Most Common Beginners Tournament Mistakes

Poker tournaments online attract some of the worst fishes and they make some of the biggest mistakes you can possibly make playing poker. Here is a list of those usual mistakes to avoid.

Being at Too Many Flops - One of the biggest mistakes you can make in an online poker tournament is seeing too many flops.

Just because the blinds are low in the early stages of a tournament doesn't mean calling raises to get to every flop. In the early stages you should be playing extremely tight (take a look at a tournament starting hands table). When you spot a guy with 10 big bets left and he calls to see the flop instead of raising you know he is probably a bad player.

Too Many Dominated Hands Pre-flop- You'll commonly see bad players calling pre-flop raises while being out of position with dominated hands like A6 or Broadway cards like KJ.

The issue when calling with these marginal hands is that you basically lead yourself to depending on straights because of the horrific reverse implied odds of actually hitting your pair. New players who play these hands will most likely be beaten by better kickers.

Difference between cEV and $EV - Bad players can't understand how important of a concept tournament equity ($EV) is as opposed to just relying on chip equity (cEV).

New players make bad decisions trying to add more chips to their stack even if it hurts their overall tournament equity. It is crazy how bad players make bad decisions like deep-stack calling all-in with middle pair only one away from the money.

Lack of Blind Stealing and Defending - In order to succeed in the middle and later stages of a tournament, you need to know how and when to steal and defend the blinds.

Bad players will commonly play passively on the blinds and they don't take advantage when in late position to steal blinds pre-flop. Playing a loose-aggressive strategy will be more beneficial to blind stealing and blind defending. You should rarely flat call raises while on the small and big blind.

Can't Change Gears - Bad players stay constantly stuck in one gear throughout the whole tournament which is usually loose-passive.

In tournaments as the blinds rise and the fields thin out it is important to recognize when you should change your strategy. The best players in the world like Negreanu and Hellmuth are always changing gears in a tournament form tight-aggressive to passive-aggressive and back and forth so you can't pin them to one strategy.

Slow Playing Monster Hands - Whenever you have AA, KK, or big slick it is imperative that you don't attempt a slow play in a tournament unless you make something more than just a pair.

Bad players think they can slow play pocket aces so they can trap multiple players into giving away their chips, however it usually ends up with the bad player holding the aces giving up his chips. Monster hands don't play well in multi-way pots, therefore you need to raise to thin down the field to preferably heads-up.

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