You played home games with your friends regularly and made a decent profit week after week. You think that the game is easy and you can make a lot of money playing in real live tournaments. You think you are better than these guys you see on television and now ready to become a millionaire. However, you soon will realize when you first start playing in a live tournament is that it’s harder than it seems. The average player is not your friend Chris from work, these players are there to make money. They will eat you alive and make you want to quit poker before you even start. So how is Live tournament poker different from home game poker. It’s the experience that these players already have and they have seen more hands than you have. So how can you beat the game when you are first going into your first live tournament? Here are 10 things that you should do in order for you to have a better chance to cash or win the whole thing.
10 Things you need to do in order to be successful in live tournaments
- Read a poker book – There are many poker books out there that will help you better your game and help you decide on how to play certain poker hands in certain positions.
- Learn the Lingo – You should know what other players are talking about when they are calling out hands like American Airlines, Hockey Sticks, Broadway. They are not referring to booking a flight to Vegas or going to see a Broadway show in New York. They are saying that they had two aces for American Airlines and they had a straight from Ace – 10 with Broadway. The lingo will help you know what hands people are playing when they told you that they had that hand or folded that hand.
- Money – You should play with what you can afford to lose and this will help keep pressure off you when making tough decisions. If your playing with your last dollar you will be making folds that you normally wouldn’t.
- Observe the Table – When you first sit down at the table you should be playing close attention to how people are stacking chips, how they are dress, how they talking to one another. People who are regulars tend to be very talkative. People who play a good amount of poker know how to play with their chips. Also when people dress in certain way it can also give a tell that they play a good amount of poker. This information will help you be more cautious with them when you are in the same pot as them.
- Be relax – Don’t go into a poker game when you have a million things to do that day. It will make you not play your best poker. You want to go into a tournament relax and comfortable.
- Eat – You don’t to go into any tournament with an empty stomach. Tournaments can last a long time and when people don’t eat and are hungry, bad things happen. Don’t be the guy eating at the table and trying to play at the same time. It slows down the game.
- Have a plan – Make sure you go in there and have a plan of attack. Are you going to be playing fast to create a loose image and then tighten up later as blinds go up. Or are you going to play only a certain type of hands. Make a plan so you won’t go in there reckless playing every hand trying to catch every draw. You will be in the parking lot no time.
- Know your tournament structure – Don’t go in there and not know how many chips you get and how long the blinds are. You want to know these things so that you can plan for a long day or a short day. You want to plan for when you need to push or you can take it easy and fold more often than not.
- Learn the players – If you are going to play in more than one live tournament you better start learning your players. See what their tendencies are and what they like to play and how they play it. You will gather this information while watching them or being knocked out by them. It will help later on when you face them again.
- Keep your cool – Remember these players aren’t your friends. They are there to make money and to take chips from you. It is you against everyone in that tournament. Players will try to get under your skin. You will lose hands that you were suppose to win. You just need to account for this and not go on TILT. When you’re on TILT you go from Hamptons to the projects in like 1-2 hands.
All that you can do in poker is play well and hope for the best. Good luck in your live poker games. May the poker gods be with you. 🙂