If you were primarily a cash game player (CG player) during your poker career, it may be understandably difficult to make the transition to tournaments. the hours are longer, the flexibility is less and the number of frustrating days is infinitely greater.
Not only do the players who make the transition have to deal with the emotional struggles in which they spend weeks or even months with empty hands, but many of the strategies that were wildly profitable for them at the cash tables can suddenly completely become ineffective or even terrible when used in a tournament.
That’s why we’ve decided to put together a list of three simple tips that cash game players should focus on in the transition to tournament play, hoping they can help reduce and reduce friction during this time Keep your balance safe until you get a grip on this exciting poker format.
Study Your Stacks
One of the most obvious shortcomings that all pure CG players have when transitioning to tournaments is their inexperience when playing short and even medium stack sizes. Although they are often more familiar with lower stack sizes than their “usual” counterparts, they have not played often enough at Big Blind Poker under 100 and especially at Big Blind Poker below 50, unless they are a very special breed of Short stack CG players. However, for the vast majority of players who understandably have not studied this aspect of the game extensively, it can be extremely difficult to navigate in mid- to late-game tournaments. And unfortunately, it’s nice to be able to offer groundbreaking short advice in just a few paragraphs, but the truth is that with this aspect of beginner poker strategy, there really is no substitute for steering time in the right direction See for yourself a picture of hundreds of hand histories using one of the many free stock calculator programs and apps that are now available.
When it comes to it, you should not spend too much time or effort remembering the exact ranges of your hands, or finding out the exact ranges of your opponents when doing calculations. Instead, use a regular rep and take mental notes if anything is beyond your expectations. Over time, you will probably find that your understanding of low-stack areas is forming into a kind of mental zone where you may not know the exact amount of equity that you have at some point, but you will be extremely have good idea for everyone except the closest points. These are the least important hands because there is so little equity to be had compared to a point where a decision has a massive equity advantage.
Increase Good Aggression
Inexperienced tournament players with CG background often spend their first time in the scene, shocked by the aggressiveness of their opponents and the type of hands they show up at the showdown. Many will call their opponent weak or consider him a “donkey”, although the same opponents understand the nature of tournament poker better and realize that there is very little time to waste and that time is less. Edges must be much more aggressive be hunted.
This goes back to learning the lower stack sizes, because once you do that, you’ll notice how much wider you can be in a number of common tournament situations, such as: B. Blind vs. Blind In the mid to late stages of a tournament where many top players play almost two cards against all but the toughest opponents.
This also means when playing flops and beyond. Due to the nature of the tournaments, you can not allow your stack to shut down, resulting in half-hearted attempts at bluffing, which will cost you a handful of big blinds all the time. Because while you can always upgrade your stack in a CG and continue your strategy, your options and your stack will be used up in a tournament, and you’ll eventually be forced into a slight delay with only a handful of big blinds that never seems to work.
Minimize Bad Aggression
Just as there are many places in tournament play that require more aggression, there are also some who urge you to take your foot off the gas and wait for the right moment. This seems to be a strength for this. This is a typical CG player, but may be a danger to many players still learning how to play poker tournaments. This is because after endless poker videos and articles preaching aggression (as in this case!), Many players shoot out of the goal, determined to collect a final table stack early and probably hours before the money on the sidelines are located . The key is then to counterbalance aggression in the right places, recognizing that tournaments are rarely won too soon and that, for the most part, survival is the most important thing. This means that apart from rebuy tournaments, which for the majority of players, especially newbies who move from cash games, a good strategy is to keep the tight hand areas early, but aggressively play them and try squeeze (or steal) your opponents so much value without taking unnecessary risks.
Work on these three concepts for tournament strategy: the nuances associated with a variety of poker stack sizes, especially with big blinds below 25, the optimal times for increased aggression and the appropriate time and manner of switching from a tight strategy for the early game If you choose a looser and more aggressive late-game game, you’re well on your way to transitioning between poker cash games and tournaments.