Playing in lucrative poker tournaments is one of the most thrilling experiences you can enjoy at an online casino.
With the opportunity to win thousands of dollars in just a few hours, there is probably no better way to get your adrenaline pumping.
However, if you are a complete newbie at tournament play, it is important that you are fully prepared for the battles that lie ahead.
Read on as we offer some handy tips about preparing for your first poker tournament to give you the best chance of finishing in the money.
Set Aside Enough Time
If you are the type of person who enjoys playing short online casino sessions, poker tournaments may not be for you.
It is not unusual for tournaments to run for a few hours, so make sure that you set aside enough time to stick around if you are lucky enough to make the final table.
You will generally be able to work out how long a tournament will take by checking out the timeframe on the blinds increasing.
A 250-player tournament where everyone starts with 1,500 chips and there are 10-minute rounds will generally take around three to four hours to complete.
Establish a Realistic Goal
If you are familiar with poker but usually play cash games, it is worth noting that the style of play in a tournament will be a little different.
When you play your first tournament it is important to set a realistic goal. Obviously, everyone wants to win, but this may not happen the first time you play.
The tournament is likely to be packed with players who are familiar with the structure, which undoubtedly gives them an edge over newbies.
Your initial aim when playing tournaments should be to regularly finish in the money. If you happen to win, that is a bonus. Winning consistently will come in time.
Adopt a Poker Strategy
Every player has a particular style in poker. Some are extremely aggressive, while others exercise caution wherever possible.
In terms of tournament play, adopting a mix of those two styles should serve you well in most situations, thus giving you the opportunity to be flexible.
You may well go into a tournament thinking you will play tight, but circumstances at the table dictate that you have to throw the shackles off.
Ultimately the best tournament players are the ones that can maintain a level head while their opponents are tilting.
Treat Tournament Play Like a Business
Much like going to work, you will perform at your best in a poker tournament if your mind is clear and you steer clear of distractions.
Think of tournament play as you would a business – the ultimate aim is to secure a profit from your financial outlay.
There will be occasions when things don’t go your way, but if you stick to your overall plan the good days should regularly outweigh the bad ones.
It is also crucial to play at a level where you gain consistent results. If you have gone too far up the buy-in ladder and your bankroll is suffering, there is no shame in stepping down a notch.