Multi-Table Tournament Strategies and Tips - Your Complete 2022 Guide
Are your poker worms searching for something new after mastering cash games? Then, poker tournaments is your answer.
If you are in love with poker and want to touch the zenith of success in this game, then you are sure to have expertise in every poker variant. After mastering the poker cash games, you can shift your focus to becoming a champ at poker tournaments. They are highly enthralling and offer a great platform to exhibit your poker skills. Online poker tournaments are a great source of entertainment and give you an opportunity to win gigantic rewards and get your name on the top poker players’ list.
If you are an advanced poker player, then you must be well-versed with the features and structures of different kinds of poker tournaments. This article will talk about the very famous of all the poker tournaments, the Multi-Table poker tournaments.
What are Multi-Table Tournaments in Poker?
Think big, think MTTs!
Multi-Table tournaments are large pools of poker players where each player fights to reach the final table and get victoriously crowned. Unlike poker cash games, MTTs are intense and offer a higher game variance. The tables in multi-table poker tournaments are whittled down to just one by the end of the game. All the players in the MTTs are awarded an equal number of chips, the players who run out of chips are eliminated from the game. The ones left are shifted to the merged tables by balancing them with an equal number of participants in order to ensure fair competition. The players in the end at the final table compete to get the winner’s crown.
Multi-table tournaments are different from Single-table tournaments as they are played on multiple tables with a large number of players at a time. Whereas, in single-table poker tournaments, the players compete at a single table to get the pool prize money. The competition in Multi-table tournaments is much higher than the single-table tournaments as there are different tables to win through to get to the final table and compete for the final battle.
Structure of MTTS
Multi-table poker tournaments are structured in a way that their occurrence is announced well before their commencement. The interested players then register for the tournament online. To enter the tournament, the players need to pay a registration fee decided by the site to play online poker tournaments. As soon as the tournament begins, the seats are allotted automatically to the participants and they start playing the game at different tables.
With time to time elimination of the participants, the tables are merged to keep the number of players even across all tables. The players compete at different tables to reach the final table and grab the pot money. The elimination of the player takes place when the stack size of that player reduces to zero. Online multi-table tournaments may take several hours to finish the poker challenge. There are certain breaks between the sessions to give players time to relax and plan their strategies for the upcoming sessions. They are high-paced tournaments in which blinds keep on increasing with the increment in time.
Most of the multi-table tournaments are "GTD TOURNAMENTS" which are also known as Guaranteed poker tournaments that offer a guaranteed prize pool money to the winners irrespective of the number of participants and the buy-ins collected from those participants in the tournaments. If there is an overlay in the prize pool money and the money collected from the buy-ins by the participants, then the overlay is covered up by the host of the tournament.
Many Multi-table poker tournaments or MTTs allow rebuys and add-ons as provisions to increase the stack size of the players and enjoy the tournament play without getting bust.
In multi-table tournaments in poker, generally, the top 10% of players get rewarded and the player at the end of the tournament with the highest hand becomes the winner. The structure of the division of pool prize money is pre-determined by the host.
Rules of Multi-Table Poker Tournaments
Every poker game has some specific rules that need to be followed by every player. Cash games rules in poker are different from the poker tournament rules. For every tournament in poker, the rules differ and the structure and the rewards are also different. Multi-table tournaments are a choice of many who like to play at larger fields and challenge their poker skills.
You can learn about the Multi-Table tournament rules on the Multi-Table Tournament Rules page at AceHigh Poker.
Why Choose Multi-Table Poker Tournaments?
Multi-table tournaments offer relatively higher variance than other poker tournaments which is the most obvious reason for poker pro players to choose it over the others. A large number of players make these tournaments more challenging and dynamic in nature. They are mostly chosen by poker professionals who have years of expertise in online poker games. They get an opportunity to face greater challenges from other poker professionals. In the case of playing a GTD multi-table tournament, the chances of winning or reaching the in-money level are more as there may be fewer participants to compete with.
Strategies and Tips to Win in Multi-Table Tournaments
Tournaments are not easy to make money like cash games. To win in multi-table tournaments, you need to toil hard and polish your poker skills to a level that makes you among the top players who reach the final table in MTT.
1. Initial Levels of the tournament
Welcome to the amazing poker room of the Multi-table tournament. Play safe and give your best!
When you take part in an MTT, you are excited to shove with a deep stack. This excitement is certain but it should not overpower your senses to play safely while conserving your chips. At the initial stage of the tournament, you are among a variety of poker players. Some may be advanced professionals, while many may be fish, and a few of them may be loose players with no poker tournament strategy. So, it is you who has to identify them and plan a solid strategy against them. Some of the key tips that will help you remain ahead of your opponents in the tournament are given below.
