NLHE tournament advice for a total newbie - what did I leave out?

F Paulsson

F Paulsson

euro love
Some coworkers of mine are staging a three-table NLHE tournament, ~$25 buy-in. I can't make it, unfortunately, but a coworker (who has played poker all of three times in her life, I believe) asked me for pointers.

None of the coworkers know anything at all about playing poker that I'm aware of. I suspect there will be 15 complete beginners and maybe 2-3 people who have played a little online.

So, in three minutes, I had to give her a rundown of how to play an MTT against these people. I'd like to know what you think of my advice.

I told her that until she was down to the final table, she should play these hands, and only these hands:

AA
KK
QQ
JJ
TT
99
AK
AQ

Furthermore, she should raise aggresively preflop with these. Not all-in, but at least 3xBB, and to raise the pot if someone else had raised before her.

I told her that she needed to release the hand if the flop looked like it hit someone else, but that she must not be afraid to be aggressive with these hands preflop (and post-flop, if she flops a match).

I told her not to bluff.

When she was down to one table (they pay top-three), she could use her (by then) tight table image to attempt to start stealing the blinds if she had the stack for it, and if she was on the button or CO, with hands like QT. When they were down to the last four, she could be even more aggressive with it (she plays to win, she made that clear), but be cautious post flop.

When the bubble busts out, she should cool off a bit, tightening up. The other two players are likely to relax a whole lot more since they're already in the money, and she should therefore be more careful.

Heads-up, finally, she should be hyper-aggressive. There are no calls here, only raise or fold. If she has the chip lead, she should put serious pressure on the guy with the smaller stack. If she has a HUGE chip lead, she should attempt to put him all in with any face card.

If I have one more minute of advice to give, what should I tell her?

She's a highly intelligent girl, but she has the sort of wide-eyed "don't hurt me" expression, and I believe she knows fully well how to make good use of that, if that factors in.
 
twizzybop

twizzybop

Legend
Yes I would say great advice but what about pocket 88's and 77's. They are a top 10 starting pre-flop hand.
 
Grumbledook

Grumbledook

Guest
not from early position they aren't

I would be cautious playing JJ 10 from early position as well.
 
robwhufc

robwhufc

Cardschat Elite
This is a tricky one - if you start expanding advice you're going to make it too complicated. The problem I can see with original advice is that I played a 45 player SnG on pokerstars last night for hour and a quarter, and didn't see one of those hands. She is going to get mightily bored!
 
F Paulsson

F Paulsson

euro love
Rob is right on target: I can't complicate it too much.

I avoided 77 and 88 (although I agree they're great hands in NLHE) for this very reason, because they're not "safe enough". They require "ifs" and "buts" and I don't want to get too deep into that. TT and JJ should be better (they're playing six-max, I really should have mentioned that as well - sorry) so those are still decent to play from any position, I think.

I'm promised an ice cream if she wins. Here's to hoping I get an ice cream. :)
 
F

forrest_pump

Guest
I"ve heard it this way...

First off if she only plays those hands she could find herself not even making the final table.

I've heard it this way.

Until you build a decent "bank" of chips at the table play the following while the preflop bet is low...

ALL connectors
ANY pocket pair
AK
AQ
AJ

If she waited for what you listed she may just sit there and never be in a hand for the first 20-30 hands and find herself so short-stacked it'll be over.
 
Schatzdog

Schatzdog

Visionary
If she's truly got the "don't hurt me look" and she's known as a novice at the table she could get awesome action from playing AA/KK slowly against any pre-flop raise. If she's not re-raising chances are one of the guys will try to push her out of the pot with some fancy bluff/semi-bluff/can't fold AK/middle pair hand. By just calling the guys may just see her as a station. This exact thing happened in the last live game I played. A LAG with AK kept shoving bets in and this girl at the table called him to the end with AA to take a massive pot. When she turned over the bullets the entire table burst out laughing cos' no-one put her on anyhting near that.
 
Dorkus Malorkus

Dorkus Malorkus

HELLO INTERNET
- If a lot of players are limping, pots aren't being raised often in the early stages, and blinds are small relative to your stack, limp from any position with any low pair (22-88), releasing your hand if raised preflop and unless you flop a set or an overpair.

- As you said - don't bluff. Value bet (half to 3/4 pot depending on stack sizes and how much you think you can get away with) with good hands (top pair decent kicker, for example) against people who will call with many weaker ones.

- Look at your cards only when it is your turn to act. Spend the rest of your time waiting observing others.
 
buckster436

buckster436

Cardschat Hall of Famer - RIP Buck
Awards
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One of the most important things in a tournament is Patience, you have to tell her to have PATIENCE and lots of it, if she waits the hands will come, to me that is one of the most important things in a big tournament,lets say 500 or more players, or even a small one with only say 100 players.>>>>>>>>>>>>>>> buck:cool: :cool:
 
Sammyv1

Sammyv1

Legend
buckster436 said:
One of the most important things in a tournament is Patience, you have to tell her to have PATIENCE and lots of it, if she waits the hands will come, to me that is one of the most important things in a big tournament,lets say 500 or more players, or even a small one with only say 100 players.>>>>>>>>>>>>>>> buck:cool: :cool:

Very well put buck. I feel the same way! With a bunch of Newbies even more so. These people will be playing anything. They will call raises with Garbage, I've seen it happen! If she plays the hands you listed:

AA
KK
QQ
JJ
TT
99
AK
AQ

They will come and when they do some Newbie should donate.

Remember these other players will play like maniacs and the field should trim down quickly! So if you do take one or two of them out early then you can really make a run.
 
BidnisHippy

BidnisHippy

Guest
All excellent advice that as a newbie I'm still beating into my head. One added piece that I have the hardest time with... Don't let a run of good/great hands go to your head. Sometimes my tilt button and the "what if" game combine disastrously. "Patience" has been mentioned by several, but mostly in a "just wait, the hands'll come" sorta way. Newbies can get caught up the other way too when they see a bunch of good high pairs or very high suited connectors.
 
F Paulsson

F Paulsson

euro love
Alright, the tournament was played last night, and I talked to her today about it. She got knocked out pretty early, apparently. I asked her how it happened, and this is her story:

Three-handed table, about even stacks (fairly early on).
She had [10h][10c] in the hole. She raised 3xBB from the button.
SB folded, BB called.
Flop comes [9h][5s][2d].
BB checks to her. She pushes all-in.
Gets called by [Qh][3c].

Queen falls on the river.

"Well played!", I told her.
 
Dorkus Malorkus

Dorkus Malorkus

HELLO INTERNET
Well played indeed, there's no way she could possibly have put her opponent on a monster like Q3.
 
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