Poker players who prove to be successful in cash games of No Limit Hold em Poker still have a tough time in being successful poker tournament players. The skills that you use for cash games are not not necessarily applicable when you join poker tournaments. A poker player must have a mind set fit for the tournament and also think of strategies to get to the final table and win.
Poker Chips and Payout
Every player in a poker tournament will start with equal amount of chips. The chips do not have a cash value except if you are playing in cashout poker tournaments. In these tournaments, losing your chips means you are eliminated. When you are eliminated in the early stages of the tournament, you will not be bringing home any cash. When you make it into the latter stages, there will be certain cash payouts depending on your position. A poker tournament is all about survival.
The payout structure is simple for poker tournaments, the farther you get into the poker tournament, the bigger cash prize you might get.
There is also a tournament bubble where everyone goes tighter than usual because someone needs to be eliminated. You can take advantage of this by opening up to rake in chips from very passive poker players. Go aggressive and steal blinds and antes. This way you will be able to build your stack for the latter rounds.
The blinds will rise as the tournament goes. This is the structure so the tournament can end with players forced to play conservatively. You will be in very good shape if you can take advantage of the very conservative players and steal some blinds every round.
Style of Play
Tournaments will involve more aggressive players compared to cash games. The ideal strategy will be to go tight-aggressive to have a good chance of reaching the final table.
How to Handle Downswing
Like my dad said you can not win them all. That same adage is true with poker, there will be sessions where you will lose more money and there is nothing much you can do to avoid it.
We can not deny that poker really requires a lot skills but it also a ton of luck. The equation of winning has a big chunk relying on the luck you have when you sit down and play a session of poker. For a longer stretch, poker players will somehow admit that luck really gets in the way. You got a pair of Kings but when the cards are shown, you didn’t get any better but your opponent with pair 7s was able to make it a quad. Now what do you call that?
When you play on cash tables you need to be prepared to lose two or three buy ins or maybe it is really bad luck that you will not win a tournament even you’re a regular player. A streak of loses may come, maybe worse than the 2 to 3 buy ins we are saying here. There will be days that you just get bad cards. All day.
Big downwings are completely out of our control. Downswings are downswings and no matter how you try to adjust, there will be times that things just get worse and you end up wasting a ton of money.
Now what do you do with a big downswing. I guess we can be pretty honest with our answer – Nothing.
All you can do is take a week long off from the poker table just to help you get out of the negative psyche the series of losses brought to your game. The time out can help you get a fresh start. Then you will play the way you want it, the way you know how to.