When playing in your first tournament, it can be overwhelming, and there are some things that you should consider before you get involved in the action. The playing of the poker is just one part of tournament play, and understanding what to expect will help you get deep into your first poker tournament. So let’s take a look at something you might not be considering when planning on playing in your first poker tournament.
Picking the Right Tournament
The first thing you should consider when picking your tournament is what time of tournament you should play in. You don’t want to go straight to the high stakes and hope for the best. Many beginners think that the only way to play is by going big. This shouldn’t be the case for your first tournament. When looking for a tournament to play in, think about how much time and money you want to invest. Consider where to play, too, because this will drastically change the level of competition that you will be seeing. Small tournaments are great for your first experience because you will get a feel for what is happening. They are also lower stakes, so there will be less money at risk when you start. You may even consider some practice playing in an online casino before this at low stakes to get up to speed.
Don’t Get Trapped
If you are moving into tournament play, you have to be able to play your game. Whether you are coming from online play or just sit and goes when you have time. You have a style, and you should stick to that style if it is successful. Getting away from your style will not allow you to last long in any tournament that you want to play in. You have to stay true to who you are, so in preparation for a tournament, make sure you know the type of player you are and want to be. When you are in a tournament, this is not the place to try new things out. It is time to refine what you know and how you play. Don’t get forced into uncomfortable situations because you are trying to play out of character.
Setting realistic expectations before you claim your seat is essential for your success at any tournament. When you claim your seat, setting your sight on goal will allow you to play to your strengths. Perhaps your goal could be making it to the final table if the tournament is small enough. You can also set other goals based on hands played liked doubling your stack or taking down a pot. Whatever your goal is, don’t set it to be too lofty to achieve, but don’t set it to be too low that you are not pushing yourself to get better. Goals are great to help you in your first tournament and your second tournament.
Using The Bathroom
When nature calls, you don’t want it to be at the wrong time, so you need to be aware of what your body is telling you and work around it. Tournaments can belong, and you will inevitably have to use the restroom. Planning your bathroom trip for the best possible outcome and value hands is essential. It is crucial to make sure that you are using the restroom before you are seated, and during any breaks, you might have. Missing out on early position means you are missing out on value, and missing out in late position means you miss chances to steal blinds. Make sure you are ready to play when you sit down and stay in your seat as much as possible.
Dress For Success
The worst feeling in the world is not being prepared for the environment that you are about to enter. You should be wearing layers to help combat these issues. Some poker rooms run hot, and others run cold. The climate can change when you change tables, and it is no fun to dress for cold and then be distracted due to being overheated. Wearing layers will help you stay cool or warm under pressure allowing you to stay focused on the game. Many newcomers to tournaments don’t think about this, but it is something that you should be aware of. Comfort is vital when you have to dig in for long periods.
Don’t Rush It
You have paid to buy into the tournament, so why not stay a while. Rushing your play will do two things. First, you will be pushing yourself out the door because you are trying to get into to much action. These may be hands that you just have no business in being in. That will hurt you in the long run because you will not be taken seriously at the table. Secondly, you will find yourself playing out of character, which means that you are not going to achieve your goals, and your tournament will be short-lived. Tournaments are a battle of attrition, so pacing yourself is very important to your success.
Know the Rules of the Poker Room
Every poker room has its own set of rules, and you don’t want to infract on any of them. This is important because it could not only cost you chips, but it could also cost you your seat at the table. If you are thrown out or fined for your infractions, then you have lost your buy-in and made your first experience one you’ll forget. So do your homework on the poker room that you are playing in, and if you have any questions, ask before the tournament starts. It is better to ask then look like a fool in front of the table if you do look like a fool in front of the table then you will lose creditability with your competition. These are somethings that you might not have considered when you are getting ready to play in your first tournament. However, being prepared when you are about to take your seat will help you focus on the game and what is happening around you. Make sure you are staying true to your game and have fun.