Early Stage Tournament Strategy

K

kalelisback

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Dec 28, 2019
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Hi All,

What is your approach in early stages of tournaments?

I find these 2 forms that I try to apply, was wondering what is winning in the long run for you guys.

A: Playing tight aggressive - playing your good hands aggressively and maximizing value on them. A steady patient game, but one that is working less for me these days (maybe its a lower stake tourney issue)

B: Playing wide range of hands to gain a big stack early with the intent to adjust gameplay in later stages
- with this approach , I am willing to go bust on flips, flush draws, straight draws, and bluffing weak opponents since I realize that gaining a massive chip advantage early take you much deeper in tournaments (at the risk of busting early)


Maybe there are other approaches that you can share, would love to listen and learn
 
Last edited:
J

JRTHEKING

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Pretty clear cut choice in my opinion...

which ain't much seeing I'm freerolling for a roll at the present :) A probably gets you in the money more often with a chance to final table. B probably gets you a few wins and a lot of early busts. The longer you last gets you more time to use your skills - whatever level they are - I would say. Probably too simplistic as you know but as a general outline, I'd go with that.
 
MishkaZL

MishkaZL

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I play as usual. I am waiting for good cards and using my position at the table. I think that aggressive play is only suitable for experienced players. I am a beginner, so I prefer to play patiently.
 
B

bellicoso

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Generally speaking, I try to stick to approach A in early stages. I've been known to slide into approach B from time to time; sometimes it works out, sometimes it doesn't. In general though, approach A is best in my opinion.
 
kley126

kley126

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In the early stages of tournaments, I play in a more conservative way to increase my chips. I think that you have to be careful and not play so many hands to measures that advance the tournament or in the final stages I begin to expand my range of hand and more if I have a good stack since many begin to play more safely personally I would go very strongly against short stack
 
F

fundiver199

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Probably closer to A) The early stage of a tournament is pretty much like a cash game, and there is a large value in just surviving.
 
Collin Moshman

Collin Moshman

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It's usually best to play a mix. In other words, you don't want to splash around a lot and play hands like KTo from UTG or call a raise on the button with 94s. So in that sense, playing tight-aggressive is the way to go.

But there are lots of spots when you're correct to get involved with deep stacks due to excellent implied odds:
  • Let's say you're 150bb deep at the start and UTG raises. You should absolutely call with any pair (or of course reraise with high PPs) from any position.
  • You should defend the big blind with a wide range getting good odds.
  • If you have a suited connector in late position facing a raise and call(s), then it's profitable to call as well.
So on balance, generally TAG is a great way to go. But look for good spots to get involved with deep stacks, excellent implied odds, and often inexperienced competition! :fight:
 
L

Luvulongtime99

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In most cases it is so player dependent. I personally play tight aggressive early for the most part will chase nut draws once again player dependent. I just feel the more you mix it up early without risking to much and building a stack is so key with all the variance you can face in tourneys. Starting to learn that more and more everyday.
 
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