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Top Tournament Mistakes for Beginners

Online tournaments bring in some of the biggest fields of fishes in poker online and they all make some pretty common however avoidable mistakes. Some of the primary mistakes are listed below.

Seeing a lot of Flops

Fish are synonymous with playing way too loose and seeing a lot of flops and this is a big mistake for new players to make. Most beginners figure since the blinds are low in the beginning they should call every hand however it is quite the opposite, in the beginning is when you should be playing your tightest and seeing fewer flops.

Make sure you refer to the good starting hands for tournaments when trying to select hands to play in the beginning.

Playing Dead or Dominated Hands

New beginners always find themselves in troubled waters when they cold call raises not in position with marginal and dominated hands like KJ off-suit or any Broadway cards.

The problem with these second best type hands is that you'll almost always be outkicked and reverse implied odds involved in hitting your hand are horrific.

No Understanding of $EV and cEV

One of the most important concepts in tournament poker is tournament equity or ($EV), which is more important than other concepts like chip equity or (cEV).

Although there is more risk and aggressiveness in tournaments, beginning players rarely understand the importance of +EV play which is needed in tournaments. Bad players won't make decisions based on their tournament equity or any of the ICM principles.

You'll spot this mistake when you see and bad player call all-in for deep stacks two from the money with a pocket pair under 5's.

Poor Players Don't Defend or Steal Their Blinds

For bad players who do make it to the middle/late stages they will most likely fall victim to raising blinds because of their lack of blind stealing and blind defending.

Players who are a little more Loose-Aggressive at this stage have more of an advantage because they exploit the bad players who at this point are shutting down and not defending or stealing. There are only a few circumstances when you should ever be flat calling anything from the blinds, the other times its fold or re-raise.

Stuck in One Gear

One important concept is that of shifting gears in the tournament. Good players start Tight-Aggressive then later shift into Loose-Aggressive to maximize their value from bluffs, steals, and shoves. Bad players will stay stuck throughout the whole tournament in Loose-Passive or Tight-Passive never knowing when to change up their game to adjust to the tournament.

Slow playing AA, KK an Big Slick

It is amusing when you spot the bad player holding rockets get cracked by a flush and even a straight draw with 5-7 off-suit because they slow played them.

New players think that because they have AA or KK they should slow play to maximize the amount of money they'll win never realizing those hands are just one pair and they are inviting players to outdraw them when they play passively.

Value of these big hands disappears when involved in a multi-way pot therefore you need to raise to get heads-up with the rockets.

Avoid all the above mistakes when you play at an online poker tournament, and your results will immediately start improving.