You don’t have to be playing with the big names in poker to play in a tournament. With the many players playing online, they can engage in online tournaments to help them gain skills and experience and perhaps win their way into one of the high-paying tournaments. This is the way in which many players get to sit at the tables with the well-known professionals. Whether you’re playing in a tournament at the casino or online there are the same stages to a tournament. The next time you watch a tournament live or on TV. Watch for these stages and see if you can tell when they occur.
All tournaments can be divided into three stages. Each stage requires that the player use different skills, which means he/she has to be able to change gears and adapt to each stage. Different strategies can be used at each stage to win the chips and different players have different styles of playing.
No player wants to be eliminated at the beginning of a tournament. Some usually play tight and do not enter the pot for fear of losing any chips. Others play aggressively and try to build a big stack of chips very quickly. When you are sitting at the table, make note of how each of your opponents is playing. They will be some who play a loose game throughout and these are the ones you have to watch closely because you could eliminate them with a good hand.
Blinds are low at the beginning, which is why more players do bet to increase their chip lead early. This gives you plenty of time to observe how your opponents are playing and you have time to wait for a good hand to come along. Even though you do have time, you do need to take advantage of a good hand and get into the betting. Since your chips are valuable, this is not the time to bluff a hand or rise just to steal a blind.
In the middle stage of the tournament, the blinds increase and now take a large percentage of your stash of chips. Here players start to play more loosely because they know that they have to win a pot once in a while to stay in the game. Now is the time when you can take a chance on bluffing or trying to steal the blind after the flop. The best strategy to use at this stage of the game is to become more aggressive by loosening your requirements for raising a bet and tightening those for calling.