Poker Strategy

The Most Important Poker Tournament Strategy For Survival

The Most Important Poker Tournament Strategy For Survival

In live games, chips directly represent our profits, so the primary consideration is maximizing our interests. Additionally, live games do not have restrictions on rebuys, providing us with ample flexibility in our poker tournament strategy.

Poker Tournament Strategy For Survival Game Introduction

Today, I want to share a poker tournament strategy with you, focusing on tournaments. As mentioned in previous articles, the profitability in tournaments comes from reaching the bubble, also known as the money bubble. To enter the money bubble, the most crucial aspect is to extend your survival time.

The Most Important Poker Tournament Strategy For Survival

Under this premise, our poker tournament strategy at the table will differ from the current game concepts. In live games, chips directly represent our profits, so the primary consideration is maximizing our interests. Additionally, live games do not have restrictions on rebuys, providing us with ample flexibility in our poker tournament strategy.

However, in tournaments, chips translate into our ability to survive in the competition. As mentioned in previous discussions, the concept of "M" is introduced, representing the number of orbits we can survive with our current chip stack without participating in hands. The difference between survival and maximizing profits determines the different approaches to playing hands.

Let's look at a case study:

Poker Tournament Strategy With Live Tournament Case Study

Blind Structure: 800/1600/1600

In a 9-handed table, players in middle position, cutoff, and button choose to call. We are in the big blind with 9d Js.

In a live game, facing calls from players in later positions, especially from the cutoff and button, usually indicates lower-quality hands. Therefore, in the big blind, we might consider raising.

However, in a tournament, where our main goal is survival, without holding blocking cards like A/K/Q, raising in the big blind doesn't offer a significant advantage. Therefore, the most suitable option here is to check, leaving the pot at 8,800.

Flop: 9h Jc Kd

Here, we hit two pairs on the flop in an early position, and it's essential to protect our hand. Thus, a bet is recommended.

We bet half the pot, 4,400. The player in middle position folds, the cutoff calls, and the button pushes all-in for 50,000.

Poker Tournament Strategy During Live Game

Poker Tournament Strategy During Live Game

In a live game, our consideration would typically revolve around whether the button has Q/10 or 9/9. However, the poker strategy here is different. We need to consider the hand structure of the cutoff player who called our half-pot bet.

The reason is that a tournament is a survival game, and understanding where the cutoff player's range falls within our structure when they can call the big blind's half-pot bet is crucial.

With no flush draws and no pre-flop raises, in the eyes of the cutoff, the big blind is unlikely to have a hand with a King. In this structure without buying flowers, J/10 and J/Q are risky to lead in early positions because there's a possibility that the later positions have combinations like K/9 or J/9, forming two pairs. Therefore, the hands suitable for an attack in an early position are likely not 9/9 but rather 9/J, indicating two pairs or better.

The cutoff choosing to call likely has a hand that can compete with two pairs. It could be a hand with a blocking straight draw or a hand ready to compare in the showdown without fearing the big blind.

Meanwhile, the button's all-in range is the widest, possibly containing double-headed blockers like 7/10 or 8/10. Therefore, if it comes down to a heads-up situation for the pot, we are less afraid of the button's range.

Also, compared to the cutoff player, we have fewer chips, and in poker tournament strategy, once we call and face the button's made hand, our winning chances are relatively low.

High winning chances: The cutoff has J/Q or 10/J, and the button has K/10-10/7 or similar combinations, roughly 40 possibilities. Low winning chances: A made hand leads us in 50 combinations.

Therefore, we lean towards folding in this situation for poker tournament strategy.

This is a recent hand I experienced in a tournament, and it illustrates that poker strategy differs between live games and tournaments. Pay attention to these differences in your approach, and until next time.


₹10,000 EVO Deposit Live Casino Online Roulette Bonus

₹10,000 EVO First Deposit Live Casino Online Roulette Bonus is here! Claim your casino bonus for the EVO Live game, including roulette, red door roulette... and so on!

All the Baccarat and roulette games you can find in EVO live casino online, you can play with this casino bonus, so don't miss out on the bonus, especially for lighting roulette!