Starting a Poker Tournament: Top Tips

Starting a poker tournament can be the most difficult decision. Shuffle up and deal! The Texas Hold’em tournament has started, and you have dreams of winning it all. You’ve just got to figure out how to start. Should you be tight and try to grind it out, or should you bully the people at your table? Casino Channel Network has you covered! The truth is that there is no one perfect way to start out a Texas Hold’em tournament. Let’s discuss a few different approaches so you can choose the right one for you in the tournament that you are playing.  

Starting the Poker Tournament

Some people who show up to a poker tournament do not care if they win or lose, they are there strictly to play. These cowboys (or cowgirls) will make big bets with very little and call big bets with even less. It might seem like these people are a dream to have at your table, and they are. However, they also are potential landmines that could blow you up at a moment’s notice. If you have a couple people like this at your table, your best bet is to stay patient. Be tight until things settle down a bit.  

Alternatively, you might be at a table with a bunch of people who only feel comfortable playing pocket aces or kings. If this is the table at which you were lucky enough to be placed try this. Be involved in a lot of pots, and throw your weight around to make these scaredy-cats fold. It is important to note that you shouldn’t push too hard. It is possible that somebody might wake up to aces and catch you with your hand in the cookie jar.

As is the case in life, things are generally not all black or all white. You are probably going to find yourself at a table that is somewhere in between the first and second scenarios.

Perfect Strategies

The strategy that I like to employ most is to play with starting hands that are unexpected but have the potential to turn into monster hands. A perfect example of this is a hand like eight-nine suited. Somebody holding ace-jack will feel like they have you dominated when the flop comes seven-ten-jack. If you do get that dream flop, you will want to slow play your hand and let them wander into your trap. It is probably best not to take a flop with a hand like this if you are facing a big raise, though.  

When the fates smile down on you and you are dealt pocket kings or aces at a full table, it is important to make a substantial raise (four to six times the big blind). This is in order to force out the yahoos that want to see a flop with a king four because it was suited. I feel like I am in the minority with this opinion. However, please do not fall in love with low pocket pairs (nines or less) and even be wary of tens and jacks.

If and When

If you have pocket fours in an all-in situation, it is exceedingly likely that your opponent will have two over cards or have a better pocket pair. With the former, you have a little bit better than a fifty-fifty chance at winning. This is if you are heads up (worse if you are not). With the latter, you only have a measly twenty percent chance to come out victorious.  

Whatever strategy you wind up choosing in starting a poker tournament, I hope you are able to outlast your competition. Try out your luck with CCN, risk free with big rewards.