A solid Texas Holdem poker tournament strategy is exactly what you need if you are going to win the most prestigious poker tournament in the world. The main event of the WSOP consists of Texas Holdem. While it is important to learn all of the other games as well, this is the bread and butter of poker tournaments. All of the other games are going to seem like a joke compared to the $10,000 Buy-In at the WSOP for the Texas Holdem Main Event.
Phase 1: Early Levels
The biggest problem with a poker tournament is that you are forced to do things that you may not want to do. You are going to be dealing with the blinds raising constantly which may force you to make moves you do not want to make. Getting a bad run of hands in a poker tournament can really take a toll on your chip stack.
In the first phase of a Texas Holdem poker tournament you have to be willing to play a little bit more hands. take advantage of the cheap flops and try to get involved in some hands and win some big pots. That doesn’t mean that you should play like an idiot, but you should be a little bit less selective with your hands. Just keep in mind the same strategies that you always use. Play a little bit looser out of late position and play tighter from the later position. This will allow you to get involved without getting in as much trouble.
Phase 2: Middle Levels
Once you have battled through the middle levels you are going to be sitting with a low stack, average stack or big stack. If you are sitting with a low stack you have to battle it out to come back and get your stack to a competitive size. If you are sitting with an average stack play tight and wait for the right moment to make a move. You still always have to be trying to double up and make more money but do not do anything stupid; you have time. Try to pick up small pots where you can and build up your stack slowly. If you have a big stack then you want to play even more tight.
A lot of players will tell you to play more loose when you are the chip leader or a big stack but I do not agree. You should play even tighter and be more selective with your hands. Do not get me wrong, you definitely want to take advantage of good opportunities when you have a good shot at winning a huge pot. You just never want to be the chip leader that calls every all-in with a marginal hand just because he is the chip leader. That is the best way to no longer be a big stack.
Phase 3: Upper Levels
Once you get to the higher blinds and the end of the poker games it is time to really take over. Once you are in the money and getting towards the end of the tournament start playing more aggressive. Do not be stupid but at the same time bet and raise whenever you have a chance. The blinds are very valuable at the end of a tournament. When you play aggressive you will give yourself a chance to win big pots and win big blinds. It is worth it to take a risk more at the end then in the beginning phases of the game.
The main idea is to survive as long as you can but keep increasing your stack at the same time. Obviously you do not want to get out but keep in mind that if your stack doesn’t increase as you go along, you are going to end up with nothing. The blinds can and will beat you if one of your opponents do not. When you have an opportunity to win pots (big or small) do it. Measure your odds of winning the hand and compare them with what you could potentially gain. If you take the right chances you will find that winning a Texas Holdem poker tournament is not as hard of a strategy as you thought.