Tournament Tips: Three Most Common Low-Stake MTT Leaks

Having been playing online poker tournaments for nearly two decades, it is amazing to see just how little has changed when it comes to common strategy-errors in the low-stake games. Even with the endless strategy blogs, videos and courses put out over the past decade, the same mistakes that populated the online world then continue to exist today. So, on the risk of being a little redundant, let's take this opportunity to take another look at three of the most common leaks found in low-stake poker tournaments.

1. Playing too many speculative hands

Listen, just because you saw Phil Ivey call a 3-bet out of position with 96s on TV doesn't mean it's a wise play for you (or him) to try to emulate, and the same goes for opening much too wide in early position at a full table. Because while there are definitely times when it makes sense to get a little out of line, most of those will come in position, short-handed, or when you have a stone-cold read on your opponent. So until then, remember to stick to the basics when it comes to hand-selection and save yourself the heartache of bricking yet another tournament in a spot you could have easily avoided with proper fundamentals.

2. Not playing hands aggressively enough

On the other side of the fence, once you do enter a pot (with an appropriate range of hands), it's critical to play your hand aggressively more often than not. By being the player who always has their foot on the gas and is constantly putting their opponents to the test, you double the ways you can win the hand from 1 (having the best hand) to 2 (having the best hand + getting your opponent to fold a better one). This is particularly effective at the lower-stakes where very few players will be experienced enough to understand how to deal with hyper-aggressive opponents.

3. Not putting in work off the table

Let's be honest, trying to compete with players who dedicate hours upon hours every day/week/month to studying the game when you are not doing the same is unlikely to be a successful endeavour. Although you don't necessarily have to become obsessed with studying the game off the table to become a solid player (though it obviously helps), spending at least a bit of time reviewing your hand-histories regularly is one of the greatest ways for you to turbocharge your poker growth. Ideally the study would involve a more experienced player or coach who could help guide you to the right path, but even doing so on your own using a popular poker tool such as icmizer or equilab will undoubtedly take your game to a whole new level.

So whether you're a poker novice looking to speed up the learning process, or a low-stake grinder hoping to begin moving up the ladder, if you keep these three tips in mind it likely won't be long before you begin reaping the benefits.

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