Be it someone’s first real money game of poker or a recreational player turned amateur’s 100th game or even a professional players’ Sunday funday kind of game; small stakes online poker tournaments draw out their seats for all. That’s what makes these tournaments perhaps the most fun of the lot.
It is every poker player’s dream to convert that frugal buy-in into a handsome payday. Step one is to accept that the huge field will attract recreational players by the dozen. Considering the mix of players on the table, your standard of play will need to be tweaked and not lowered as meandering these goliath fields cannot be dismissed as easy.
So, young David, let’s learn to enjoy these small stakes poker tournaments and not pass on the earning potential of it.
Pre-Game Prep: Small Stakes Online Poker
Lesson 1: The patience for a long grind
Real money small stakes poker tournaments attract players from across different skill levels. This naturally implicates larger field size and longer grind hours. It’s good to prepare yourself mentally before registering for these poker tournaments. Make sure you have time in hand and the patience it demands when you sit on these tables.
Lesson 2: Game Selection
If you need to maximize a low stakes poker game with a limited skillset, then game selection is crucial. Take out some time to understand what kind of game would suit your skills the best. Also, scan your opponents on the table and avoid the ones thronged by pros.
Lesson 3: Study your Structures
Most small stakes poker tournaments run using a turbo structure. Considering the enormous field size, it is obvious that the starting stack is on the smaller side and the blind levels increase at a shorter frequency of 15-20 minutes. Why does this matter? In a game of small stakes poker, skipping certain blind levels can be detrimental to your stack which means your effective stack size shrinks with the massive blind jumps.
Studying blind structures is often the most ignored part of poker education. We consider it an essential poker skill for small stakes poker tournament players who can use it to plan ahead and play according to how shallow or deep their stacks will be.
Lesson 4: Cushion your Bankroll
As much as poker players believe that low stakes poker is not prone to swings, it’s a myth you need to bust right now. The variance in these games are huge due to the sheer size of the field. In addition, since there are several recreational players on board, chances are your raises and all-ins are getting called often and your outcomes become unpredictable. So, do ensure you have a comfortable bankroll before you register for one.
Lesson 5: Know who you are up against
If you’ve fiddled on the felts a bit, by now you know the importance of observing your opponents. Since low stakes poker games attract all kind of players, it’s important to keep your eye on:
- Which players are opening several times in a hand?
- The playing style and the opening hand range
- Their continuation wagering tendencies
- The cards exposed during a showdown
Lesson 6: Keep it basic
Small stakes poker games are most often played with Level 1 thinking, i.e. opponents are only concerned with the hands they have. Don’t sit on these felts hoping to test some complex poker strategies because you are setting yourself up for an eventual tilt. Playing some technically sound basic poker is the way to go in small stakes poker tournaments. Be aware of your position, memorize hand rankings, value bet your main hands and most importantly, fold when you have to.
Lesson 6: Keep the ‘balanced style’ for higher stakes
While playing poker with a balanced style is crucial as you rise up in stakes, you don’t have to be worried about giving away your wagering patterns in low stakes poker tournaments. Since the average field includes recreational players, level 3 thinking (what does my opponent think I have) is pretty much ineffective. Most of your opponents are only concerned about playing their hands, so unless you face a pro, don’t bother with a balanced style of play.
PokerBaazi Grinders Series October Edition
Talk about small stakes poker tournaments, we have one that’s tailor made for you. Register now for the PokerBaazi Grinders Series , a monthly classic low stakes poker tournament series that will certainly give your bankroll the much needed boost with a monster 45+ Lakh guarantee in the October edition. Buy-ins start as low as INR 50!
With over 35 poker tournaments spread across seven days from 19th-25th October 2020, your game selection cannot be an excuse now! What’s more rewarding is the Leaderboard of the Baazi Grinders series features an additional combined pool of more than 3.5LAC all up for grabs!
So, are you ready to be the next David in a Goliath field of small stakes poker? Let the battle begin!