* You’ll all know the poker evergreen ‘stick with your read’. In tournaments, just as in other poker games, it’s important to also ‘stick with your tactics’. If you start a tournament with certain tactics, don’t abandon because you fear an early elimination. Somebody who changes his tactics every time he’s in dire straits is an early victim for all other players at the table.
* A lot of players play a premium pocket pair very tight agressive preflop to protect their hand. There’s another reason for you to make this play: players with AK might throw their money in preflop, against which you’re of course a big favorite with AA or KK. However if they miss the flop, you won’t make any more money against them.
* An important tournament move is of course the all-in on a good draw. Take into account however, that an important reason to make this move is the possibility to take the pot right there, so you don’t have to make your draw. So be careful of making this move after your opponent has already committed himself to the pot, because the only way to win that pot will be to make your draw in that case.
* Sometimes it can be very profitable to slowplay a set. For example: you raise it up preflop with 64 suited preflop to mix things up. The flop comes 44K. Now look at the texture of this board; besides the fours there’s also a King on the board. So if you bet the flop, they will put you on that King and it’s not likely that you’re gonna make more money with this huge hand.
* When playing multi-table tournaments, it’s best to play ABC poker during the first hour. After that period, you have some kind of idea of how your opponents play. Besides, you can mix your own play up USING your own image which you’ve built up during this first hour.
* If you are sitting on one of the blinds with a good (suited) Ace and the button opens the pot with a raise, it’s better to raise than just smoothcall. If you call, your hand is going to be very hard to play after the flop. If you raise, you are in command during the hand.
* Take your image in consideration when playing certain hands. For example, if you were having a good run and have been raising with a lot of premium hands, pay attention when you play a hand like 33 in late position. You have an aggressive image at this point and don’t want to get reraised with a hand like this.
* If you’re in the final phase of a tournament (and most likely not deepstack anymore, considering the high blinds), you better fold the mediocre suited connectors preflop in an early position. Those hands are perfectly suited for situations where you can win a lot of big blinds in a pot with a lot players. Those situations don’t arise that much in this stage of a tourney.
* If you are in the ‘bubble stage’ of a tournament with a decent stack, use it. Try to play VERY tight aggressive preflop (with a good hand selection) and you will finish without much problems in the money and will be able to fight for tournament victory without becoming shortstacked. If you’ll just wait it out till you’ll be in the money without playing too many hands, you won’t be making too much profit in the long run because you’ll be eliminated a lot of times just after the bubble.
* If the tournament is still in its early blind levels, be sure to make BIG preflop raises with your premium starting hands, especially in deepstack tournaments. If you raise it three times the big blind in a regular tournament, make it four or even five times in a deepstack tournament.
* Suppose you’re in a limping pot and you flop two pair on a paired board, for example: you hold 68 and the flops comes TT6. If somebody bets into you, consider making the minimum raise here. This way you gain pot control and it looks very suspicious to your opponent.
* A last tip, especially for online poker: if you raised preflop and you are being minraised on the flop by some amateur, don’t expect it to be some kind of advanced move by this guy: he most likely just hit a monster.
*If somebody makes a minimal or other small reraise preflop (in position), it’s most likely this player has either AA or KK. This way, he tries to isolate only one opponent he wants to take a flop against.
*If you flop a (low) flushdraw in position on a paired flop: ALWAYS bet it. In this spot, it’s all about what you can represent (so also a flopped set) AND you immediately acquire the information you need from your opponent when he calls you.
*If you dó flop a set on a paired board and the preflop raiser bets into you, you have to take a good look at the texture of the board to see whether you can just call this bet (are there any and how many draws out there?). Otherwise it’s possibly better to raise.
I have some tips for you, concerning situations where there isn’t much out there on the board:
* There’s a minraise preflop in front of you and you call with a (small) suited ace. On the flop you hit your kicker on a flop filled with rags. If the preflop raiser makes a continuation bet on this board, you should make a small raise here. If the turn comes another blank you should bet big here. Probably you’ll take the pot right here, but there is a good chance that your opponent is holding a mediocre pocket pair here when he flatcalls you. That’s why it’s so important in this spot to bet the river (by another likely to be blank). You don’t want to check here because you’re kinda scared and lose against such a pocket pair.
* Pocket jacks: always a difficult hand to play, ask Norman Chad about it. If there’s a preflop (big) raise and call in front you, I think you can still call with this hand, but I think raising isn’t a good play in this case (in a deepstack game). Of course you can hit your jack on the flop, but also if the flop comes low cards, it’s a good play to shove there: you can also represent a loose preflop call (depending on your image) and your opponent with a better overpair is most likely not willing to play for whole his stack with just a pair. So early position can be an advantage in this case.
* It’s an unraised pot and you happen to have flopped top pair (top kicker) on, again, a flop full of rags. One of the blinds leads out with a small bet. This can be another good moment for a minraise: this way you’ll acquire information about the strength of your opponent’s hand and they will be suspicious about your hand.