Internetpoker tournaments can be a fun way to vary your play

The rise of Internet poker tournaments has driven the massive growth of online poker sites. Millions of dollars change hands in multi-table tournaments (MTTs) daily! Arm yourself to grab a slice of the pie with our step-by-step guide to MTTs.

Internet poker tournaments are similar to the gladiator encounters in the arenas of ancient Rome. The ultimate survivor would take away his life, fit to fight another day for the grand prize: riches, glory and his freedom.

Multi-table poker tourneys could likewise be seen as a series of brutal encounters, leading up to the final table and ultimately, a heads-up battle for the big money.

There are three types of player common to most internet poker tournaments. Let’s see how they'd fare on the sands of the arena!

Imagine a gladiator with no patience to wait for a good moment to strike at his opponent. He might charge into battle, swinging wildly, leaving himself an easy target for a well-timed thrust.

Patience is vital

Every internet poker tournament has a percentage of players who are far too impatient to win the big money. Once in a blue moon they will get lucky and pick up a payday; the rest of the time, wily opponents will have observed their hasty habits and will pick them off at will.

They never seem to see trouble coming, or realize that a flat-call from a quiet, aggressive player is a very bad sign – until the longsword is thrust through their ribs.

Now imagine a gladiator who did nothing but stand still and hope that none of his opponents would notice him. This tactic can work for a while in the crowded chaos of the arena. After all, survival of the fittest means you must survive!

But paralysis, an inability to react to a good opportunity when it presents itself, all in the name of risk-averse survival, would ultimately lead to the fighter’s demise.

It’s exactly the same in internet poker tournaments. The structure of the blind system makes it impossible to sit back and wait.

Eventually, the blinds will have weakened your stack to the point when you will either be forced to make a move; or, when you do find the killer hand you’ve been waiting so patiently for, you will have no chips to protect it.

You will find these limpet-like over-tight players in all internet poker tournaments. They often survive until the latter stages, when they are overwhelmed by the big stacks built by aggressive players.

Then you find the quality players who have the instinct to adjust to any situation. Remember Russell Crowe in the movie, Gladiator? He fought a wide array of opponents. Some were giants. Others were thin, wiry and agile. Sometimes he had to fight more than one person at a time.

He showed the ability to wait, biding his time, but also the willingness to move quickly, take the fight to his enemies and strike without mercy.

Play enough internet poker tournaments on the same website and you will get to know the successful tournament players. They always seem to be in the money, or close to it. Often at the final tables, they are chip leaders, with giant stacks, able to dictate the play and not get pushed around.

It’s no fluke when the same players win time and time again

Huge MTTs like the World Series of Poker main event are often crapshoots; there are so many players to defeat, the odds are long against any player, no matter how good, surviving the forces of Fate time and time again. (Remember that AA vs 23os is only a 92% favourite!)

But smaller fields, as seen in the majority of internet poker tournaments, allow good players to prove their mettle.

As I expand on the topic of internet poker tournaments, I’ll show you how these successful players adjust their game according to the tournament circumstances, as well as the actions of others players.

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Next time, I’ll talk about the opening stages of internet poker tournaments.

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