Multi-table tournament strategy – Early Blind Levels

Multi-table tournaments are big business. Chances are that whatever time you logon whether it’s in the afternoon or late evening, there will be more than a few multi-table tournaments running. One of the most posed questions though is what does it take to be a successful MTT poker player and how do you go about making a nice profit from playing such a tournament.

There are no magical solutions to these questions but we can provide you with some concepts and levels of comprehension to improve your poker strategy.

Play cautiously

Don’t feel compelled to play many hands in the beginning of the game – There is no point to put yourself at risk for little gain. Take the first few rounds to survey the table and examine the opponents you’re up against. It would be ideal to fold most hands in this blind level until the suspicious players are outed.

Time

If you don’t have all the time in the world or several hours to sit and play this particular tourney then it would be best to pick another type of poker game that would help fit into your schedule.

Blind Structure

Before you sign up, you should be comfortable with whatever Blind Structure you’re going to deal with and be prepared to adapt accordingly.

Bankroll

Be careful about how much you’re about to spend on a particular buy-in.  Keep more than enough buy-ins in your account to be able to handle the inevitable variance that comes with large player fields in online tourneys.

Early blind levels

Play just AA or KK

Many online poker strategy guides recommend to only play AA and KK in the early blind rounds. This can be quite difficult; if you’re in late position with a pair or A-x suited, you wouldn’t want to fold, especially if you can get in cheap.

It’s not absolutely essential to double up in the early rounds eithers. Stick to the basic strong hands for the first blind level.

Starting hands – AA, KK, and QQ

It is best if you wait for one of the big three hands and to take into account the average raise at the table when playing.

If you see huge raises on your table, it might be wise to throw out a huge raise pre-flop. On the flop however, place bets as long as there are two opponents or fewer in the pot. If there are more than two, the flop must be optimal and you must own what you would perceive as your best hand.

Ace-King

An Ace-King hand can potentially break a tournament. Raise this hand from any position but if re-raised pre-flop, it would be wise to be defensive.

You must hit your ace or king on the flop or not place a bet at all due the players being suspicious and defensive in the early rounds and are bound to call bets on the flop with drawing hands or even low pair.

If cornered, give up the ace-king. It can be easily beaten by a pair of 2s heads-up.  It’s best to play is hard as there’s a great chance of it becoming the best hand when you hit the flop.

Pairs and A-X Suited

These hands are great for busting big pots with many players in them. You might want to limp in with them from late position. If there are many people in the pot pre-flop on a small raise, you might call in hopes of trips or a flush/flush draw.

If the blinds become high, these hands can be worthless as you will miss them on the flop.

Get aggressive later in the game

If your main goal is to win the tournament then you need to become aggressive at a later stage. Make smart decisions about picking your spots. Think about your position, the stack size and compare to your competitors.

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