… the antes will let you make more on your investments if you do this more then once, instead of just blinds you are also stealing antes, making the steal much more profitable play.

For coming off another example let's say you are on a bad run of cards have been for the past hour or so, you look down to say the savor of the day AA, maybe you can play this hand timidly as if you are still on that horrible run of cards discussing the hand a little more and possibly getting it paid off instead of having everyone notice that you are playing a hand and you had been tight for an hour and folding… Using your runs to your advantage could mean the difference between a win and a 50th place finish you never know…

Taking the cards and making them win is what some tournaments is all about, the few times I have made final tables, I have played hands into opponents in a way that they had no idea what I truly was holding, I was blind stealing, check raising on stone cold bluffs (I knew that the guy would fold to that play every time someone did it he folded almost except for the nut, I was willing to take the risk because his preflop action compared to the board was no where near the nut), you most become inventive and have some balls to make the correct plays at the correct time, without getting creative in the since late in a tournament of how you play your hands, I don't think you'll make it to the win, even in freerolls by mid to late in the tournament the compaction gets tougher and you have to adjust your style of play according to the stage of the tournament and the opposition in the tournament.

With that said I can now say that it actually does matter what kind of tournament you are in as to what your strategy should be, meaning my first post "tight is right" actually is only the case if most the players in the tourney are extremely loose, but if it's a R&A (Rebuy & Add-on) Tournament for the rebuy period you might want to play a little looser because you can build your stack, if you go bust who care rebuy and get your ass back in the game. In a rebuy you might invest 50 if it's say a 10ra but the prize pool might make the risk worth it since first could take home 10k, I know the poker stars 10ra (10 + 1 with rebuys and add-ons) the prize pool for the night game first take home an average of 10k each tournament… I have never seen a night prize pool less then 8k, $100 to win 8k is very well worth it if you think you have a solid chance of winning the tournament…

So here are some things to consider about when choosing a strategy for a tournament or a ring game: 1. Know what kind of opponents are in the tournament or at that table 2. Realize what your goal is for the game or tournament and strategize accordingly 3. Ask yourself is winning the tournament more important then the money involved? In a ring game realize what you BB/hour goals are… 4. Realize that you can't win every hand but you do need to play each hand you do play creatively so that your hand will not be detected by the better player at the table (ring and tournament you have to consider ALL aspects of players that you are trying to beat.) 5. Play as if you were meant to be the winner of the tournament even early on in the tournament, a hand can make you or break you in a no limit situation, please don't underestimate your ability and your opponent's ability, this could make you a 50th place finisher just outside the money instead of the winner. 6. Simply take into consider every aspect of the game you can think of, this might be the thing that will make you that winner instead of the player that bubbled out…

Till next time ladies and gents, play some poker, work on your game and experience the thrills of playing solid poker. Playing poker is much more then a game to me and must serious poker players, but realize that to a fish it's a game, don't go making fish better then they need to be, if they want to learn they will have to do research on the game like the rest of us…regards pokerfanatic

30. Changing Gears Hand to Hand

I guess I'll start off by names the types of players that you will see around… if you have poker tracker you might already know this but we will go over it anyways…

1. Loose passive (Fish): I think that this one is self explanatory 2. Loose aggressive (Tasmanian Devil): this player is typically aggressive and wild 3. Semi-LP (Calling Station): this player typical will call you down like the poker cop. 4. Semi-LA (?): this player seems that he plays just too many hands or would be TAgg. 5. Tight passive (Rock): If this guy is betting into you, you better have the nuts, otherwise fold 6. Tight aggressive (TAgg) ($$$): this is the type player you want to be

If you look at my rules for poker tracker then you will see more then what I have listed, poker tracker takes this stuff even further then what I intend to, screen shot of my NL rules for PT at bottom.

