MTT in Various Stages of Online Poker
The key to winning an MTT in online poker lies in planning a systematic game play. A plan of action that paces you right from the start till the end of the tourney should be formulated. A Multi Table Tournament can be divided into three stages keeping in mind the blinds. The early stage where blinds run from 10/20 to 100/200; mid stage where blinds are 200/400 to 400-800 and late stages where blinds are 500/1000 to heads up. How a player plays in these three stages can make all the difference between winning and losing in the game of poker.
Early stages 10/20 to 100/200
This is that stage of the tournament when ‘observing’ should be the norm of the game. Minimalist raising, calculated calling and no raising is the rule of the poker during this stage. Texas Hold’em is a game of patience and skill and the former comes into play during the early stage. Whatever a player observes about other players’ games right now will come in handy during the middle stages. The best poker strategy to follow is playing tight aggressive and not let your chip stack dwindle.
Mid Stages 200/400 to 400/800
This is the stage of an MTT where you need to start concentrating more on playing your cards and on the others minds. Whatever you observed about others, how many flops they play, how many times they raise pre-flop, how many times they raise from which position will now come in handy. So the best poker tip for the mid stages is to mix your play but maintain your chip stack. Ideally your chip stack should be equal or more than 20 big blinds.
Mix your play and steal the blinds sometimes. In another hand, cool your heels even when you hit top pair while in another poker hand, re-raise with a small pair high kicker. Mixing your game will confuse the players and not let them get a good read on you. Beware of raising too often as the blinds are going up substantially now and try and play more from the button, cutoff and hijack.
Late stages 500/100 to HU
Continue to play tight aggressive but now expand the way you raise. If you are sitting on a good chip stack, then try and raise pre-flop with ace rag, high suited connectors etc. Don’t be frightened to raise now if you have managed to make a tight player image till now. If your image commands respect then even a raise from under the gun will be respected. But if you are the chip leader, do not get carried away.
Always remember that at this stage, you might be merged with some players who played with you in the early stages so your observations on them might come in handy now. Try to maintain a 15 big blinds stack and never let yourself blinded out at this stage. Differentiate between aggression and blind aggression and you should sail through.
If you find yourself in a heads up situation then revert back to the basics of the game of poker. Don’t forget to raise when hit with two royals as your starting poker hands as it is the blinds that can kill your opponent at this stage. Even suited connecters are a good bet to call when faced with a raise. Just don’t get too carried away and keep the basics in mind.