Multi Table Tournament Guidelines
It is a well known fact that playing a multi table tournament (MTT) offers a player a great return for their investment should the player be able to win the tournament or even place within the top 5 of the final standings.
With this in mind, so many players who play online poker head straight to the tournament tab on their poker room lobby and look to buy into tournaments with the hope that they are able to dominate the playing field and come out with a first place finish.
Its easy to see why so many players like to head for multi table tournament action when you look at some of the tournaments that are on offer across the vast range of online poker rooms that are openly available to players from all over the world, some tournaments offering prize pools of over $1 million in prize money!
But when your thinking about participating in a multi table tournament
you have to realise a number of things in order to keep your play strong and your tournament life in tact.
The first thing that you have to acknowledge is that your not playing cash game poker and so you wouldn't treat the tournament play in the same way that you would at the real money tables because if you were to do so you would find yourself being sent to the spectator area within a short period of time.
So what tips can we offer you as you look to make your fortunes through multi table poker tournaments?
1. Early aggression from a number of players.
Multi table tournaments (MTT) attract a wide range of players and so with so many styles of player all locking horns to battle their way through the large playing field, it won't take long for you to realise that you need to keep a tight hold of your chips or you will find yourself in trouble with a more aggressive or more experienced player.
To defend yourself against being knocked out of a tournament in the early stages you have to think smart about your game and your choice of hands that you are looking to play, so maintaining a tight stance will see that you outlast the players who are leading out with an aggressive tendency.
Okay the aim is to build your stack but do you really want to see your tournament life ended early because of a number of loose and aggressive players who are willing to make a go of any hand?
2. Refrain from blind stealing with poor hands
Although the stealing of blinds is important in any poker situation, multi table tournaments mean that you will always have a full table of players (numbers permitting) and so trying to steal blinds at the early stages with a low power hand will see a large number of players being willing to call your raise and will leave you in trouble for the rest of the hand.
You have to remember that blind stealing does become important once the tournament starts to build in blind level but at the early stages of 10/20 blinds, do you really need to risk your tournament participation over 30 chips with a poor hand?
3. Remember your position
As with any poker game, your position within the action is vital and will help you to determine which hands are playable at what point, for instance you wouldn't look to play a suited ace with a low kicker from early position as your likely to run into a bigger, more powerful hand as the action moves around the table but should you find yourself in the blinds and the action be limited to a small range of players at the table you would be more willing to make the call.
4. Big stacks equal better tournament standing
The aim of a tournament is that you look to continue to build your chip stack as the game unfolds and so you should be looking to increase the value of pots that you are sure your going to win.
The worst thing that could happen to a player is that they are getting to the point where the players are dropping out of the action and the paid places are approaching but you have a chip stack that is too small to sit and wait for the right hands and so you are having to push all in with hands in order to retain enough poker chips to be comfortable.
Take advantage of pot odds and any weaknesses that you are able to identify within your opponents and try to extract as many chips through your information as possible, at the end of the day the winner is the only player with chips left.
5. Allow yourself the time to complete the tournament
We have all done it and any player who says that they haven't is lying. We have bought into a tournament and found that due to our other commitments within the real world we have had to leave a tournament early, even though you could be doing well at the point of you needing to leave.
Make sure that you are able to allow enough time for the tournament to play out, after all what is the point of spending 3 hours building a chip lead to have to place your account into a sit out state and see your chips slowly be eaten away at by the blinds and other players who are more than willing to steal your chips with a simple minimum raise?
6. Obtain information from the players around you
Tournament play is all about picking your battles. If a player at your table is boasting a huge chip stack then you need to be sure that if you are entering into a hand with that player you are happy to place your tournament life at risk.
At the end of the day, should that player put you all in and you show that you have very little in the way of a hand, you will not only lose chips but your participation in the tournament is now complete and your out of the running for a first place finish.
Although you have to carry caution into facing off against players who have built a large stack, you shouldn't ever think that your not going to enter a face off situation with that player purely because they are holding more chips than you.
Simply pick your hand and then make your play, you need to remember that the winner of the tournament will be the last player with chips and so really they are your chips, its just they are still to be taken from that player.
7. Damage limitation
So many players who try to play multi table tournaments see their participation cut short due to a lack of ability to know when to stop making a certain play and lay down their hand.
The best example of this would be when a player is looking to make a bluff but their opponent is simply calling and following you into the following community card.
You have to know when to think that enough is enough and reduce the possible further damage to your chip count and get out of that hand. If they are calling your bets its more than likely that they are holding a hand they regard to be a winning one.
Remember that the majority of bluffs are played while the betting action is being checked around, its very rare to find a player who is looking to make a bluff by calling a number of your bets and then moving in over the top.
If you have a feeling that you might be beaten, get out of the action and regroup your head, there will always be another time.
8. No player is the boss of any table
So many players who are building up a chip lead on a table look to stamp their authority on other players around the table, placing high value bets into the pot so that you have to call more than you would have liked to.
Players like this are only doing this to work on the basis that you fear them and the fact that you want to keep out of their way in order to progress in the tournament.
The fact that they are increasing the bets is something that you should be thankful for, instead of having a fear for the player who is doing this, you should be ear marking them as your next victim.
Get the right hand and then simply slow play them, let them lead out the betting and then when your ready and sure you have a hand your willing to risk on, move all in and see just how true that player is.