Multi-Table Tournament Strategy Part 1


Most people are aware of what a multi-table tournament is since this is the form used in the big televised events like the World Poker Tour and the World Series of Poker. These are huge events in that players in great amounts from all over the world participate. The strategy for a multi-table tournament depends on many different things. For an example, a player must consider where in the game he is as different approaches work different for early and late stages in the game. It is true that luck plays a part in all forms of poker but in a multi-table tournament luck without strategy is highly unlikely to take a player to the very top.

Multi-Table Tournament Strategy

A multi-table tournament will fill up the amount of tables needed for the number of players that has signed up. All players buy-in and are given the same amount of chips to play for. As people are eliminated from the tables players will be switched around to ensure that each table has enough players. All tables will have equal numbers and it is crucial to understand that the strategy needed for this type of play is far away from what would apply in a standard ring-game.

The exciting and somewhat frustrating part of a multi-table tournament is that only 10 players will reach the prize money. Considering how many will join from the beginning this is a very small number and it explains why the amount of money they will win is so attractive. For the poor players that come in 11th, 12th and so on playing in a multi-table tournament can be a nightmare. The tournament can take many days to complete and this means that the players that do finally reach the final have been busy concentrating on their card games longer than what most people put in at work a regular day.

The first strategy to apply to this kind of competition is to try and make some order in it. This is usually done by dividing the event into three different periods, the early, the middle and the final period of the competition. While each tournament will have its specific atmosphere determined by the participants, it can be very useful to try out some of the general tips for the different sections of the game. With the right strategy a moderate player could find himself doing well against well known professionals and even if he doesn't reach the final 10 this could be the spring board to greater success in the future.

Level of Competition

It is true that the very beginning of a multi-table tournament offers softer competition than the later stages. Many poker rooms online throw special tournaments where spots in the bigger events can be won and this leads to many lucky beginners getting a spot around one of the tables at the start out. Still, a multi-table tournament could be so filled up by professional players that the level of play is already at middle stage from the start. It has also happened many times, thanks to the many satellites in the online poker rooms, that previously unknown names have made their way to the top. To say it simply, a player cannot count on the competition being loose in the beginning and tough at the end since the individual participants will set the level of the play for each tournament. The best way to handle this is to carefully observe each table as the tournament moves ahead and make solid decisions based on facts and not assumptions.

Playing the Early to Mid Stages

In the beginning of a multi-table tournament the blinds are cheap and to some this means that it is ok to play weak hands. No matter how many fish are seated around the table, this is a bad strategy! The professionals will play it very tight at this stage and keep the pace low and focused. By sticking to good hands a player doesn't only make sure to stay in the game with a nice stack of chips he also builds a reputation of being solid. This influences the game more than what people might think as he psychologically gains the upper hand on the other players. If at the mid-level the game starts to look more solid it is a good time to play a more regular game. Here a player could start bluffing a bit and do his best to try and have a good amount of chips for the final rounds. It can also be advised to make some use of bets and raises to steal some blinds but in general the game should still be kept somewhat tight.


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