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Top 4 Mistakes in Multi-Table Tournaments

Multi-table tournaments (MTT) may be one of the most challenging forms of poker out there. Not only do you need to maintain your focus and edge for several hours or even multiple days, but you have to get a little lucky to get the cards you need to take the whole thing home.

Luck aside, there are some reasons that you might not be finishing where you want—whether that means taking the whole thing down or making the final table. Here are our top 4 mistakes to look out for at your next MTT.

Photo: PokerNews

#1) Don’t Over-Adjust to Good Players

If your game has pros or other good players that you recognize, don’t panic. Don’t worry about them to the point where you’re either feeling like you need to go after them or that you always need to stay out of the way.

Just play your game. Don’t sweat it. They get two cards, just like you, and if you play solid poker then you won’t slip up because of it.

#2) Stop Pretending It’s a Cash Game

Tournaments and cash games are different, period. While there are multiple factors to keep in mind here, the biggest one is the existence of antes. In some cases, this can double the number of chips in the pot pre-flop compared to a cash game.

Because this directly affects pot-odds, you’re going to have to raise higher, 3-bet bigger, and play more aggressively to get the fold equity that you’d expect. Plus, you wanna go after those chips! Every hand you fold and lose and ante, you leave those chips on the table. We highly recommend also studying ante vs non-ante ranges—if you play them the same, then you’re just plain wrong!

#3) Play Your Game, Regardless of Stakes

If you’re buying in for more chips than you normally do or you won a smaller tournament to satellite into a bigger one, don’t sweat the stakes. The cards are the same, the odds are the same relative to the stack sizes, and the game is the same. The only thing that’s different is your mentality, so just play solid poker.

If you are thinking about moving up to bigger MTTs, do so slowly so that you have the confidence you need to stay consistent and you have the bankroll you need to work through your mistakes.

#4) Accept That You’re Going to Lose Sometimes

You can’t play every hand worrying about busting out of the tournament. Especially if you’re tightening up so hard that you’re not playing good poker, just because you want to make day 2, make the bubble, or make the final table. You might achieve that smaller goal, but you’ll never achieve the bigger one of taking down the entire tournament.

Building a big stack is the best way to set yourself up to win. Starting with that goal in mind, don’t be afraid to go for it!


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