Advice for First Live Tournament Experience

Ashley Sleeth

Ashley Sleeth

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What is one thing you wish you knew before you sat down to play your first poker tournament?

Some of mine include:
-the ‘one chip’ rule— if you throw out just one big denomination chip, it’s a call
-verbalize all of your actions if you feel uncomfortable w the chips/rules
-ask the dealer what the action/bet is if you’re not sure (don’t accidentally call a raise from the small blind because you didn’t see someone act before you)


I’ll be making a video with some of the top responses for CardsChat YouTube channel in the next few days.

Cheers!
 
garibe

garibe

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UP! I am myself getting ready for my first live tournament soon! that will help a lot! Thanks!
 
Dejange

Dejange

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It's been 10 years since I have started to play poker online. First at PS and Full Tilt, later on other poker sites.
Always imagining my first try at live game, but somehow missed it until now. In the past we had EPT running just outside my city, I was not comfortable enough.
Now there are only some local tournaments, I would rather escape. Looking forward for more normal times when we will have more international presence and opportunity to enter a good live MTT :top:
 
Alizona

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My rule #1 would be PAY ATTENTION. Don't listen to music with headphones, don't sit there with your "dumb" phone out. Put that damn thing away!!

Our first tournament, we should fully understand that we aren't there to win it, we are merely there to "learn the ropes" of live tournament poker. Don't make your first tournament a 10K unless you are a millionaire!! hehe

Yes, there is beginner's luck, we've all seen and heard such stories... but that should not be our goal. It would be a very nice thing to make a cash and perhaps a deep run... but since we're a rookie at this stuff (even if we know poker well!), we shouldn't expect it to happen. Don't set yourself up for disappointment before you even begin your live "career". Keep expectations to a minimum, but absorb EVERYTHING you see and hear during the day. Watch the other players and begin to get familiar with "reads" and taking notes on players. You can even bring a small notebook to write in with anything you want to remember later. New players probably don't realize just how much of a "blur" their first tournament will be, it's all so new and exciting that it is very easy to literally forget everything you observed by the time you get home or wake up the next morning. So take notes, you might feel a bit odd if nobody else is, but so what?

I like your video idea, it will be quite helpful to anyone just starting out, and perhaps even us "veterans" will learn something too! None of us know it all!!
 
Alizona

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Another thing that you can mention... talk about seat positions, seat numbers.

I can't tell you how many times I registered for a live tournament, the cashier tells me I'm in the 1 seat and I sit down in the 9 seat instead... instantly, the entire table that is already sitting down knows I'm a total noob. LOL Don't be me!!! Know the seat numbers before you get to the casino, they are always the same, #1 seat is to the immediate left of the dealer and it goes clockwise around to the #9 seat sitting to the immediate right of the dealer. Another good solution is to walk up to the table, slide your receipt to the dealer and just ask the dealer what seat is yours. That won't alert anyone that you are a rookie, it's normal to do that. Also, be aware, it is always the dealer's responsibility to check your receipt when you arrive at their table, so this process should happen automatically. The dealer must check that you are at the right table and actually paid for an entry into the tournament. This is one of their jobs.

Also you could discuss the problem of finding your table, if it is a large casino and a large-field tournament, it can be a terribly frustrating chore to find your correct table. First of all, explain where table numbers can be found, most casinos use the same method of a small "plaque" or sign on the table where the dealer sits. Also explain that there's a much easier way, which is to locate a casino employee for seating help who will walk you directly to your correct table. Explain that casinos call these employees a "brush" (which is an odd term that nobody would normally know if it isn't explained to them). Also explain to them that there will be a person (almost always in a very sharp suit-and-tie hehe) that is called the "Tournament Director" and he is the one in charge of everything, including all the brushes. The "TD" is also the person who will resolve all disputes at the tables, should they occur. Dealers call the TD's to the table, the players don't do that. If you have a problem with something that has occurred in a hand, immediately alert the dealer who should resolve it. If you're still not satisfied, ask the dealer to call the TD over to the table. Explain the process of this, which hopefully won't happen on our first day, but it if does, we should be prepared for it and know how to handle it.
 
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danoscar

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If you happen to get a great hand such as KK, QQ, JJ, remember that it takes more to win, most times. Beware if an ace hits the board and you have less. Don't go broke over a good pair when the board shows something else.

Good Luck!

Dan'O
 
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David Gibson

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Oh that first tournament! This is all great advice. Sitting in the wrong seat, I have done a few times.
When you don't know something, ask someone. The dealer, other players, etc. No one will see you as being stupid.
Everyone will know soon enough that you are new at this. Chat with your neighbors. Be friendly. When I was fairly new, I was bleeding chips and finally got a half good hand. I shoved and the guy next to me knew what I was doing and shoved (he was chip leader at the table). Once everyone else folded he turned over something like 2 5 off. He told me flat out that he wanted to help me stick around for at least a few more hands. I have returned that favor several times. The receiver of that gesture is usually thankful and learns more since they were just on the verge of being out.
**Sometimes I sit in the wrong seat intentionally now. Just to have that slight edge for the first couple hands.
 
Tracid

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Oh that first tournament! This is all great advice. Sitting in the wrong seat, I have done a few times.
When you don't know something, ask someone. The dealer, other players, etc. No one will see you as being stupid.
Everyone will know soon enough that you are new at this. Chat with your neighbors. Be friendly. When I was fairly new, I was bleeding chips and finally got a half good hand. I shoved and the guy next to me knew what I was doing and shoved (he was chip leader at the table). Once everyone else folded he turned over something like 2 5 off. He told me flat out that he wanted to help me stick around for at least a few more hands. I have returned that favor several times. The receiver of that gesture is usually thankful and learns more since they were just on the verge of being out.
**Sometimes I sit in the wrong seat intentionally now. Just to have that slight edge for the first couple hands.
If he said this then that is chip-dumping and illegal in poker, it's advisable you don't 'return that favour' and especially don't expressly vocalise such as you could land yourself in hot water!

Giving somebody action however is different to chip dumping, do that instead... :wink:
 
Navin Sarabjeet

Navin Sarabjeet

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UP! I am myself getting ready for my first live tournament soon! that will help a lot! Thanks!


I would also advise to go early at the beginning of the Tournament.
With more time you can get to pick up more tells on your opponents and their reactions.
Even though you have folded keep on watching your opponents and their movement before and after a hand.

I played my first International Tournament in the Bahama's at the PCA when i won an online seat at pokerstars and made a HUGE mistake in late regging as i normally do in online poker.
Thats why the advise:)

Cheerio:cool:
 
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