2. Try to keep the pot small at initial levels
In MTTs your eyes stick to the final pot but you need to achieve the small goals first to make your way to the final one. Here, the small goal refers to the initial pots that you fight for at various tables before reaching the final table. The key strategy at the initial level of the multi-table tournament is to keep the pot size small by not wagering much amount to the pot. At this level the blinds are small and you have a big stack size which gives you chances to see more flops and play more speculative hands. You can open your range at this level and take more risks as compared to the other levels in MTTs.
But remember not to drain your chips in chasing flushes and straight draws as you need to remain till last in the game and for that you need to maintain your chips stack.
3. Try to save your stack for the long haul
In poker tournaments, if you want to be a long racehorse, you need to plan and play according to that. You can just focus on the current winnings like cash games, you need to understand that you have a stack of limited chips (including the rebuys and add-ons) which you should retain till you make your seat at the final table. This retention of chips will benefit you to knock down your opponents in the end.
4. Don’t chase flushes and straight draws
In the beginning, most players start to chase flushes and straight draws that cost them several chips. This is one of the most common mistakes committed by many poker aces who adopt a loose aggressive strategy and increase the pot size at initial levels. There is no good in running behind the flushes and straight draws as you may diminish your stack which can cause your elimination from the online poker tournament once you run out of chips.
5. Collect the information about your opponents
As soon as you grab a seat at the table in a multi-table tournament, you need to start taking actions and the actions you take may be influenced by your opponents’ actions. The players who play against you would want to let you take action according to their gameplay strategy and extract a good amount of money from you. So, before you fall into the trap of your opponent, start gathering information about them by analyzing their actions and acting smartly in terms of not letting them know your poker strategy. This will help you win over them and book a seat at the final table.
6. Try to double-up your starting stack
Chips in tournaments act as lifesavers because according to the structure of multi-table tournaments in poker, the players who bust their chip stack lose their place in the tournament and have to take an exit from that. Judicious use of chips in tournaments is the key to get the winner’s crown. At initial levels, your sole attempt should be to keep yourself in the game while focusing on doubling up the stack by winning the small pots and knocking your opponents down. These earned chips will help you threaten your opponents and give up against you.
Middle Level of the Tournament
Feel good that you have at least crossed the first level of the tournament. But don’t get over-excited as there is still a long way to go.
Multi-table tournaments are fast-paced tournaments in which blinds increase as the game progresses. By the time you reach the middle-level of the tourney, your blinds will go up to almost 100 and the stack size will have reduced to 60BBs or less. For some, it may be less than 30BBs which is considerably less than the average stack size. So, what should you do if you fall in the red zone of stack size and want to save each of them for further play?
Follow the tips for winning multi-table tournaments when you are at the middle level of an MTT.
1. Tighten up with reduced stack size
Now, you are very well aware of the fact that you have a short stack size as compared to the one at initial levels, so, you must tighten up a bit more and become conservative to play the hands that are sure to give you acceleration in the game. Value your stack and make wise decisions before spending a single chip is what the need of the hour is.
2. Play premium hands
As a good poker player, you should play only premium hands in such a tight situation where every chip is valuable. Playing premium hands have good chances to pick up the pot that you fight for at different tables in a multi-table tournament. Some of the premium starting hands are:
- The Big Three - AA, KK, and QQ
- Pairs or suited pairs
- A-X suited
If you are lucky to get any of these then you can play in a tight-aggressive manner to scare your opponents and beat them and fold to someone who puts you all-in with Ace-King. Don’t go all-in until you are sure to get that money back.
3. Don’t follow the pot odds blindly, giving more importance to your hand strength
Sometimes, you come under the influence of pot odds and do not value your hand’s strength in a multi-way pot which can be risky for the life of your chips. Pot odds are very deceptive at times as they may seem to be very lucrative but give you nothing in return. They let your chips drain when you chase them. Putting a brake on using your chips for lucrative pot odds and trusting the strength of your hand is the major strategy to be adopted here.
4. Give more attention to the position
Position at a poker table plays a vital role in changing the game of a player. You may even play mediocre or average hands confidently from the late positions and get the advantage of the same, whereas, you cannot take many risks with such hands while being at early positions. So, always value your position and play accordingly. Throwing away your chips before the flop is not praiseworthy. So, avoid doing that and play only value hands pre-flop from the position.
5. Fold against an aggressive player’s monster hands
It may seem difficult to accept your weakness at a particular point in the game, but it is a wise step as per the poker guide. To fold when knowing that your opponent is holding a monster's hand and is using that against you with full aggression is the right step at that moment. Since you cannot keep defending your hand.
6. Take fewer chances and save more chips
Being a daredevil at such a level of the tournament can kick you out of the competition. Be wise and save what you have and invest at the right point in the game. Playing a multi-way pot aggressively is not a good idea.
When on the Bubble of the Tournament
Pat your back and pump yourself with confidence as you are a talented poker player who has reached the bubble level of the tournament in poker.
