To compete for big money at the global poker tournaments, you need to be an absolute professional with years of experience, because the competition is tighter than the current job situation. Competition is so tight that even pro players struggle to stay afloat. A lot of tips can be seen when it comes to winning in tournaments like these. Some may be better than others but try to get as much as possible. Here are a few tips that can help you compete better at competitions like these.
Play In More Than One Poker Room
There are some operators that have cornered nearly the entire poker market; yes we’re looking at you Stars and 888! However, for you to become a really good pro poker player, you have to register to more poker rooms than just the two juggernauts we mention above. Use the internet, do your research and sign up to even the smaller operators as well. These operators often run more frequent tournaments with low buy-ins, have better free chip deals (bonuses) than the giants, and to be perfectly honest; they take better care of their players.
You will need a Stars account to participate in the satellite tournaments for the big, famous live tournaments like the Asian Pacific Poker Tour, but beyond their global tournaments, you will have just as much fun, better chances of winning and a smaller pool of fish with the “not-so-famous” operators and poker rooms. To win that final live table with millions in the pot, you need thousands of hours of practice. Having several player accounts will give you the hours needed and increase your confidence since you can quickly become a shark when you’re playing in a small pond.
Most professional poker players bet more preflop, i.e. on the first betting stage more often than others. This aggressive move is based on a general rule of thumb in poker saying “Open small and often”. This way, you can keep getting considerable amounts without losing much and even if you lose, too much will not be lost because it is the starting stage. The small blind can be expected to pay back with 15% of hands, the big blind leaving 40%.
Defend the Big Blind
More recently, poker players are stressing on defending a big blind if you have one. This is to prevent the other players from raising too soon and spoil the chance of an extremely generous payback.
However, it must be noted that developing a foolproof defending range is close to impossible because of the infinite post-flop scenarios and board run-outs, but it is important to defend for as long as humanly possible.
Professional poker players do not bluff carelessly; they put in a lot of thought before doing so. Some of the things that must be thought about before raising a blind are
- Whose range it affects the most
- Whose hand is the most nutted
- How opponents might be valuing your hand
- How you value your opponent’s hand
This helps you devise a strategy without doing much work. Creating a game plan within a very short time frame requires skill, keen observation skills and a lot of experience.
The player needs a strategy for each and every contingency that is thrown at them, be it preflop, post-flop, on the flop or on the turn. The two main questions that need to be raised is
- What is to be done if the opponent raises, and
- What turn cards need to be barrelled
The Rock Paper Scissors Analogy
Poker can be seen as an advanced version of Rock, Paper, Scissors with the three items being cards, chips and position. To put it simply, position beats cards; cards beats chips and chips beat position.
It does not matter how good your cards are if you are in a bad position. So it is important to know the position when playing the hand and how the player needs to proceed.
It does not matter how many chips you have if you cannot push someone with a heavy hand out, but do not bet when they have a larger number of chips because it is low risk for them, and it can make you lose position if you lose.