Most Common MTT Player Mistakes

Filed Under MTT Strategy 5 Comments 

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.

Too Many Flops

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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5 Responses to “Most Common MTT Player Mistakes”

  1. daniel seabury says:

    Played a tourny on Pokerstars last night and 4 handed at the final table I raised 3x BB UTG with AQh and the BB, who was loose as anything, raised, I shoved for 22k and he called with 18k-HE HAD 10-2 OFF-I had given him 2 chances to fold and my image at the table was TAG, as it always is. HOW does he find a call there? How do I avoid this when in my eyes I did everything correctly?
    Needless to say, he rivered a straight 9toK.
    Vaiance hates me 🙂

  2. Outlaw R R says:

    Hey Dan, i would suspect that doesn’t happen too often to you with a tight image.

    But the fact of the matter is you have answered your own question when you say he was as loose as anything.

    You were exploiting a table situation and all things considered imo you made the right decision.

    Hold em is still primarily a game of chance, he gambled and he won.

  3. Matty says:

    and your a liar, because if your were holding AQ and he rivered the straight nine to king, with only a 10-2, that means you wouldve had a higher straight (10-A) if your were holding AQ

  4. Scott says:

    Matty: 1) It’s not nice to call people lairs; 2) it’s you’re; 3) community cards of 9, J, Q, K give “10, 2” a straight and leave “A, Q” without a straight.

  5. Jim says:

    Hahaha sick burn bro I’d hate to be matty right now