The average online poker tournament is a tough cookie, to say the least. You have to be better than the others to outlast them.
This is easier said than done and it is important that you develop the ‘winning attitude’ by following these pointers that may help you gain a competitive advantage that you had always wanted.
Go into a Tournament Firmly Believing That You Will Win
While it is all well and good to have a clear-cut strategy, sometimes even the elite players of the poker game will break from their usual highly successful strategies. This means that your game plan does not have to be etched in stone; instead, it should be flexible and change with the game. For example, an average player might start raising the bets early on in the game. There is no particular reasoning behind this move, except perhaps that he is bored and just wants something to happen. However, the more experienced player does not have to take the bait. He can up the ante if he feels that he can get the better of other players. This usually happens when the table is very passive.
If you can produce any sort of well-reasoned argument with regard to why you have decided that a deviation from your usual strategy is called for, then it is well and good. But if your reasoning centers around the trite ‘I was bored’ or I just ‘felt like doing it,’ It is important that you should pause to reconsider your play.
Don’t Be Afraid to Pull the Trigger
No, we don’t mean dragging out your ‘shootin’ irons’ after a bad play! Rather you should ‘shoot’ through your poker bluff.
By and large, most players don’t really have the raw guts to go for massive bluffs when a lot is on the line. In the long run, this leaves them vulnerable to exploitation from their more attentive opponents, who will be able to see through their play. If you appear too timid, aggressive players will pick on you.
Here, it is very important to understand that in any game there is only one alpha player who rouses both fear and anxiety amongst all his opponents. It is very simple to archive such ‘shock and awe. If you want to be that player, then you should apply pressure where it counts, i.e., in those large poker pots, even when you do not have the goods to back your play.
Yes, there is a certain element of risk involved. But that is part and parcel of the poker game. If you were to pull off such bluffs, even a few times, you will easily become a tremendously better and more versatile player. This, in turn, will increase your winnings substantially. Of course, you will lose a bundle every once in a while. But that is also all well and good since it will only serve to increase your overall aura of unpredictability.
Ruthlessness Is Important for Ultimate Victory
If you go head to head against the most timid players in the online poker tournament, then you can learn a lot from their tendency to fold at the drop of the proverbial button. These players are a blessing. While playing with them, you can bluff relentlessly, knowing that they will back off at the smallest sign of aggression.
Not only can you add their pickings to your steadily increasing pile, but they will also allow you to hone your bluffing skills. Once you are aware of your opponents’ idiosyncrasies, you will not even need to bluff as much since they will be cowering in front of your ‘alpha’ status. Sounds really ruthless? Well, that is pretty much the only way you can make it to the top of the heap and thereby muscle your way up the ladder to join the big boys playing at the ‘final table.’ Or you can fall by the wayside along with all the other tender-feet. The choice is yours.
Don’t Let Victory Get to Your Head
‘What goes up must come down’ and this dictum can easily apply to the game of poker, especially if you lose your head after a particularly euphoric victory.
We have heard multiple stories of a good friend who won big time in a large online poker tournament, only to blow it all away in a ‘no holds barred’ game the next day. We have heard of these stories so many times that they have become downright monotonous. Unfortunately, victory is often taken as a synonym for invincibility and the player is convinced he can make no mistakes.
Poker, more than anything else, is game of peaks and troughs. If you want to survive the troughs, it is very important to act in a responsible manner during the peaks. Otherwise, you may end up becoming someone else’s crazy poker story.
If you really want to become a professional poker player and secure a name for yourself, you have to learn how to play ruthlessly. You have to be mentally prepared for losses, big losses at that. The laws of statistics cannot allow an unbeatable winning streak indefinitely. So learn to roll with the punches and develop a certain ruthlessness to become one of the best online poker players of our times.