So let's start of easy, you are playing a bunch of n00bs that don't pay enough attention to what you are doing, changing gears is useless because they won't notice how you are playing anyways. If you are at a table of mixed players typically the better ones don't butt heads to much with each other, the n00bs are easier to make money at… changing gears hand to hand come in play when you ARE playing players that actually pay some attention to how you are playing, you have to do this so they will actually pay you off… lets say you are dealt AA 10 times in lets say 4 hours (that's pretty lucky really given it's 220:1 to hit a named hand on any particular deal). If you are at a table full of people with a memory of how you have played previous hands, then you can't play these 10 hands the same way each time, by the 4th time you will be pegged for that hand and not paid, unless you are bet then you might get action. So the easiest way to play hands differently to get paid of is to bet so that the total will be an average of what you normally would bet on the hand. Lets say you are at that table with my you hold AA you have played it the same the hole time and this is the 4th time you have gotten it and raised preflop the same amount each time but with other hands different amounts, I put you on AA and I call you bet, what do you think I am holding? The flop comes down 6710 rainbow, you bet I raise you… do you know what I have now? Could you get away from you AA? If I have you on AA and I have any middle suited connector with the right pot odds I will call you because those hands have the best odds against AA. By not changing gears here you have gotten yourself in trouble and you might not be able to get off your AA paying my straight, two pair, or whatever I have and am raising with off, the best you sit with a flop like that against me, is I'm raising on my pair with a straight draw.

Ok so lets say that you know I am a player that pays attention to what I'm doing, now for those 10 times you might want to switch up your play more often, slow play it once, play it aggressive another, bet different values, check raise, use different weapons in your arsenal, the more often you switch gears playing the same hand the harder it is to put you on that kind of hand especially if I have seen you play a different hand similar to how you are currently playing. For example, I hold 72o I raise preflop, you have seen me make that raise with AA, KK, QQ, AK, and AQ. Now you have me on that range of hands and you might muck if one of those cards get there… I show you 72o now you have to and the factor in that I am capable of making a bluff raise, which gives you and extra chance you opponent might make a mistake and call when you actually have a hand…

Summary: if you have all weak players at your table, then changing gears might not be as profitable as it would be against strong players. Against solid players you need to change gears and remember how you yourself have played previous hands, that why you can further use changing gears and manipulation to your advantage. Remember weak players don't pay enough attention to realize how you are playing, but solid ones do, it is more profitable to you if you adjust your strategy accordingly, and change gears if necessary. Changing gears is just the act of playing your hand in a different style, such as playing AA aggressive, you can "slow roll" it or play it passive…

31. The Stakes v Competition

Well, I wanted to go over this because I think my material up to this point has covered a wide verity of things at the beginning I focused on freerolls and low buy-in. As I progressed I tried to get into greater more complicated ideas, now we are at a point where I can go back and reflect on some of my points compared to the buy-in.

Level 1: I will start with buyin's $0 to $20, these games typically have bad players in them mixed with a few real solid ones (the solid ones usually make the top 100 constantly in a 2000 person Multi Table Poker Tournament IMO), so my early statements would apply until you get real late in the tournament and you would have to start changing gears more often and playing little bit looser (not saying extremely loose but open your game up a little more) use blind steals and raises to help build your stack once the blinds and antes go up high enough to make it profitable, ONLY steal from the short stakes if you can, if not be very careful what kind of player you are trying to steal from… One thing to remember is to look back and read over my first few posts and adjust as you need to, towards your style… the key to winning is not only playing solid poker but being able to take the information that you have in your arsenal and applying it to your style…

Level 2: $30 to $50 in general has better players in them, but you will still see a few bad ones that have money and want to take there shot, usually the bad ones at this level play about average in a $10 or $20, so the skill level does improve during this level even from $30 to $50 there is a significant difference. An example would be in the first level it's harder to steal the blinds because you usually have at least one big stake that is loose as hell and will call about any bet you make, he just wants to give away his money, I love big stakes like that, but that's not the point, the big stakes at these levels typically will give some thought to calling but might not do it if they think it is a close marginal call… where loose big stakes would call with out considering odds and such. These players typical mid to late in the tournament will surrender there blinds a lot easier then the players typically in the same situations in the level 1 I described above. One thing to remember as you progress up the stakes ladder is to adjust to the KNOW in general that the stake brings with it, you can't go in not taking into account your opponents styles and know in any Multi Table Poker Tournament.

Level 3: $100 to $500 this level is pretty much your online high rollers and very solid Multi Table Poker Tournament players, you will find some of the best in the world of online players playing in these Multi Table Poker Tournaments, If you are playing these levels then either you don't need my advice or you are a straight up whale…

Level 4: this is anything between $500 and $1000 you might run into, I don't know of any personally especially online, but they might be out there, I personally don't keep track of anything above level 3, mainly because you can get some serious sharks in level 3 on up, so unless you have a serious big roll that can handle variance then it might be more profitable to play level 2 or 3…

Level 5: $1,000 to $25,000 you wont find many of these tournaments around online but I have seen a couple SnG's this big, typically you will find these type games in the wsop, wpt, and other MAJOR poker tournaments, If you play these and do well in them why the fu*k aren't you writing a Multi Table Poker Tournament strategy guide?

