Posts Tagged ‘positive expected value’

How do you win Poker Tournaments?

Saturday, May 12th, 2012

Now the title of this post might sound cheesy because there’s no simple way to win poker tournaments. But even with this being said, many beginning players wonder exactly how one goes about winning a bigger multi-table tournament. Now we can’t give you a step-by-step analysis of how to win a poker tournament, but here are a few tips you should keep in mind.

Realize how big of a factor Field Sizes play

Many poker players will consistently play tourneys with 2,000 or 3,000 entrants, and wonder why they haven’t won after several hundred tournaments. The main thing to realize is how rare it is to win a tourney this big – no matter how good you are. So if you’re looking to win poker tournaments, the obvious starting point lies with smaller field sizes such as 200-300 players.

Make EV Plays, focus on the Win

While a lot of people want to win tournaments, their play suggests that they’re merely hoping to cash. For example, when they are near the bubble and hoping to sneak into a cash, they’ll pass up a good steal chance in fear that doing so could cripple their stack. However, when the blinds are rising and you’re letting positive expected value plays pass you by out of fear, you really don’t have much of a chance to win. That said, realize that by making smart plays over and over, you’ll miss out on sneaking into the money sometimes, but greatly improve your overall chances of winning tournaments.

Understand the Variance

Even when you make great plays and enter smaller tournaments, you’ll experience a fair amount of negative variance. After all, the luck factor in poker ensures that even the best of players will go for long stretches without winning a tournament. That said, the best thing you can do is keep your cool and continue learning so you stay on track.

From an overall sense, winning poker tournaments requires a combination of skilled play and running good, so don’t get frustrated if wins don’t come right away.