When playing in online poker tournaments, you’re eventually going to have to start mixing up your play so as to trap your opponents and capture their stack. Most players fulfill this by getting involved in a few small pots with weaker hands or draws that they can show at the river.
Forethought should always be taken however, because your adversaries in the early stages of online poker tournaments are willing to risk far more than you would expect.However, once you hit the middle stages and your opponents skill level becomes more evident, blending up your hole cards and betting activity can pay huge dividends when the opportunity shows itself.
Your goal here is create confusion in your opponents and that may take some experience to do correctly and inexpensively. It’s not exactly an easy thing to do, but with some practice and dedication to your game you can start to make some good reads – even online.
Pot control is the key here as you want to mix it up, but not make it costly to do so. This is often difficult because many new players suffer from a lack of emotional control at the table and that gets them into difficult and often times expensive situations.
This could very well be the toughest part of poker to master, because simply put – players who play the same way all the time are easy marks for skillful rounders. For long term winning in poker tournaments, a lack of control will cost you money.
This is a strategy I often use when starting a poker tournament. Have a few select “favorite” hands that you will play like they were much stronger hole cards and whenever you get them debate making a bet. Of course, not always in case someone else went all in before you or made a huge raise from early position, but you when you are in those small ball pots against strong players, raise with your 67 suited, your J9os or your Th8h.
It really doesn’t matter which hands you pick but try and choose ones that have flush or straight potential. The added bonus here is that if your opponents are using poker software to track your style of play they are getting misinformation.