These tips are mostly for live poker tournaments. A brief summary of the video is it covers table image, and hands to play. Of course, no one has all the answers but Negreanu has covered a lot of territory in the poker world most people could only dream of.
Initially, he says you should focus on your opponents. Are they sharks or donkeys, loose or aggressive? Another thing he focuses on is small pairs and suited connectors. Early in the tournament, they could be priceless but in the later stages not as much. He also touches base on table image and the need know what you’re putting out. Opponents will re-raise or fold in some cases based on the image you are putting out there.
Early Stages of Poker Tournament
How do you play in the early levels of a tournament okay and the answer isn’t to just open up your iPad or check Twitter. It’s to really focus on your opponents. I’m going to give you three specific tips on what to think about on day 1 of a tournament now. Of course, it’s going to depend a little bit on how long the levels are. But let’s say for this example, we’re going to talk about a tournament like the world series of poker with 60-minute levels which gives you plenty of time to set a table image and do a lot of other good things. Okay, the first thing you want to be like really clear on is the fact you can’t win the tournament on day 1 but you can lose it you can totally bust yourself.
Don’t Be in a Rush
Don’t be in a rush to accumulate a big stack of chips on day one because the value of those chips isn’t worth the risk of you going broke. There’s no prize unless you’re playing at the bay one-on-one WPT for being shift leader at the end of day one and really the reward doesn’t outweigh the amount of risk that you have to take. And the downside of going broke. So, for example, look at it this way if I could play ten tournaments right and with the average stack in all ten imagine that straight all ten or have the chip lead in you know four of them and be or less like three of them and be out in seven of them. That’s not the kind of Poker I want to play on day one. So you want to make sure you’re in it to win it but not on day one. Just be alive and you’ll have a chance to win later getting all those chips really is not going to give you a big advantage the second day.
Suited Connectors and Small Pairs
Another thing I want to talk about in terms of early play is suited connectors small pairs and how they relate to like big pairs like aces. Right now aces are obviously the best hand to hold. But aces are a much better hand later in a tournament when you can get it on before the flop. You play against one opponent maybe get in on the flop early in a tournament. When you guys are really deep in chips if you play a big pile of aces you’re probably losing okay. Aces are a hand that you know you get married to early on, you know. The board comes jack, eight, six ,turns a four mean yeah you know the guy might just have a jack but he could easily have a straight trips. It’s early on people, play a lot more funky hands and so should you. In the early stages, small pairs and suited connectors go up in value. In a tournament, they’re worth more so, seven, eight suited is much better in level one than it would be when you’re playing on the bubble trying to see some flops and you’re not that deep.Those hands play much better deep because listen you take a few shots you throw a few jabs here and there you see some flops you don’t hit anything doesn’t not get a tournament it’s not a significant percentage of your stack. However, later, you know, you just keep messing around with seven eight suited in pocket threes and pocket fours you’re all of a sudden going to look at your twenty five big blinds and think wait a second well I only got fourteen blinds and I’m in shove mode. So, you want to be looking for more four big pairs late obviously and early play them carefully big pairs play them carefully suited connectors pocket pairs be way more willing to see flops with those kind of hands.
The third thing I want you guys to be aware of when you’re playing your list ages is your table image. Okay, I want to be very self aware of the hands you’re turning over of also the things you say at the table in terms of how your playing style affects, you know, your mood and whatever it is that you’re babbling about. Be aware that everybody’s listening and they’re gonna adjust that information and decide what kind of player you are especially when they see the hands you’re turning over. So, really be mindful okay I just showed four Bluffs in a row or three bet three times in a row hmm I think my opponents are starting to not believe me so much. So, then you have to adjust or you can actually set up a table which if you’re deep enough and you feel like you know you’re a newcomer nobody knows you you’re so you know middle-aged dude who doesn’t look like he knows what he’s doing and you got all these young whippersnappers with headphones and sunglasses and doing the thing right. You go in there pretending like you don’t know what you’re doing maybe you throw in a few wild you know re-raises here and there and then later you play a little more set up whatever it is you do. Be very mindful of what you’re giving up in terms of information and use that information to your benefit.
Don’t let them exploit you you exploit them.