Even though we know Live Games are a standstill, we have a mini guide right here for you if you’ve considered taking part in domestic tournaments. Even if you don’t have as much experience in the industry and you’ve just been an avid poker fan while watching televised poker shows, these pointers below can help you take the right path to ruling the beginner live felts. Once you know what you’re getting into, you’ll realise the difference between playing live in a local space and playing live in one of your dream international poker destinations.

  1. Go onboard with buckets of patience: If you’ve been around the virtual or live felts, you would have observed that some players take way too long to act during big live events or even playing online. It might come as a shock to you but regular players in local tournaments often take forever in making a decision. Understand that these players probably know each other, and the very felts are theirs! They’ll laugh, argue, and take really long to fold – sometimes just for the sake of it, what you have to do is ignore their playground tactics and be patient throughout the length of the tournament. Don’t let it annoy you! Poker is all about adjusting to new situations.
  2. Stay focused and tune out the fuss-makers: As mentioned before, local tournaments can involve a bunch of distractions and if you’re new, it might get really difficult to stay focused on the game, the only thing you need to set your mind to is WINNING. Of course, it’s a must to have fun while you’re at it, however you’ll gain a tremendous edge by focusing on the game at hand. By staying focused, you’ll play your hands correctly and start to notice patterns in terms of bet sizing and observing general behaviours of others at the table.
  3. Straightforward poker is your best friend: At local tournaments, try going for simple and straightforward poker instead of making fancy moves at every turn. For example – a 3-bet light to isolate a player in position would probably work in a major tournament. Most players in local tournaments with a small buy-in will want to see the flop and given the fact that they still have a good stack in front of them, they would even put some to use. We’d suggest you keep it straight and simple. And when you do have a big hand, don’t be shy making a large 3-bet. Most of the time, you will still get at least one or two callers trying to get lucky, which is perfect if you are playing a big pocket pair.
  4. Amp up your aggression when required: Take advantage of the regulars at your table. While we suggest you to not make fancy moves in your initial games, know when to amp up your aggression. Most regular players are looking to just cash in, that’s where you come in with an open game. As the money bubble or final table approaches, don’t be afraid to shove those chips over a late position raise, especially if you’re on a tight stack. Most of the time, everyone will fold, and when you happen to run into a really big hand that simply can’t fold, you will still have decent chance of winning.

Think differently when at the tables; they will often play to cash, you must play to win which will pay off eventually!

  1. Deals are a no-go: Refuse any deal offers if you’re at the felts to rule! Some players are just looking to cash for several reasons; denying them a deal before the actual money bubble bursts will keep them out of their comfort zone. This will make them play far too tight, waiting for the money or put them on a tilt where they’ll constantly try to bust you out! Either way, you’ll position yourself into winning a good stack and use the same to win the game.

Eventually, your general behaviour and overall attitude will depend on the type of players you meet and how you maintain yourself throughout events. But if you want to crush it and dominate the felts, you need to put all those considerations aside and take advantage of every opportunity that comes your way.