With SCOOP 2019 complete, it’s time to get back to the daily grind. Whatever your game of choice, you can make a good start with the help of some new content from PokerStars School.

This week:

How to avoid common MTT mistakes
Hold your own heads-up with aggressive opponents
Learn to play strong poker without the initiative

Avoid these 10 common MTT mistakes

Plenty of poker players exhibit the potential to perform well in multi-table tournaments, yet they never seem to break through and enjoy consistent success. In most of those cases the cause is easy to identify: they’re far too restless when they sit down to play.

If you’re too restless you’ll find yourself taking unnecessary risks — and quite possibly missing on a big win as a result.

“Being a successful MTT player requires the resilience of a cockroach and the patience of a monk,” writes Pete Clarke. “It is like knocking on a hundred doors until one finally opens. As big cashes come around fairly rarely, particularly in events with large fields, it can at times feel a bit like playing the lottery for hours on end. The natural reaction to this is a restless discomfort that causes the player to try to force his way to that massive stack.”

Clarke walks you through nine more of the most common MTT player mistakes, including burnout, fear of not cashing, poor risk selection, and failure to steal often enough. Read the full list, begin avoiding these common errors, and watch your results improve over the long term.

Hold your own against aggressive heads-up opponents

Heads-up poker is always tough against an aggressive opponent. But not all aggressive opponents play the same. Luckily for you, OP Poker’s James Mackenzie is here to help.

OP-Poker James shows you how to handle two different kinds of aggressive heads-up opponent

Over the course of 45 minutes in the two latest videos in his “Heads Up Poker” series, Mackenzie adapts his strategies to his opponents’ approach.

First he plays a $3.50 heads-up sit & go tournament, where he encounters a fast-aggressive opponent. Then he steps up to $7 level, where he says you’ll commonly run into strong amateur players and the occasional semi-pro, and takes on a tight-aggressive opponent. It’s a great chance to learn from watching a strong heads-up player in real-world situations.

Playing strong poker whatever your position

“Let’s face it, when we first start out in poker, it is no fun to play the role of the defender,” writes Pete Clarke. Calling a pre-flop raise or re-raise can make things get uncomfortable fast. Situations like these are known as playing “without the initiative.”

Knowing what to do when you don’t have the initiative can be the difference between winning and losing.

Playing without the initiative doesn’t have to be overly complicated, though. Learning the basics of when to check, when to bet, and when to lie in wait with a check-raise is as easy as clicking through to Clarke’s latest poker strategy article.

It’s always good to see theory put into practice, which makes the latest video from OP Poker’s Nick Walsh a perfect complement to Clarke’s article. When the situation calls for it, a check-raise can be a potent weapon to boost your profits. Walsh delves into the theory of when and why to check-raise in this nine-minute video.

With Clarke’s and Walsh’s advice in mind, you’ll find it a lot easier to know what to do when your opponent has the initiative.

Other new PokerStars School content you might enjoy

• Question of the Week: What is your favorite poker hands and why?
• Strategy: Taking advantage of players that limp pre-flop
• Winners Wall: A Toast to Blair

Open a PokerStars account today and start learning from PokerStars School. Click here to get started, and then click here to register for PokerStars School.


Jason has covered poker since 2005. He lives in Washington state with his wife and three dogs.

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