Yes, we know — yet another guide on how to prepare for a tournament. However, let’s be real for a moment here: can you ever be too prepared for a tournament? Can you ever get to a point where your poker game is absolutely perfect from every angle? If you can, you should definitely stop and tell us how you did it, because we would sure love to know how you achieved that. For the rest of us, we need all of the help that we can get to be the best poker players we can be. In fact, it’s they poker players that constantly read guides on different techniques in poker that ultimately become the most successful.
It’s the ones that assume that they already know it all that end up becoming the ones that bust out first. Coincidence? Perhaps, but we don’t think so. It’s better to just push forward and get things done rather than assume that there’s no way that you can make anything happen. Tournaments are going to be a test of not only skill, but also confidence. There’s a psychological game going on as well, and if you’re not cool under pressure it’s going to be obvious. Bad calls here and there are something that you have to deal with, but the reality is that you don’t want to just assume that you will never have anything to worry about — it’s just a matter of moving forward and committing to doing great things rather than just assuming that everything will be just fine as long as you can wing it. Trust us, there are already going to be a lot of players out there trying to wing it, and this means that you will need to think strategically.
Studying the players that you are at the table with is always a good thing. You will need to think about the way they are playing right at the moment, as well as their current chip stack. You should never forget smart bankroll management procedures. Far too often new tournament players get caught in the moment, and that’s when they start making decisions that they will ultimately regret. For example, let’s say that you sit down at the table and first time out the gate, someone goes all in on the pre flop. You have 98o. Is that really a hand that you want to risk your entire stake on in the tournament? Not really. Even if you do manage to hit something, there are just too many other combinations that could beat you and then some. While we don’t want to assume that someone has a super hand just because they go all in, it would be better to assume that they just could be dangerous enough to hit something and you are the one that has to pay for that. Don’t ever be afraid to fold while everyone else is jumping all in. Think of it this way — that’s just fewer players that you will have to deal with in the long run. We’ve seen tables where half the table went all in and busted out in the same breathe, leaving behind maybe two or 3 people after all of the shaking stopped. People can play emotionally and this causes them to play wildly, all in the hopes that they’re going to hit something long enough to knock you out and create a clearer path to the money.
You cannot get emotional. We know that we say this a lot, but the last thing that you really want to do is get so worked up that you don’t take care of the things that matter. That’s not a good idea at all — you tend to lose track of poker theory when it’s all about just getting over on someone else.
Ultimately, it will come down to this: who is more caring of poker theory? Who is more emotional than the other person? Who will be willing to take big risks and go all in when they really do have a good hand? You’re going to have a lot of things on your plate, but the reality is that if you even give half of these things the attention they deserve, there’s nothing stopping you from going all the way to victory — a big pot of cash!