Playing in Online Poker Tournaments

When living in Las Vegas there are poker tournaments available every day at a handful of different casinos. Why would a young woman, living in Sin City choose to play online tournaments rather than live ones? The answer is simple - HUGE PLAYING FIELD! I could easily run over to Binions for their 8 pm Texas hold'em no limit tournament that gets around 100 players nightly. But why would I when I could just stay at home in my tank top and Daisy Dukes with my hair in a pony tail, no make-up on, and be in a 1,500 player tournament in the time it takes to type in a password?

Online Tournaments

I play anywhere from 1 to 30 tournaments per week. By playing so many tournaments I have learned several things that I was blind to when I started playing online, seven years ago. There are many factors in online poker tournaments: game type (no limit hold em, Omaha hi low, etc. ) buy-ins, number of players registered, and what pace the blinds rise. You have to be aware of what is in store when you hit that register button!

Basic Online Poker Tournament Advice

Be sure you have the time to play what you registered for. Online poker tournaments, depending on how many players are in it, can take anywhere from 2 hours to 5, 6 and even 7 hours - sometimes longer. Hanging on through the first hour is a big stepping stone to win. In the first hour of tournaments, I have noticed that half of the playing field is eliminated. If you are playing with 1,000 players, whether you have doubled up or not, after the first hour your chances of cashing are doubled.

Getting a read on players online is much harder than live poker. You cannot pick up body movements, ticks, or the way they handle their chips at different times. Usually things such as this tell you if a player is bluffing or if he/she has the nuts. Most poker sites have a note system. This allows you to take notes on certain players when you see them bluff or slow-play. You may have a decent hand and a player you have a note on bets you all-in. If you have a note saying he/she is a big bluffer or tight player it can help you make that all-in decision.

At the start of every tournament you should calculate how many chips it takes to reach the final table. For example, if every player starts with 1,500 chips, and there are 100 players in the tournament that's 150,000 total chips in play, divide that by 9 (typically 9 players per table) around 16,500 should put you at the final table. It is very important to watch at all times how close you are to the paying spots. If you have AJ suited and someone goes all in before you, you may not make that call if you are on the button for pay (last person to go out of the tournament without winning money). Saying you have calculated that 16,500 takes you to the final table, you have 18,000 and decide to sit out because there are still 13 players in the tournament. This is bad and allows people to steal your blinds. You can decide not to play by folding until you have reached the final table.

It is easy to find tournaments you can afford. Poker Stars, Party Poker, and Royal Vegas Poker, offer a number of different buy-in events. My site of choice is Poker Stars - they offer tournaments ranging from $1-$500.00 buy-in and with a payout of well over $100,000 (usually) for their big $500.00 tournament and satellites for as little as $3 to win your way in. Give them a try !

♣ Back to the index of articles about online poker tournaments.