If there’s one thing that everyone wants to do, it would be to finish “in the money” for a poker tournament. Believe it or not, this isn’t some mystery that will never be solved. It’s possible to actually finish in the top positions of a poker tournament — even when the field size is quite vast.
Remember that when there’s a big pot, there’s going to be a lot of players. That’s like assuming that everyone is going to be as good as Doyle Brunson — not even close. You will need to weed out the players that are only chasing the pot. They don’t really grasp the fundamentals of poker, and they’re certainly not going to be a threat to you. Even if you just shove them a few times, they’re going to eventually fold. Someone will take their chips, and the world will keep on turning.
If you want to finish “in the money”, there’s a few things that you need to keep in mind.
Pot & card odds. Remember calculating those pesky pot and card odds? Well, they definitely play a role in the world of poker tournaments. You want to always make sure that you’re taking calculated risks. Sure, that might mean that you end up running out of chips and busting out. However, in more cases than not, you will be able to actually win more pots because you weighed your odds. Not every hand that sounds like a monster really is a monster, another mistake that newbies tend to make. However, when the pressure is high, many veterans often end up making rookie mistakes that cost them in the long run.
Poker is all about what you make of it. If you don’t end up finishing in the money, take time to look back on the way you played. Where you stressed out? Did you let little things affect you in a big way? That’s one of the top things that you will need to avoid if you really want to see any type of results from your tournaments.
If you’re really trying to focus, keep the amount of conversation to a minimum. When the stakes are really high, you’ll find that only the newbies are really going to be talking. That’s the group that’s usually the most likely to chatter instead of concentrating on the game itself.
That’s okay though – you can bust them out with ease and then move on to the more serious players.
In the beginning rounds of a tournament, it’s best to step out of the way and let other players run themselves into the ground. Don’t take big risks because you will not finish in the money. It’s better to step out of the way at the beginning and then attack hard when it counts.
Don’t give up — even if you don’t win your first tournament, you have a long poker career to keep learning how to crush it!