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Notes on Poker Tourney Stakes (How to Win a Poker Tourney)

  • Published Date September 25, 2019
  • By Admin

Poker has become a very popular skill-based online card game which is played in every possible corner of the globe where card game lovers are present.


A poker tournaments is played in a fixed-format where everything is pre-decided, like the minimum number of players, prize pool, buy-in & re-buys, blinds, stakes, antes, etc. A player who knows the principle of betting & also understands the value of poker hands can play & win poker tournaments without any difficulty.


In a poker tournament, the biggest thing you have to decide is what stakes you need to play for after considering the amount of buy-in or rebuy of the poker tournament.


There are mainly 5 types of stake levels in a Texas Holdem Poker (No Limit) Cash Game Tournament:

1. Micro-Stakes- 2NL, 5NL, 10NL, 25NL (0.01p/0.02p up to 0.10p/0.25p)

2. Small-Stakes- 50NL, 100NL (0.25p/0.50p and 0.50p/₹1)

3. Mid-Stakes- 200NL, 400NL, 600NL (₹1/₹2, ₹2/₹4, and ₹3/₹6)

4. High-Stakes- 1000NL, 2000NL, 5000NL, 10000NL (₹5/₹10, ₹10/₹20,
        ₹25/₹50 & ₹50/₹100)

5. Nosebleeds- 20000NL and up (₹200/₹400)

Here are some simple-yet-important tips to win above mentioned poker tournaments:


Micro-Stakes Tournament:


1. While playing Micro-Stake Tournament in MTT’s or playing on a single table, the best strategy is to start small & play tight in early & mid-stages.


2. The good thing about micro-stakes tournament is that even if your opponent has weak holdings, they will still try to increase the stakes in early stages by calling bigger bets & raises. So play only when you have premium cards & take the benefit of calling unnecessarily raised hands or all-ins by other players. 

3. If you want to have an upper hand in later part of the tournament, then you should start playing aggressively(only if you have a stack to play 30bbs or less).


4. Try to accumulate as many chips/coins/cash or whatever currency is being used in that tournament that gets you the entry in the final round of the tourney & and also a chance to win the tourney.


5. Now, once you join the final-round table, your raises & bets will start getting some respect. So, the final advice is to play with confidence, fearless & with more aggression.


Small-Stakes Tournament:


1. Even if you are a professional poker player and like to play high-stakes online poker game & cash tournaments, you are advised to start your day with a small-stakes tournament.


2. If you are playing a small-stakes tourney you should be prepared to play for long & tiring hours because these types of tourneys take several hours to finish. 


3. A large number of players just play small-stakes tournaments for fun, so they will possibly call your raises and even your all-in’s with some very weak holdings. So, you should be prepared for some crazy ups & downs. You can also wait for a strong hand, keep raising the pot &  expect some good returns in the end on your very small investment.


4. You must be ready for the hard times & should have an adequate amount of bankroll to re-buy, approximately 150-200 times of buy-in. 


5. While playing, you should pay attention to other players & their playing strategies rather than to your current hand, your phone or any other means of distraction. For more useful tips on how to win the small-stakes tournaments, you can also purchase Jonathan Little’s book from amazon.


Mid-Stakes Tournament:


1. If you have some basic experience of playing in a Micro or Low Stakes Tournament and also have an ample amount of bankroll, you can move up to Mid-Stakes Tournament.


2. You are highly likely to find much tougher & skilled opponents in mid-stakes tournaments, but there is nothing to worry about as they are also humans and must be having some innumerable slips in their games.


3. You must be highly-skilled at this level so that during the gameplay, you are able to build hand ranges in your mind & use them to fit the dynamic changes as the game progress.


4. You should watch carefully if the opponent is adjusting their strategies by watching your gameplay.


5. If you are playing a tourney with a rebuy option, use it wisely. Here are some important tips only for Micro, Low & Mid-Stakes Tournaments:- 


  • If the tournament has an unlimited rebuy option but only for a limited period of time and you have a good amount in your bankroll, use the super loose strategy (play every hand possible very aggressively before the rebuy period ends to pile up a good amount of chips/coins).


  • As the blind increases in every round and the number of players drops, chances of winning become bleak if you re-buy any round later than 3rd or 4th.  However, it's worth giving a shot if you are a champ and really know Poker math.


  • If you are a player with a short bankroll & cannot rebuy recklessly, you should use one bullet strategy called Poker All-in Strategy. But for using this strategy, you should have a lot of patience to wait for a solid hand and risk all your chips/coins by raising or taking an all-in call.


  • Here are some important tips by Ryan D'Angelo in this video about rebuy tournaments.


High Stakes & Nosebleed Tournaments:-


1. Before taking a seat in these big stakes tournaments, the first approach should be to set a break-wise goal in your mind. With this approach, you can reevaluate yourself in each break whether you have to pace up or have to play calmly till the end of the day.


2. If you are playing a  high stakes tourney for the first time, please don’t panic & relax your mind by doing your favorite activities like yoga, gym, listening to music, etc before you join the tournament.


3. If you are already playing & winning mid-stakes tournaments,  it means you are already well versed with the playing strategies. Only 1 out of 100000 players are able to play high-stakes tournaments, so it will be really ridiculous to discuss any further about the tips on how to win these high-stakes tournaments.


Final Thoughts:

Poker is a very interesting game that requires the right application of strategies to win. I hope this blog has helped you understand different types of Poker Stakes Tournaments, their differences and some basics of how to win these tourneys. If you are also interested in making your poker game foundation stronger, you can explore these poker tutorials & you will definitely get an extra edge over your opponents.

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