Three Tips for Entering Your First Poker Tournament

Many online and recreational poker players dream about entering their first live tournament. If you have the skills, live poker tournaments can be profitable. They can also wipe out your bankroll if you choose the wrong ones.

Here’s a look at three tips for entering a live poker competition. Follow them and you might be one of the lucky players that can make a living playing poker.

Stick With Your Poker Skill Level

Playing in a live poker tournament is exciting. It can be tempting to jump in feet first and enter the biggest tournaments. You need to play tournaments that attract players of a similar skill set.

There are live poker tournaments for beginners, experts, and every skill level in between. Only play where you are confident.

Keep Your Buy-In Low

Low level buy-ins are a good idea if you are just starting out with live poker tournaments. The tournaments with high buy-ins attract tougher competition. The World Series of Poker Main Event has a buy-in of $10,000. Only good players can afford to risk it.

Your local casino probably offers much cheaper tournaments. You may also find that some cheaper poker tournaments give you an opportunity to rebuy if you are eliminated.

Learn How to Fold

In live tournament poker you must be willing to fold — a lot. Playing too many hands is a sure way to lose. Every player has to develop their own starting hand range. There are no hard and fast rules, but playing tight in the early stages of a tournament is probably best for the beginner.

As the tournament progresses you will have to expand your hand range to stay competitive. Higher blinds will not allow you to pass up as many hands as you would in the early levels. Try to build a chip stack that will allow you to open up a little more.

As an extra tip, don’t try to get too creative with your play. Forget what you have seen on televised poker tournaments. Be patient, and make well-timed aggressive poker plays.

You will find that one of the best ways to improve at live poker competitions is practice. The more you play, the better you’ll become at reading cards and your opponents.

Originally published to jenniferpowersnyc.com.

Jennifer Powers is a mother, philanthropist, avid poker player, & blogger. http://jenniferpowers.me

Get the Medium app

A button that says 'Download on the App Store', and if clicked it will lead you to the iOS App store
A button that says 'Get it on, Google Play', and if clicked it will lead you to the Google Play store