The questions I am most frequently asked are about online poker, so I figured I would share a few tips and strategies for using Internet poker to improve your game and increase your success rate in tournament play. In my opinion, online tournaments may be the single most important tool for the development of a poker player. So, get your mouse moving, it’s time to play some online poker.
The number one reason that online tournaments are such a valuable learning tool is the sheer volume of tournaments that are available to play. At any given time of day, every single day of the year, a player can log on to one of hundreds of online poker rooms and play a tournament. The schedule is nonstop, and the varieties of buy-ins and types of games are endless. Given the volume of tournaments available, there is plenty of time for practice. I suggest playing as many as you can click on. Walk into my house on any day, and I guarantee that I will be playing a minimum of four tournaments simultaneously. Playing countless online tournaments allows players to experiment with their game and test new concepts and styles of play. Adapting yourself and your game plan in each tournament provides an opportunity to discover what works best for you. Don’t be afraid to get knocked out, because there is always another tournament about to begin. Sometimes, busting out of a tournament helps you learn something that is vital for improvement. Use a trial-and-error type of mentality and keep meticulous notes on other players as well as yourself. Track your results. Consider which style worked in which type of tournament, and which game plans didn’t work; then, evaluate the implications of that information on your play and adjust accordingly. No matter what the size of your bankroll, there is a plethora of online tournaments suitable for your budget. I suggest playing very small buy-in tournaments even if you have a large bankroll, because this enables you to play large numbers of tournaments and experiment without risking much money and playing with the fear of losing. However, don’t play recklessly just because the buy-in is small; you must stay mentally focused and not allow the buy-in or payout of the tournament to affect your game.
Playing a few online tournaments per day can provide you years of experience in a short span of time. I believe this is part of the reason that so many young Poker Online Mogeqq players have been very successful on the live tournament scene lately. The Internet is a tool that is available for the growth and improvement of your poker game. I have used it as a strategy to improve my game, and have found myself possessing a great feel for the technical aspects of poker tournaments.
Within tournament poker, there are three distinct phases: the beginning, the middle, and the end. It is vital that you change your game depending on which phase of the tournament you are in, and constantly playing online is extremely helpful in developing your feel for this. I have been dealt so many hands and witnessed so many types of situations online that not much can surprise me. This experience provides me some sort of freedom from worrying about the cards when I sit down to play in a live tournament. I know what to do when I get a certain hand in a certain situation, because, most likely, I’ve already dealt with the very same scenario online. Consequently, I can channel all of my energy into evaluating the other factors, including opponents and stack size.
Stack size is something that is extremely crucial in poker tournaments, and it is very easy to learn online. All of the necessary information is provided for you right on the screen; there is no need to repeatedly ask for a countdown of your opponent’s stack. Additionally, average stack size, the chip leader, and the lowest stack size are just a click away at any time. Utilize this information to detect patterns and the effects of stack size on betting, which you can eventually translate and incorporate into your overall style of play.
Another tool that Internet poker sites provide are sit-and-go tournaments. A sit-and-go is a one-table tournament, which is also referred to as a satellite in the live tournament arena. Playing several of these can tremendously improve your overall game. You are afforded the opportunity to practice everything you’ve learned with variations on the number of opponents at the table. A sit-and-go generally starts out with 10 players, and as players are eliminated, no new players fill the seats (which happens in multitable tournaments). Therefore, you can practice playing, for example, fourhanded, whereas in a normal tournament, you wouldn’t be able to get fourhanded experience unless you made it down to the final four players in the entire tournament. I can’t express how advantageous it is to have had the chance to practice shorthanded, or even heads up, for a small buy-in before being faced with the situation at a final table where it really counts. Who knows, it could be the difference between first and ninth in the World Series of Poker main event.
The old adage “Practice makes perfect” is certainly applicable to poker, and I have found online tournaments to be the best way to hone my skills. I advise beginning and experienced players to enter the arena of online tournament poker and to keep on playing — and maybe I’ll see you at a final table soon.