Playing Poker:One Match At A Time

You’ve most probably heard the old saying before: “one match at a time”. Meaning you must block out all future matches, competition and external pressures to focus on playing the present match to the best of your ability. This saying also applies to an internet poker tournament. Much of today’s tournament poker strategy teachings are often misguided,  it can be just as easy for the new player to be molded into a narrow-minded, mechanical player as it is for them to accelerate their poker development.

Online Poker Tournament Strategy

The modern day tournament player thinks about when they look down at ten-eight suited with twelve big blinds on the button is, “can I move all-in profitably here?” Adopting this kind of thought process, which is preached monotonously on forums and in training videos alike, is a one way ticket to mediocrity and frustration. There are so many more important features to consider – “Is the field too weak to be accepting marginal value at risk of busting here,” “What would my resultant stack size mean for my hand-by-hand profitability should I win or lose this pot,” “Am I in the right mental state to play my best game with a below average stack or do I need to take a chance here,” just to name a few.

Just as your route to your nearest exit on an airplane is usually different for every flight, so is your tournament situation different after every hand in every tournament. You think you’ve been there a hundred times before but the differences must be appreciated. Perhaps you are struggling to accumulate chips as a short stack on the bubble so you decide to take a chanceand the payout structure is particularly flat so you decide taking a chance isn’t necessary, or perhaps the players at your table are opening an unusually wide range of hands meaning you could play a short stack profitably if you lost this coin flip.

The “one hand at a time” expression in its truest meaning is not applicable to tournament poker; since the most accurate play mathematically in a hand in isolation can often be a sizeable mistake under tournament conditions. Tournament poker requires that the modern player learns to train his/her brain to think situation-first and once you learn to do this regurlarly, you’re already ahead of the curve.



Be the first to comment

Leave a Reply