When entering the poker tournament make sure rewards for winning / placing justify the effort that will be spent playing. If you “win” $3 for coming 5th in 2,000 player tournament after 4 hours, then in reality you’ve just wasted your time.
As well as making sure you “want” to win, make sure you have time to win. A large tournament will take a number of hours, so there is no point entering if you are unable to see it to its conclusion.
Understand that when you sit down to a tournament, you are highly unlikely to win. There are so many variables / all-in’s / bad-beat opportunities that you are going to have to ride your luck to win. That said, half of the field can probably be discounted straight away, so you HAVE got every chance of cashing in.
In the early stages, table position and card strength are the 2 most important factors. This is the time that you will be able to use your superior card selection and play to its fullest. Patience is the key in the first hour, and it’s irrelevant if the tournament leader is 10,000 chips ahead of you. This will relate to just one Big Blind in the final stages.
A minor point / observation. At the one hour point in a tournament there is often a “mini-frenzy” similar to the first few hands of a tournament. Players will often decide that this is “do-or-die” time, or they may have a second tournament starting, and not want to play in both. Either way, tighten up hand selection for 3 or 4 hands until the hiatus has died down.
When you are moved to a new table, it is important to immediately acclimatise yourself to the new situation. You need to see where the small and large stacks are sitting, how the other stacks relate to you, and where the button and blinds are. Also, don’t assume that the big-stack is the best player on table. More likely he has been loose and lucky, and is probably a good source of chips.
In the later stages of the tournament, stack-management becomes the important factor. You will no longer get opportunities to construct hands, as pots are usually decided by all-in confrontations. At this stage suited-connectors rapidly lose value, while high cards (even with weak kickers) gain value.
If short-stacked, you can no longer be choosy about the hands you play. If doubling up wont give you sufficient chips to get through the next round of blinds, then go all-in on any hand that has already been entered.
If medium or large stacked, avoid calling marginal hands early, with a view to seeing the flop. This will only act as a “pot-sweetener” meaning someone will go all-in.
Enjoy spending your winnings! Multi Table Tournaments may look daunting, but they ARE definitely winnable. If you view them as 3 separate Sit n Go’s where you only have to place in the first 2, then they wont seem so intimidating. There’s no better feeling in online poker than winning a MTT, so shed your reservations and take one down!