Most Common MTT Player Mistakes
Top Tournament Beginner Mistakes
Tournaments attract the biggest fishes in online poker and they make some of the most amazing mistakes possible. You can find the most common of these below.
Playing too loose and seeing the flop too many times is the biggest mistake players make. Although it seems harmless calling pre-flop raises at the beginning of tournaments with low blinds, you need to force yourself to play extremely tight (see tournament starting hands). Also, when you see players with a 10xBB stack calling the flop rather than folding or shoving, then you know they’re not Phil Ivey.
Bad MTT Players Play Too Many Dead Hands Pre-flop
Following on from the above, bad players get themselves into trouble calling pre-flop raises out of position with marginal hands like A7 or broadway cards QJ. The problem is that when you flat call to see a flop with QJ or K8, the reverse implied odds of hitting your pair are horrible and you’re basically gunning for a straight. Because you’re most likely beaten with a better kicker (non-live hand) these are prime suspects for new tournament players.
Lack of Understanding Between cEV and $EV
Tournament equity ($EV) is an incredibly important concept, even more so than chip equity (cEV). Although you have to be aggressive in tournaments, bad players don’t understand the concept of +EV play in tournaments or making decisions based on tournament equity and ICM principles. It’s amazing how many bad players make poor decisions, like calling all-in against a deepstack 2 minutes before the bubble with 55.
Bad Players Don’t Steal/Defend Blinds
An important part of succeeding in tournaments is knowing how and when to steal the blinds or defend them - particularly in the middle and later stages of a tournament where their value is large. Loose-agressive players always have an advantage in this area because they do it more often, however even most recreational players don’t understand defending blinds properly. There are a very rare set of hands of conditions where you should flat-call from SB/BB, most of the time you should either be folding or re-raising.
Inability to Change Gears
Changing gears is a phrase that gets kicked about a lot but this doesn’t detract from its importance. The pros like Negreanu and Hellmuth constantly change their gears in a tournament from LAG to TAG image, and its the only sure fire way of being successful with your bluffs/steals yet get value from shoving and river betting.
Bad Players Who Slow Play AA, KK or AK
It’s hilarious when you see Mr AA get busted by a flush or straight with 3-5 off suit. A lot of new players make pre-flop mistakes with premium hands by not raising them properly to get rid of limpers. It’s not unlucky to lose to a bad hand after the flop if you didn’t raise preflop – because you gave them the odds to call. You need to remeber that the value of premium hands is lost in multi-way pots.
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