It is a very sensitive point in the game where the next out player will get no money from the tournament, so time to be cautious and play safe. It is also the entry gate to the minimum guaranteed prize money which is awarded to the players who reach the last level of the game irrespective of the win. So, take note of the following strategies to play bubble successfully.
1. Play tight and act according to your remaining stack size
It is very obvious that you can’t play like a wealthy king at this point in the game as you have a lower stack size than the middle level (20BBs or below). So, it is time to tighten up your slack and play tighter to make your seat in the finalists of the tournament. Every chip spent here is an essential commodity and those earned are like gold coins. At this stage, all the fishes who have luckily reached till here would be eliminated and only the excellent players would qualify for the finals. So, the challenge is tough and the competition is high, act according to the remaining stack as you would be out of the bubble if you exhaust all your chips.
2. Don’t bluff, blind-steal, or limp
Now, you know that you are among the excellent players of the power world against whom bluffing won’t work as they can easily catch your bluff with their experience. Do not also put your chips into blind-stealing the pot as chips are life. Limping at this stage can prove to be a dangerous move here as your opponents are planning all the way to eliminate you out of the tournament. Once they get your weakness, they would hit the hammer hard there to turn you out of the game.
Don’t chase flushes or straights, play only premium hands is the key to get through this stage of the tournament.
3. Create pressure on your opponent if you have a relatively bigger stack size
As you are very well aware of the rule of poker tournaments that at the bubble level whoever the next player out will not get any money from the tournament. So, your principal strategy is to knock out the weak opponent. If you know that you are a big stack player and your opponent is less likely to take any risk due to his/her shorter stack size then you need to create pressure on him/her by betting or raising continuously to make him/her fold against you.
5. Be patient and play slow
Slow and steady wins the race.
Patience is tested at every point in a poker tournament. If you own this treasure and keep yourself calm and composed while facing challenges and beats then you are sure to win the battle and achieve heights of success. So, be patient and play slow until the bubble bursts.
When in-money level
Congratulations! You are among the top poker players in the world. Keep up this amazing gameplay to get crowned.
In-money level in poker refers to a point in the game when all the players remaining at the table/s are guaranteed to get some share of the pot or prize money depending upon how long they stay in the game. Reaching this level in a multi-table poker tournament is an achievement in itself as only the excellent players from the different corners of the world reach this level of the tournament. So, whatever strategy you have deployed till now will pay off here and you can plan a more effective poker strategy to fight against the poker maniacs. You can integrate the following strategies into your own strategy to get the final jackpot.
1. Exploit the small-stack players
Now, it is time to get into the action and start smashing the ones who come your way to the pot. Take advantage of the stack size that you have been conserving or earning since the initial levels. Scare your opponents who have smaller stacks than yours and kick them out of the race. The players with smaller stacks show their desperate moves at this point in the lookout to shove. They play all sorts of hands like any suited connectors, any pocket pairs, any aces which can prove to be an expensive mistake for them.
2. Defend your blinds out of position
The game’s pace at this level will considerably slow down with the elimination of 10-15 players after the bubble bursts and the tables shrink. So, at this point, your position at the table matters a lot. The blinds at this point are very high, so, if you are at early positions, then being defensive is the right strategy unless you have the best possible hand with you.
3. Steal blinds when in position
It is not possible every time that you are dealt with a premium hand at the table. So, in case you are in position and you have not got a very good hand then you must know the art of stealing the blinds pre-flop and make the blinds fold to you. It also helps you build up your stack and keep you afloat till you get the monster hand that gives you a double-up opportunity.
4. Table image is important
To steal the blinds, table image is important which means if you are a tight player then you will defend the blinds of the loose and aggressive players by calling them as they are the most appropriate in stealing the blinds. But in case you are defending your blinds against a loose-aggressive player, then be more aggressive against them to defend your blinds. This is how your table image works at the time of stealing the pot.
5. Be patient and play tight
Again, playing tight is the key to the door of the final pot. Don’t overthrow your chips for bad fluffs, flushes, or straights that may ditch you post-flop. Plan ahead well to beat your opponents and be patient as the game may be slow at the final two tables. So, be prepared and play for the long haul.
6. Be ready for the swings, don’t go on a tilt
At this point of the game, you should be mentally prepared to face chip swing as there are possibilities that your opponents hit flushes on the river. In that case, do not go on a tilt and remain focused. Keep yourself motivated and do not give up easily at this point when the fruit of patience is ripe.
Winning in a Multi-table tournament is a great achievement that comes with years of devotion and dedication to the poker game. Learning how to win in a multi-table tournament is a journey that needs to be covered by an ambitious poker player with the help of a poker guide available at AceHigh. Online poker tournaments in India are offered by many online poker sites but choosing the best one for yourself that is legal and reliable is what you need to do on your part.
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