Are you ready to get involved with your first live tournament? The following advice is a quick overview of surviving that first tournament and increasing your chances of winning.
Check out our two part article on how to feel comfortable when you visit a card room or casino for the first time. Getting comfortable with the environment is a great first step to feeling confident at your first live tournament.
First times for anything can be nerve wracking, but playing poker or another game for prize money ramps up the stress levels. Large tournaments are noisy and often overwhelming. As you look out over the crowds and tables, you are reminded of the fact that every single person in the room wants to send you home with no money. You may feel lost in the crowd and experience more confusion at large venues with many contest participants. Smaller tournaments may put you more at ease depending on the atmosphere.
Tournament poker can be a cutthroat game. There may be amateurs and professionals at the same table. Many people who come to they live tournament will keep their game face on the entire time and will not crack a smile or chat with the other people nearby. Do not be offended by what may seem to be rude behavior. The people are probably just very focused on their game.
Live poker tournaments are very stressful and it is not unusual to see arguments break out or a particularly volatile individual being a lead out by security while they shout or complain about the player who just beat them.
Don’t let that be you. If you need a quiet moment, find an empty corner or step outside for a breath of fresh air. The tension in the room at a live tournament can be thick with joy a, relief, anger and bitter defeat. Come to the tournament with a professional attitude and keep your emotions in check. Remember that, when you sit down at the poker table, it is really no different than the games you played with your buddies back home.
The rules don’t change. The best hands still be the worst hands and whether you win or lose still depends on the pile of chips in front of you. Do not allow these stress of a live tournament to affect the enjoyment you get out of actually playing the game.
But remember that playing against professionals and serious amateur poker players is not quite the same as playing with your buddies. For one thing, games among friends are considerably looser and you may be more apt to bluff or fool around with your hand and take more risks. Honor and bragging rights may be more rewarding than any prize you usually play for.
At a live tournament however, poker players will be closely focused on the prize. This will lead them into play a much tighter game and to avoid risky bluffs and betting on mediocre hands. People who play like they are holding the best cards, very frequently are.
Read the rest of the article: Beginner’s Guide to a Live Tournament (part 2)