So as we just seen and most of you probably know as the stakes get higher the competition gets tougher when it comes to Multi Table Poker Tournament's, this my or my not be necessary true for ring games however, I have seen a few fish playing 5-10 no limit online, those type players are referred to as whales, not fish whales, given they are fish with a huge bank roll, I think you can conclude from there where the name comes from… well that's all for now till next time regards pokerfanatic…

But what if I were to tell you that even though the players might seem better the higher the stakes go this might not always be true, some of the players in a $5 Multi Table Poker Tournament play EXATLY the same as players in the $1000+ Multi Table Poker Tournament, money doesn't ALWAYS mean better players so, know what stake you are playing and realize that there might be a couple players that don't fit your first typical thought, more money more "know", I actually was just debating this and a Multi Table Poker Tournament player I highly respect said that, what I have said above my not hold true 100% of the time, so please keep that in mind as well...

32. Heads-Up Play

If you get to this point you have obviously done something right, hell if you make a FT you have done something right now it's learning how to be a closer (closer = player that makes it to the FT and wins). There are some real simple things that I follow when I play HU, Ax goes up in value, and any hand better then a Q7o you probably have the best hand, of course this might not always be true but it's a starting point… you need to loosen you game up 90% from where it was at the beginning of the final table, you need to play a lot of hands and play them very aggressively, you want to control the action in the hands HU don't let your opponent have control if all possible take his play away from him… If this opponent seems to have more skills then you at the HU match then the hands you do play it's probably better to push AI preflop not giving him the chance to out play you after the flop…

Ok since I explained the general principles of HU nl matches, lets look at a couple of example hands preflop and this will further illustrate how the blinds are different and your play need to be different…

Hand1: you are on the button (small blind in a HU game) you look down to find 8s9s, how do you play it?

pkrAns: I would raise any weak tight opponent, call any super aggressive player and call a raise if there is one to see a flop. do you see the difference between the two types of players, weak tight I can push around with almost any hand here my two cards hardly even matter, but a supper aggressor your hand maybe be good but you would rather get at least a little help on the flop before you go completely nuts…

Hand2: you are BB (not the dealer in a HU situation) you look down to find a 72o your opponent has been playing semi aggressively and you know that he'll only raise you if he has a semi decent hand (one that dominates 72o), but you also know he might only limp in 5% of the time looking to trap, well your opponent does exactly what we were talking about completes his blind and limps, How do you play it?

pkrAns: this is an easy one I raise!!! I don't check in this spot because of these reasons he only limps with a hand 5% of the time in this spot, so I have great fold equality on him on top of the fact that even if he has AA I'm only about a 7:1 underdog (little more then this I rounded a lot more like 7.3ish), so you are not in AS shape as one might think even if he has the best of it, so why not take your shot at a stab bluff here, get some balls and raise that hand, if you get action preflop and flop back down and let it go (unless of course you improved).

Hand3: you are on the button, your opponent is supper aggressive (you can just say you are playing someone like me), you look down at the sweetest hand AA, how do you play it?

pkrAns: to most people there answer would be a raise here, me I might raise 50% the time but with a supper aggressive player I'm on limping this hand, that's right SLOW PLAY, you tend to get more action from a slow play HU typically then you would a raise, unless you have been raising the last 20hands in a row then a slow play is right in this case IMO, if you have raised the past 20hands in a row raise again anyways he wont give you credit for that strong a hand if you keep you betting consistent, you change it up all a sudden that's going to almost put a red flag in a solid players face (this guy changed up he didn't raise preflop he trying to trap with a monster? (Maybe you should consider this as a bluff move against a solid player, call then raise on a later round))…

Last thing poker stars has HU matches all the time for as little as $5 if you need practice then go play, no reason not to be a closer when you have made it to a FT…

Well with that this concludes my Multi Table Poker Tournament thoughts I hope it has helped you all, I'd like to site my sources of information:

- Myself of course - Theory of Poker - Tournament Poker 4 Advanced Players - Super System 1 or 2 - Last but probably one of the most important: playing and talking to other players about hands - EXPERIENCE