5 Poker Tournament Myths That Are Just Myths and Nothing Else

by Cole Paganelli | February 7, 2020 |

If you enjoy playing poker tournaments, you might assume some things about the game that might not even be true. Although tournament poker tends to be very different from cash games, you should remember that it’s still poker you’re playing there and that you don’t always have to overthink some things. Therefore, let’s take a look at some of the most popular myths created around poker tournaments and why most of them are not really true.

Play Aggressive Only If You Have a Big Stack

One thing that you need to take into account that poker is not a sport such as soccer or basketball that requires making a long-term tournament strategy. Every poker hand is a new opportunity to test a new approach to poker and try to do your best to outsmart your opponents.

Therefore, thinking that only the players with big stacks have to comfort to go aggressive is plainly wrong. Basically, aggressiveness needs to use as a strategy regarding of your chip size. Of course, your stack size IS important — perhaps the most important factor of all — but assuming the black & white strategy such as this one will lead you nowhere.

Short Stack = Commitment

If you’re just a couple of BBs away from hitting the rail, many people think that they need to commit in that case. By folding, they would lose yet another opportunity to improve. That’s why you shouldn’t ALWAYS commit when you’re short-stacked.

Instead, you can fold if you think that your cards are not good enough to earn you the money. This rule doesn’t actually force you to do anything just because someone thought it would be better. Instead, you should calculate your risk properly, even if you only have ten or fewer blinds left.

Play for the Win

It’s always better to win. Nobody likes losers. However, poker is a strategic game and you have to fold from time to time in other to make more wins after that. There’s this awkward “rule” in tournament poker that many players sometimes follow without hesitation. It says: “Play for the Win.” Therefore, you cannot just assume that you’re going to win every hand, as that strategy is definitely going to help you lose all your chips. The “play for the win” approach should be used only in certain circumstances when the situation requires so.

Don’t Raise or Fold If You Have Less than 12 Big Blinds

Once again, pieces of advice that strictly forbid you to do something in order to improve your position are sometimes not correct. In a No-Limit game, you can raise as much as you want if you have the cards to do so. Many players believe that 12 BBs is where all the territory of push and fold is being crossed.

This is often a correct assumption, but it’s not the thing you should do. There are many opportunities along the way, and you need to be prepared to seize them if you spot one, and some of them might be in direct violation of this rule.

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