Poker Tournament Tips - Winning Big at Poker

While nothing can compete with strategy and good luck, some poker tournament tips will keep you in the game a little longer – maybe long enough to win big.

Choose the Right Tournament

Don't choose a tournament just because it has a great prize. If you're a novice, you should play at tournaments where the buy-in is low so that you don't have to risk too much to get ahead. You might choose a sit-n-go with only six or eight players so that there isn't too much competition. Don't try to win too big all at once. If you go for smaller prizes, the competition will be less stiff, and you'll have a better chance of winning. If you're an expert, then go for big tournaments with lots of players and high prizes. You'll be able to eliminate a lot of the competition quite quickly, and then you'll be able to play against players at your own level.

Be Focused

Don't sign up for a tournament if your head isn't in it. If you don't focus and play properly, you're certain to lose. Don't play a tournament when your kids are screaming in the background. Don't try to watch television while you're playing. Be sure to keep a cold drink near you, and be sure it's not alcoholic. You need to be at the top of your game to win a poker tournament.

Play it Slow

Think about what you're doing and don't let your bets get too high too fast. Remember that once you go all-in, you're at risk of losing on just that hand. You shouldn't aim to see every hand through to the river. You should only go for a hand that has a good chance of winning. Don't let anyone force you to call bets that you can't afford. It's better to drop out early in the hand than to go all-in and lose.

Remember, You're Looking for More Money, not More Pots

If you have a nut hand, be careful to raise slowly to keep the rest of the players in the hand. Don't raise too quickly, because you'll scare them off. If you don't raise enough, though, then winning won't help you much. If you win several small pots, it's better than losing, but it won't eliminate the competition fast enough, and it won't help you graduate to the next table.

Have Fun

No matter how important a tournament is to you, you should always remember that you're playing a game. Games are supposed to be fun. If you're stressed and you're not enjoying yourself, you should probably not play poker. If you need to win to pay the bills, you're in it for the wrong reasons. Playing poker should be fun and challenging, not a life-or-death situation. If you're playing compulsively, be sure to get in touch with an organization like Gambler's Anonymous that helps people with gambling problems. Your poker game should be about enjoyment and intellectual stimulation, not about paying your household bills or paying off your debts!