The game of poker is a game that is won by good decisions made at the right time.  There is no clear cut winning poker tournament formula.  But, there are poker tournament tips that can serve to guide any poker player in winning a tournament.  Playing a poker cash game is entirely different from playing in a tournament.  The ultimate goal in playing in a tournament is to win all the chips in play.  A more aggressive poker tournament formula is necessary to implement as part of poker tournament tips that could result in major winnings on the table.

At the end of this article I’ll direct you to what I have found to be some of the  best poker tournament formula to be found in books.  I generally advocate poker training sites as being preferable to texts, but these are stand out publications that are basically a must read for tournament players.

In the interim, here are some poker tournament tips that any poker player who wants to do more than just sit around in tournaments should take note of:

  1. Know the difference between a ring game and a tournament.  The two are very different and the strategies that you should use in each of them also vary.  Do not lose sight of the objective of winning the entire pot in a tournament.  You need to play more hands in a tournament than you would in a ring game.
  2. Winning one poker coin flip after another would work to your favor, but obviously isn’t something to count on.  Making the correct plays and placing pressure on opponents, particularly in the middle to late stages of tournament play is critical.  Save a hot run of cards, in most tournaments it simply won’t be enough to wait for premium cards.
  3. Keep your emotions at bay.  You have to know how to prevent tilt.  Keeping your cool throughout the tournament is important if you are to make the right bets and calls at the right time.  Remember that even as poker is a game of chance having a good head on your shoulders will help you piece together and analyze cues from other players on the table and make a winning call.
  4. Pay attention to the way your opponents are playing.  Being sensitive to the way each player on your table reacts is a skill that any successful poker player should have.  You should be able to read physical and verbal cues enough to predict the way a player on your table would act towards the game.  Being able to read your opponents well can be a powerful tool you can use to decide on whether or not to take calls or make raises.
  5. Know when to shift your strategy, also known as ‘changing gears’.  It is not always wise to keep to one playing strategy.  Winning a poker tournament takes a combination of risk-taking levels.  You can play tight at one point and play lose on another.  You just have to know the right time to use each strategy depending on the way those around you are playing.

It takes the right balance of playing strategies, luck, and generally a good gut feel of game and the opponents to win a poker tournament.  With the growing numbers of poker players, so goes the number of poker players in search of the winning poker tournament formula.

I said earlier we’d look at some of the best poker tournament guides around.  Lee Nelson’s duo of ‘Kill Phil‘ and ‘Kill Everyone‘ are just freaken stellar reading for pre and post flop play generally, with special attention to optimizing play in single table and MTT’s.  As always, Sklansky rates a mention, in particular for his ‘Tournament Poker For Advanced Players‘.  You can find out more info on each below.

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