MTT Poker Tournament Strategy

Posted by Charles, June 30, 2013


mtt poker tournament strategy

If you've won a few sit-and-go poker tournaments online and you're ready to move to the next level, you might be ready to try a multi-table tournament next. At the SNG level, you're used to sitting at a single table with one small group of opponents - nine, or maybe even six. In an MTT, you might instead be staring down hundreds of foes. Thousands, even.

It might seem daunting, but your approach to playing good poker is more or less the same - just make the best decisions you can, one hand at a time.

It's common to feel a bit lost at first if you're just starting out as a multi-table tournament player. But here's a brief overview of MTT poker tournament strategy that should help considerably.

Play cautiously at first
Most multi-table tournaments start you off with a huge stack of chips and tiny blinds. You might have 3,000 chips in your virtual stack with a big blind of just 20, for example. In this scenario, you shouldn't feel compelled to play many hands - there's no reason to put yourself at risk for very little gain. Don't hesitate to fold a lot of hands and wait for monsters. Take the first few rounds to survey the table and examine the players you're up against. Knowing their styles might come in handy later.

Pace yourself
If there are 1,000 players in your tournament, you're likely in for a long, long day. You need to pace yourself both in terms of your poker play and your physical and emotional state. Poker-wise, try not to get carried away playing a certain style. If you have a deep stack and the table is soft, you can play aggressively, while you also might tighten up in tougher situations. Be willing to adapt. As for the mental game, step away from the computer and take a few deep breaths. Eat a healthy meal. Go for a walk on breaks. Tournaments can be grueling, so do what it takes to stay sane.

What's your bubble strategy?
If you survive to the late rounds of a tournament, you need to have a strategy for when you're "on the bubble" - say, among the final 19 players left when only 18 are paid. There are two possible approaches. You can fold every hand in sight, coasting into the final 18 with no risk, or you can get aggressive, bullying those at the table who choose the cautious route. Your choice depends on your goals. Are you content just to cash, or do you want the money and glory that comes with winning the whole thing? If you're playing to win, you might have to take some more risks.

Get aggressive late
If your ultimate goal is to win the tournament - and hey, whose isn't? - then you need to become more aggressive sooner or later. No one ever folded their way to a World Series bracelet. If you want to win, you have to knock people out. Aggression isn't blind, though - you have to make smart decisions about picking your spots. Know who can be bullied and who can't. Think about your position, your stack size, and how you compare to your opponents. Get aggressive when you need to - it might pay off.

Even if you're not ready to win the WSOP tomorrow, getting your feet wet with multi-table poker tournaments can be a lot of fun. Go online and try one today.


The image was taken by Notwist and is used under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 Unported license.

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