The tournament structure of Texas Hold 'Em Poker has caught the attention of people all over the world. Once again, we have the World Series of Poker and the World Poker Tour to testify to this fact.
But, what exactly is a poker tournament?
As you would have seen while watching the WSOP or WPT, a tournament may consist of many tables or in smaller cases, a single table. A poker tournament is no different from any other Texas Hold 'Em game except that you have more players joining in and they get eliminated until there is only one man left standing. To join a Texas Hold 'Em Poker tournament, you have to pay a certain amount of money, called the buy in. Buy ins vary in amount, from a few dollars to thousands of dollars, depending on the tournament organizers.
So how do you go about playing your game in a Texas Hold 'Em Poker tournament?
On the outside, you must have focus. Set your goal and keep that in sight all the time. The ultimate goal in a tournament is to survive - to be the last man standing. Keeping this always in mind through the whole tournament will help you think of the long term.
Along these lines, you must build up your stack of chips. In a tournament, the blinds go up every so often. The amount and the time frame depends on the organizers. In order for you to be able to post the blinds in the later stages, you must have an ample supply of chips. Otherwise, you will be caught in quandary, not being able to put up a blind.
Although you must stick to your plan, you must also allow for necessary adjustments as the tournament progresses. As players are booted off the play, you must adjust to different types of players. This is especially significant in multi-table tournaments. You may either have new players on your table or you may be moved to a different table. In any case, adjustments on your part are necessary.
As the game progresses, you should also mix up your style a little bit. This will serve to confuse your opponents and hinder them from "typing" you up, making you less predictable. This is always a plus point on your side. This way, you can surprise them with your moves. When you are sure that you have a really good hand, try not to force the other players to fold. The reason behind this is that you need to get some margin of profit. If they fold, you will not be able to get as much profit as you can. Of course, you always want to get more so as to be able to build up that stack of chips.
As poker tournaments can last for a very long time, it is imperative that you be patient. You have to keep your focus and have no lapses. Lapses and inattention will more than likely cost you a lot. If your aim is to survive until the end, you need to be totally immersed in the game. Be observant at all times and do not let your guard down. If you do, you'll be sitting duck for the other, possibly more experienced, players!