10 Things Every Online Poker Tournament Player Should Know

by Mario Alfonsi  |  Published on May 23, 2017  |  Updated on May 23, 2017

Poker players who are planning on getting in on all of the action that online poker tournaments provide them with will want to make sure that they understand the best way to approach these tournaments. Here are ten things an online poker player should know about online poker tournaments so they start off on the right foot and don’t make the common mistakes many new players make:

Table image is as important online as it is in live tournaments.

If you’re a very tight poker player, that plays only the nuts, then sure it’s fine to bluff one time and show the bluff so that later on in the tournament, you can get some action on a wired pair. If however you’re not such a nit (someone that ONLY plays premium hands in poker games), then you never ever want to be seen with less than premium starting hands. Let’s say though that your 78 suited, out of position catches a straight, and you have to show it.

Keep that hand in mind however, as you’ve just changed your table image. Now people expect you to be playing low suited connectors, no problems there though, because no matter what you have, amateur players will assume that’s all you’re dealt. So now you can take stabs at buying pots where making a straight with mid/low suited connectors becomes possible, and you’re probably going to get called when you actually have KK, and an 8 flops on the board.

Keep records

Poker players should keep two types of records. One a record of their own finishes, how much they put into the game, and how much they take out of the game. PokerTracker 3 is a great tool if you’re not sure where to start, otherwise, a well made excel worksheet will do the trick.

The other sort of records poker players should keep are notes on other players. If you’re playing at the same site, at around the same level, you’re likely playing a lot of the same players again and again and not even realizing it. Take useful notes about the players that suck out on you, what people call preflop when you get to see it, what they raise with, etc. Date all information and write as much about the situation as you remember.

Avoid simply marking players as good or bad because as you become better, your opinion may change, and … as time goes by, so might their game.

Never Buy-In with more than 10% of your bankroll

This is a simple rule. If you have no buyin, you’re not in the game. Treat your bankroll respectfully, and you’ll stay in the game. If you let yourself bust out, well then you’re just another working stiff. May as well apply for a job cleaning the toilets at the casino and work on earning a new bankroll.

Utilize Online poker bonuses to your fullest advantage

This really does go back to number the rule above, respect your bankroll. If you are given a chance to use a bonus and increase your bankroll without even risking it, by all means take the bonus and thank God for it.

Learn Basic Poker Odds

Learn what pot odds are. Learn what the odds are of your hand hitting trips on the flop with a pair of 7’s preflop. Learn what the odds are that you’ll win with aces if 4 people are all-in in front of you. You might be surprised by some of these, but learn everything you can learn about what will happen during the duration of every possible hand.

Don’t tip off the donks.

Ever hear the old saying ‘don’t look a gift horse in the mouth’? Well who in the hell know’s what that means. That being said, it takes an idiot to tell a bad poker player they’re a bad poker player. If you’re opponent is playing poorly, silently thank God. …

“Dear God, thank you for the idiots that play poker, I really need them in this game so that I can make money”.

If you find yourself berating a player that just got lucky on the river and wiped you out, shut your mouth and recite the prayer above.

When the prayer has been said, it is appropriate for you to say Nice Hand, or Good Hand, or Well Played, as long as the sarcasm that’s being screamed in your head is not apparent in your voice.

If you should feel the need to berate your fellow poker idiots (yep, fellow, because this makes you one of them, you’re no longer one of us.) let’s have a look at what you will get.

You’ll get a player that was having fun, messing around, playing some cards to either turn into a player bringing their best game to the table, they will wait and wait and wait to play a hand now, to prove that they are indeed not an idiot. Or even worse, they’ll get up and leave, and never return.

Well Played.