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High stakes play Poker tournaments come in a variety of shapes and sizes, from the ever so popular freerolls, through real money buyin ones, all the way up to those which make you think twice or three times before you buy in for them. Poker tournaments come in a variety of shapes and sizes, from the ever so popular freerolls, through real money buyin ones, all the way up to those which make you think twice or three times before you buy in for them.
Now, we all know that tournament play is as different from regular ring games as it gets. One type of tournament is quite different from another too. In freerolls (especially those that have no special qualifying criteria) the crowds rule. In these tourneys, not even the best of tournament players stand a realistic chance for victory. Something like the Գchooling effectԬ known from ring games, comes into play, albeit on a much bigger scale. This will give the masses of rookies a fair fighting chance against the few sharks who really know what theyӲe doing. Such freerolls tend to last long too, some of them up to 4-5 hours.
Obviously, if youӲe in the game with the goal to generate some cash, freerolls are not the way to go. Experts generally say, that if you constantly reach the break in these tourneys, youӲe probably ready to move on to something more lucrative (the prize-pool in these tournaments often does not justify the time needed to reach ITM) A real money buy-in tournament is where you can actually generate some cash. There will be fewer players in the game, the crowd schooling effect will be much reduced, these games will be faster, and the prize-pools more substantial. Of course, as one gets better and better at tournament play, his ambitions (and sometimes greed) grow together with his skills. This is where one will consider playing in high-buyin tournaments to generate much more money in the same amount of time. The problem is, high stakes play is quite a bit different from the low-buyin games one has gotten used to, because of a couple of tactical considerations: the amount of money one has to pay up as buy-in. That alone might be enough to make someone unusually tight. The thought of losing all that money will be there all through the game.
Then there is the prize-money. Because of the high buyin each and every player had to pay in order to gain access, the prizes will obviously reach sums that will be more than enough to make someone lose control. Whether our player will focus more on trying to preserve his buyin fee or heӬl go for the kill and try to build a stack as big as possible before reaching the bubble, is something that depends on how he/she views this whole situation. Poker is generally a game that is very hard on emotions. In high stakes poker, these emotions will be there more than ever and twice as disturbing.
When faced with such a situation, our guy needs to ask himself: when he played in low-buyin tourneys, was he any good? Was he a winner? If the answer is yes, then he needs to think twice about tightening up his game. Feeling compelled to play tight because of the stakes, might foil his otherwise successful strategy-approach. If he used to suck at low stakes tourneys, then he might want to consider tightening up as a good idea. He also needs to take a step back and consider everything he did wrong in low stakes games. Of course, if he couldnӴ beat low stakes games, the doubt arises whether he should be playing in high-stakes tournaments at allō Bottom line in this respect is: if youӲe a good low stakes player who masters selective aggression, beware of changing your tactical approach too much for a high stakes game. On the other hand, if you werenӴ exactly the definition of a reasonable player at low stakes tables, tightening your game is a good idea.