A high stakes poker tournament is all about the skill level of a poker player. The higher the level of knowledge and in-depth understanding of poker, the better you stand in the field. This directly translates to the abc strategies of tournament poker not being effective every time. So, how do you skill up and take down high stakes poker tournaments?
With a high stakes tourney like the EndBoss (5Cr GTD) knocking at your doorstep, we are listing a few quick pointers so that you may fill any gaps in your current strategy and play a more confident game.
- It is common to steal blinds
Poker players consider blind stealing at the nascent stages of a Multi-Tabling Tournament (MTT) pretty pointless. However, in a high stakes MTT, blind stealing does occur at earlier levels. In small and mid-stakes games, the blinds are too small to add value at the level at say 1-3% of your chip stack. However, in high stakes poker tournaments, a large chunk of the players raise in middle and early positions and bluff more pots. The key is to get more aggressive with your bluffs with less fold equity.
- Slow playing
Slow playing and waiting for aggressive players to bluff is way more profitable in high stakes poker tournaments. Setting traps when you hit that monster flop is crucial in order to extract maximum values from your premium hands. Mid and low stakes games feature inexperienced players who might value shove and call your re-raise and therefore, not advised at these stakes.
- Less loose calls
The skill level and proficiency of players at high stakes MTT games should not be taken for granted at any point during the game. Professional poker players certainly make optimal calls. No one’s ever calling the river with a flush draw! Brush up on your pots odds and value as you will see a lot of it in play at this level of the game.
- Hand reading
High stakes MTT poker tournaments are all about the 3bets and 4bets now, even with poor hands. So, it’s important to hand read at this level and also keep in mind that a professional poker player will have an MTT toll running in the background to analyse your skill and ability and play you to it.
- Defend your big blind
Every poker player knows the importance of defending the big blind. With real money at stake, you cannot be succumbing to the open raiser making an automatic profit. As a thumb rule, you should be 3betting or calling at least 40% of hands against late position opens.
- Deep stacks = 3-bet like it’s a good old cash game
With deeper stacks, an opponent is tempted to continue against your 3-bet that leads to narrow escapes with marginal hands. In a high stakes poker tournament, a polarised 3 betting range when it’s a large stack-to-pot ratio is a clear winning strategy.
- Continuation betting is passé
Check-raise bluffing does not work in high stakes MTT. Players no longer bluff in bad spots and certainly give thought to what they are representing. Besides, the basic level of thinking that goes on when you see the flop, it’s important in these situations to also ask yourself what your opponent’s range looks like and what your range looks like to your opponent.
- Do not wing it at any level – have a plan for future streets
At this level of play, you ought to have a rough plan for each likely outcome before making any decision. You have to be one step ahead and know your action if your opponent raises or what turn cards you will be barrelling.
We hope these pointers will help you nail the next high stakes poker tourney you are going for. Those of you who are planning to ace PokerBaazi’s EndBoss (15th-19th April), check out the EndBoss page for all details.
Its satellites are already running chop-chop on the PokerBaazi app and you may join them for as low as INR 20 to win a discounted entry to this high stakes poker tournament. So, brush up those skills and don’t lose out on those bills!