Tournament poker play is a completely different type of animal when setting goals. The first thing to consider is the number of poker players in the tournament and the number of spots that pay. All too often you’ll see the poker player that sets their goal on 1st place. While easy to dream about, it is in reality very difficult in a multi-table game to get to the final table let alone the top spot. The players who play too aggressively to get to first place usually end up getting knocked out early on a hand they shouldn’t have played. Only once in a blue moon will these people get in the money. However, sometimes with the proper luck, their style of play can work.
The most difficult thing for this type of overly aggressive player is slowing down their play when they should.
Too many times we see the guy who gets way, way ahead only to give it all back and lose down the road. Your goal should always be to get to the first spot that pays money back, then to get to the next higher spot that pays money back and so on. In other words, play one step at a time. Most times, in No Limit multi-table play, you can just sit for the first hour or so, not play a single hand, and already be at the top 50%. Look at it this way, at this point you already half way there and you didn’t do a thing. The key thing we believe in multi-tournaments is, at some point you will need to get lucky, usually about 2-3 times to be in the money. 3-4 times to make the final table, and 5-10 times to win it all. However, if your skill and your patience are with you, you will know when is the best time to risk it all is. Our theory is, “Always go out with a top hand” That means, make someone else out luck you. It is easier to sleep at night if you went all in with a top four hand and lost rather than J-10, 3-3, or something of that nature. To summarize, most times the best course of action in multi-tournaments is not playing at all but just sitting there, folding, and waiting for the other players to knock themselves out, and waiting for the top 10 hand to come. Remember that your goal is to get to the next higher spot and that is it. In fact, it is theoretically true that if you could always survive the blinds, you would automatically win or at worst take 2nd place depending on the maximum blind structure. More Poker articles.