The best ways to survive your first live poker tournament
By Bob Garcia
Stick to a proven system if you want to hit the money when facing live tournaments
It may be that the first live poker tournament is primarily your first step to a successful poker career. However, there is no doubt that at times it can be intimidating and overwhelming, especially if you are up against highly experienced opponents and in an environment, you have never been in before. When it comes to playing in a live Texas Hold’em tournament for the first time, it’s normal to be nervous. In order to survive, follow some proven steps that have worked for others.
Keep in mind that the style of play you are used to at home may be very different from that of a tournament, as there may be a certain aggressiveness or a very tight game that you are not exactly used to. If you find an opponent who plays as if he or she has a better hand than you, he or she probably does, and remember that protecting your chips will always be a fundamental part of the game.
Next, give your stack a priority focus. The idea is always to take a risk so that you can always maintain a sizable stack, rather than to drop so low that you have to take a risk anyway.
When you get into the rhythm of the game and start to feel a little more comfortable, it’s time for your aggression to come out. The goal is always to raise whenever you have a decent hand, hoping to steal, but still having a good chance of taking the money in case someone decides to call.
And lastly, before venturing on this journey, give yourself adequate time to learn the respective poker room rules. The rule that most amateurs stumble upon the most is the “big chip rule.” Sometimes the player throws in an oversized chip, which means it’s a call without saying the word “raise” first. If the idea is not to make mistakes in betting, you have to always vocalize the actions beforehand first.