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Building strong good habits into your game is part of growing as an online poker tournament player, and that means cutting out the bad habits over time.
To take advantage of the multitude of daily tournaments offered by the best online poker sites, it’s vital to avoid these strategies.
1 Always Be Focused, Organised and Patient
Never begin an online tournament when unfocused or in a poor mood. Online poker tournaments require competitors to show huge patience throughout. This in turn will enable good concentration which is fundamental in keeping focus. Being organized means understanding the amount of time you have available to compete in the online poker tournament. Before you begin make sure you have some snacks ready and easy to reach. Also make sure you can keep hydrated throughout. Keeping hydrated is key to holding your concentration for the long periods required.
Use the synchronized five-minute breaks – All online poker tournaments have synchronized five-minute breaks every hour, usually at five minutes (00:55) to the hour. Even, if you think you don’t need a break, it’s good to stand up, stretch your legs, use the toilet, or just grab one of those snacks you prepared when organizing yourself.
2 Calling Station – Never Flat Call Pre-Flop
Flat calling is one of the worse habits to fall into in online poker. This sends a green light for opponents to raise a pot and either take it away there and then or build a pot and pressurize you further in the hand. If you’re entering a pot, raise, and there will be many occasions you take the pot down there and then
Flat calling is dead money pre-flop on nearly most occasions unless you are going to make a play against an aggressive opponent that you have a strong read on, and who is to act after you.
3 Never Enter a Pot Without A Plan
This strategy leads on from never flat calling and it’s to always have a plan when entering a pot. That means accessing your options post-flop with the cards or position you are holding. Now, of course, you cannot set plans in stone, but it’s important you are ready for your opponent’s action. It would be impossible to be in front of every action you might face but just an idea will suffice and allow better clarity.
Simple questions will be asked by rivals like:
- What flop and turn cards will I continuation bet (c-bet), barrel or continue in the pot with?
- What will I do if my opponent raises?
- To aid this, you need to be calculating the outs you have at every juncture and factor them in when these decisions come around.
- If you are check-raise semi-bluffing and you’re very deep in a game against an opponent, you have a strong read on it to be okay to bluff further, but in general, you want decent outs and pot odds
4 Don’t Be Predictable! Never C-Bet Every Hand
In the initial years of online poker tournaments, continuation betting had far more success than in the modern game. In those initial years, 50% of pot c-bets only needed to get through 33% of the time to yield a profit.
Nowadays, check-raise bluffing, or especially semi-bluffing, has become a very nuanced move.
To aid your mindset in these spots start asking yourself questions in them like:
- What range am I representing to my opponent?
- What will my opponent’s range be that they are representing?
- When looking at flop, consider whether it hits your or your opponent’s better in theory factoring options, like how nutted your hand is
5 Never Tilt and Make Clear Decisions
To say “never tilt” is easier said than done, but it is fundamental in being able to stay the course and win online poker tournaments. The are not many, if any games that test your patience like poker, and it would be a rare day you suffer no bad beats or poor luck.
If you manage to keep calm through the rollercoaster that is an online poker tournament you are halfway there. The next step is to keep perspective and always try and make the best decision possible regardless of the outcome.
What we found was you need to play with a clear head to enable full focus on the game having organized the free time, which will allow the perfect patient approach that poker requires.
Never be a calling station, which is the first and fundamental part of never entering a pot without a plan.
Don’t be predictable in your play.
Keep perspective and never tilt when you have bad luck. It happens to everyone!
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