Tournament Wisdom, Cont.

By Mark Rossi
The Poker Strategist


Yesterday I shared with you 2 power tips for the first two levels of tournament play. To access them click here.

Today we'll look at some important strategies for after the first two levels.

Opening notes:

If you have increased your chips by 15 to 25 percent in the first two levels, you have done well. Now its time to adopt  more liberal standards.

Carefully evaluate your table, particularly if it looks like it isn't going to break for a while. Be aware of the size of the chip stack of each player. The short stacked players are more likely to go all in before the flop with marginal hands than the larger. However, the short stacks can be pushed around more easily after the flop than the big stacks.

If its apparent your table isn't breaking you'll want to go all in on occasion. This will give the appearance that your unafraid to race. This is the best posture. You wait for the choice opportunity to go all in, but you are usually hoping to not get called. The reasoning here is that your trying to double your chips stack before the second day.

Second Day

Accelerate your play a bit more, but don't get too aggressive, remember you can't win until the last day! You did come to win, right? Your goal should be to increase your chips enough to have an advantage over the ante and blind increase. You must be aware of your own chip count and position in the tournament. Be careful though if you see a player open and then a large chip holder make a large raise, even if you have a decent hand. Its still early and a large hit could really set you back at this time. Is the pot size worth the risk? Don't get clumsy!

If you do get short stacked late in the day don't kill yourself yet. Remember the blinds and antes increase again starting the third day. In major tournaments the prize pools are so big its worth your time to get an early rush. To be in real contention you would need 4 to 8 times your original buy in. Hang in there.

Tomorrow - third and final table power tips!

Resources:                     Updated Bonus Links