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3 Main Mistakes of Tournament Players

How to save your career from preschedule ending

Dozens of ambitious poker players failed to achieve success. Most of them made three same mistakes now and again.

This article is about these mistakes. Maybe you are still doing them. Time to fix it.

Unproductive Studying

It's hard to find success alone.

Luckily there are tons of study materials out there. Just come and take it. Training sites, poker schools, and articles are everywhere. You can discuss hands on forums, in the circle of poker friends, or, if you are the lonely wolf, with soulless solvers and trackers.

One of the most popular forms of learning materials is poker videos. But the problem is most of the players watch them wrong.

It may sound absurd, but watching one hour video should take at least two hours.

Remember, poker video is not a TV-show or favorite series. You watch it not to relax, but to study. So, your purpose is to absorb as much useful information as possible. To achieve this goal, take notes, put a video on pause, discuss, what is going on with colleagues.

Here is a simple technique that can get the best of any poker video:

  1. Look for break downs of big tournaments from top instructors;
  2. Wait for difficult hand;
  3. Pause the video before the instructor made a move;
  4. Ask yourself, what you would in this spot. Use calculators, trackers, or whatever you need if necessary;
  5. Go on watching and compare your choice with the actions of the instructor;
  6. Repeat.
Play, pause, repeat

Wanna practice the skill of productive studying? Watch this video from Leo DonLeon. It is all about KO tournaments, the most popular tournament format today. The trainer will tell you about KO math, typical field leaks, and the usage of aggression and pressure at final tables. See you in 76 minutes.

Aggressive Bankroll Management

If your roll isn’t deep enough, you are at danger of getting crushed.

Even the most liberal bankroll management rules suggest starting playing big tournaments with at least 100 buy-ins. Variance in MTT is brutal. Even if you are a qualified player, you can face 100+ buy-in downswing. The only way to protect yourself is to have a safety bag. Otherwise, you at risk of losing everything.

If you are a regular player at Sunday Majors or other big tournaments with thousands of participants, prepare 500 buy-ins. It will help you to feel safe and protect from losing the roll during soul-crushing downswings.
The good news is you can choose a more liberal approach if you are playing in extremely soft fields or play tourneys for fun.

Prepare safety bag

Wrong tournaments

When you choose the tournament to play, consider not only the softness of the field but the type of the tournament as well.

For example, try playing smaller fields, tournaments with 50 – 500 participants. It will help you to lower variance and get final table experience.

In smaller fields, the prizes are lower, but you get in the money more often. As a result, the downswings will become much shorter and less brutal. In addition, you will reach the final tables more often. The more final tables experience you have, the better are your chances at the final stages of the bigger tournaments.

Everyone wants to get a life-changing score at big Sunday tournament, but small fields are worth playing as well. You can even make them a key part of your playing charge. Mix them with bigger tournaments and hits of variance will become a bit softer.

Try smaller fields

Avoiding these mistakes will certainly improve your game, but it is just a part of the puzzle. To increase the winnings, you are to work on some practical aspects of the game. «Up the Game» Course is a good playground for it.
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