WSOP Tournament Poker Guide
OK, we're Bartcop, we're in the 1,000 dollar buy-in
event, we have a pile of chips valued at 3,000 in front of us,
now is the time to begin a run that ends in a
six/seven figure payout, a gold bracelet and an interview with Norman Chad.
We just have to get past a few hundred people
with the same idea.
So what do we do?
Get lucky a lot.
Beyond that, follow these basic guidelines
PHASE I: Early tournament
With 3,000 chips and blinds of 25-25 and then
25-50, we could literally miss the first 2 hours and be hardly worse off
If we got hit by the blinds 3 times each hour,
we could come into the game 2 hours late with a stack of 2675, hardly less
then what we started with.
What I'm getting at here is that this is a time
for small bets, small pots, and taking cheap chances whenever possible.
Let's say you're the dealer or next to the dealer
(The 'cutoff') and 3 people limp in for 25. You have some crummy hand
like 9-5s or 8-6 off suit. You can throw in a
quarter here with little problem, it's a tiny investment and you could
hit a monster,
like a straight or flush, or something silly
like having 8-6 and the flop is A-6-6 and a guy who was being careful with
the flop now pays you off big as he just can't
give you credit for having a 6.
While these low rounds are going on, you should
be folding a bunch, playing cheap hands and watching your opponents,
bring a notebook if you want, and start keeping
notes on people. If someone is consistantly raising and trying to muscle
table around, keep track of how often he's doing
it, and then keep track of how many hands he has to show down, if he's
not showing down a lot of hands, that's a sign
of a good player, who's pushing people off pots, folding when he knows
and just playing smart poker. As the old saying
goes "Whoever bets the most wins, cards break all ties"
In this phase we're not looking to get all in
pre-flop unless we have Aces or Kings, and it's pretty hard to do that
somebody's pretty crazy. A standard raise pre
flop is 3 times the big blind, if we did this on the first round, it would
be only 75,
in the 2nd round it would be 150, that's still
nowhere near our starting stack of 3000.
Let's say we got 3400 with blinds 25-50, three
people fold to us and we wake up with Aces, we make the standard raise
a bunch of people fold, and now the dealer makes
it 450 back to us. This is excellent, but still an all-in is a crazy move,
scare off a lot of good hands, the guy isn't
going to fold the other two Aces, he's not folding two Kings, but he could
dump two queens
or a smaller pair, he could dump A-K or anything
else with an ace. We have a fish on the hook, we want something out of
The best play here is another raise to 1000 or
so. Now action is back on him, if he goes all-in we got him, if he folds,
we got what we could, if he calls, we're taking
a flop with a huge advantage, which is great.
On the flop we're going all in almost all the
time, barring a very safe flop like 2-5-T all different suits, we're done
playing poker and
want to end he hand now. We're hoping for a call,
but we have to protect our Aces with us being out of position, and even
if we were
in position this is the play, our opponent
*knows* we have a big hand, we raised and re-raised pre flop, we did nothing
to hide the
power of our hand, we didn't want to either,
bluffing at this point in the tournament is foolish, the pots are too small
and the risk is too great,
we want to make strong moves with strong hands.
Now is not the time for a 'clever' check. Now is the time to play with
all the subtlety
of smashing a window with a sledgehammer. As
a matter of fact that's how we're going to play the whole tournament.
Phase 2: The Antes Arrive
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