3 Common Rookie Hold'em Tournament Mistakes
Poker game strategies against the casino don't always work in tournaments.
Money won in poker tournaments is different to that won in cash games. Dependent on the payout schedule, it's often the top 10-15% of finishers in a tournament that will earn a profit, whereas as a player's hand is affected on every single hand in a cash game.
Whilst the late payout jumps in tournaments are important and should alter your strategy, the most significant difference between tournaments and cash games concerns the blinds and antes. In a cash game, the blinds remain static, whereas in a tournament they increase from the very start.
Players not so familiar with tournament strategies sometimes fail to appreciate how important it is to increase blinds and antes. To play a tournament game as if it were a cash game often leads to a bad result.
This is why it is always recommend that you get as much practice in as possible before you enter a tournament. There are several online casinos that offer you to do such. For example, you can play poker with Paddy Power online to build up your experience.
Here are three more common mistakes made by rookies in tournaments:
1. Playing too many hands
The need for patience in tournaments is often overlooked by the lesser experienced players. It can be easy for a rookie to make this mistake in the early rounds too where there chances to lose a significant number of chips whilst few opportunities to win big.
Rookie tournament players can often regard deep starting stacks as a license to play a higher percentage of hands. The problem with this is when you start involving yourself with mediocre holdings or 'trouble hands'.
Thus, inexperienced players often call raises with average hands rather than re-raise with them. Therefore, patience is a virtue during the first few rounds of a tournament.
2. Avoiding Blind Battles
One area where inexperienced players can often stumble are the 'blind battles' that appear frequently throughout all stages of a tournament.
These are hands in which players open from late positions and a player in the blinds (big or small) defends with a call or raise.
During the first couple of rounds in a tournament, before the antes kick in, the blinds aren't very much relative to players' stacks. However, this doesn't mean it's not worth the occasional opening from a late position.
Defending your blinds against raises is something else. For most hands, you might be better off letting go, but don't rule out a call with a speculative hand or a three-bet with something stronger.
Getting involved in the odd blind battle helps to shape your image. It could make your opponents less inclined to attempt to steal your blinds later when the stakes get higher.
3. Value Betting
With deep stacks rookie players can often fail to get the maximum value from their strong hands because they're raising too small. By the same token, they may also call big value bets too loosely.
When the stacks are deep, the lesser experienced players can often fail to consider the difference between a medium and large value bet.
For example, with a seemingly deep 2,000-chip starting stack, such players making these calls aren't appreciating the importance of losing 200 chips instead of 100. In the same way, rookie players aren't as clever about their own value bet. They may bet 150 into a pot of 300 on the river with a strong hand when a bet of 250 might also get called.
Just a couple of mistakes of this nature and suddenly your stack isn't so deep.