Strategy tip: Playing live tourneys

teampro-thumb.JPGWhen playing in a live tourney that has a good structure, this would be a strategy that I would apply: assuming that there are many amateurs in the field, I really like to play small ball.

The reason for this is that I will be able to be in many spots where I just have way the best of it. So I don't want to risk losing a lot of chips when I feel I have small edges. An example of this would be to flat a raise when you have ace-king. Many times your opponent will be dominated and if you reraise you would be making them fold. Now the times when they have a big pair, you might get reraised, or even if they call you are making the pot bigger and putting more of your chips at risk vs flatting the raise, keeping the pot small and giving yourself a chance to win a very nice pot if say your opponent has a weak ace and the ace hits the flop.

These tourneys are not won on Day 1. Patience is what is needed. Another benefit with this is how your table image will be for the late levels of the day. You now have credit to three-bet when the blinds are big without a big hand and just take it down.

Here is an interesting hand that happened to me late on Day 1 in a WPT tourney. Four players limped, I raised on the buttong with 7♦8♦. The big blind called, as did all the limpers. The flop was A♦6♦2♦. I flopped the flush. The big blind leads out. The other players fold. I raise it, and the big blind calls.

The turn paired the two. The big blind checked, I bet, and the big blind shows K♦5♦ for the nut flush...and open folds. I couldn't believe it, but one reason he did was because of the credit I earned throughout the day. He came to the decision I wasn't bluffing. Thirty minutes had gone by, and he finally asked me in front of the table if I would tell him what I had. I said I wouldn't tell him what I had, but promised him i wasn't bluffing.


He thanked me and said he thought I flopped a set of sixes. Having your table image as someone who is not bluffing in the late levels is a huge benefit. This is where I like to make my move to really build my stack. You will also know by this time the players who are willing to make good lay downs and the players who are stubborn. So you can pick and choose your spots carefully, and with a little luck you will have accumulated a lot of chips and have put yourself in a good position to get to the final table.

I hope this was helpful to you.

Follow Chad on Twitter: @Downtownchad

Chad Brown
@PokerStars in PokerStars news