I could write a whole library’s worth of books dealing with poker MTT strategy. The situations that can arise in a poker tournament are almost infinite, so there’s no shortage of spots to analyze. That said, there are a couple of key points every player should know about MTT strategy that I’ll outline quickly here.
Playing a solid MTT game comes down to adaptation. You’ve got to be able to adapt — to the game structure, to the different blind levels, and to your opponents. If you can play a dynamic game that takes these three factors into account, you can win poker tournaments.
Set mining can be incredibly profitable if done right. One of the biggest misconceptions in poker, particularly online, is that the path to success begins with set mining. This is completely incorrect, however, because set mining can surely be profitable, but it can also be a great way to lose money. Most poker players don’t know how to properly determine when is and isn’t a good time to set mine and as a result they will often find themselves investing way too much money in situations where there expected returns are low. Look at it this way, would you pay $10 to win $100 if your odds were 1:20?
3 bets pre flop are an incredibly profitable move that require well placed aggression, but their profitability will be eliminated if you play the hand poorly post flop. The first step in 3 betting is to determine why you are 3 betting. A blind 3 bet is the equivalent of burning money. Your intention should either be to extract max value from the other player or knock them out of the pot entirely. If your reasoning is somewhere in the middle it is probably not a good idea to 3 bet. 3 betting ranges are debatable and dependent upon a wide variety of factors, but that is not the aim of this article. Profitability in a pre flop 3 bet is often found in the post flop action, as odd as it may sound.
Wet boards are fantastic if they connect with your hand, but they can be troublesome if they miss. A wet board would best be described as one that is “connected.” A connected board will generally have cards that all play a similar role in creating a bigger hand. For example, a flop of 9s Ts Js would be considered extremely wet as the cards are not only perfectly connecting for a straight but they are the perfect cards for a flush as well. The more draw heavy that a board is the more wet it is.
Many poker players will say that they think pocket jacks are the toughest hand to play in all of poker. While they can certainly be a challenge to play, you should always remember that pocket jacks are still one of the best possible starting hands in all of Texas Hold’em and are therefore very profitable. Pre flop play can be a bit of an issue with pocket jacks, and it is perhaps the toughest stage. Some players advocate 4 betting pre flop with pocket jacks, others think they aren’t even worth a 3 bet, and still others will fold to 3 bets. The value of pocket jacks pre flop will always come down to variables specific to your table, be it the limits you are at or the opponents you are facing. The post flop play should remain fairly easy as you will be able to simply adjust to what is on the board.
Most cash game tables will not run at full capacity for very long. There will be inevitable periods where you are forced to play against just a few opponents. Playing at a short table will change the dynamics of the game greatly and will call for adjustments to your strategy. Many poker players disregard the fact that the game they were playing 5 minutes ago is now much different.
Metagame is a concept that has really grown in popularity over the past few years. Metagame has always been a vital part of poker, many players just didn’t realize they were using it. Any time you try to analyze your play or someone else’s play based on thought processes you are using what is called metagame. The game aspect of it stems from the fact that it truly is a battle, match, or game played between the minds. Poker is all about outwitting the other players and this is why metagame is so important.
Full Tilt Poker has changed the face of online poker by introducing a new breed of game: Rush Poker. As if the pace of 6-max games weren’t already blazingly fast, the team at Full Tilt has taken it upon themselves to turn up the speed.
Sitting at a Rush Poker table is kind of like hitting the highway at 150 miles per hour. Except when you’re driving a car, you don’t have a chance to win some cash. Rush Poker gives you both the thrill and the money; it’s a revolutionary new way to play.
Rush Poker: What Is It?
Some poker players try way harder than they need to when trying to take down a pot. Even though small bets will be just as effective as huge bets in certain spots, some players will throw caution to the wind and shove their stack all in anyway. Of course this is far from an optimal strategy, but it is great news when your opponent finds it to be the smart thing to do. The key to exploiting these types of players is letting them do what they want. The worst thing you can do would be to stop them from wasting their money.
Double and triple barrels are extremely important skills that will help poker players achieve success without the need for good cards. A double barrel is the second attempt that a player will make to take away a pot. This second attempt to win a pot will come on the turn because the flop would be considered your first opportunity. The word barrel is representative of the fact that you are trying to fire into the pot with nothing. You want to barrel the other player(s) out of the hand because your hand has no showdown value.