Small stakes online poker can be a lot of fun. Although they can be a little frustrating from time to time but for the most part, you will most certainly have a lot of fun competing in one.
Usually, these are profitable tournaments and drive players who do not have a great understanding of the game and the field gets softer as you go lower in stakes, for obvious reasons.
As you can imagine, the majority of these huge fields are populated with recreational players and therefore the standard of play is, as a rule, very poor.
However, it’s not easy to simply deposit a small amount, go on a run and take down multiple events. The purpose of this blog is to give you some tips and weaponize yourself with the required knowledge to turn a decent profit from these tournaments.
1. Get Prepared For Long Grinding Sessions
Most of these low buy-ins, large field tournaments take several hours to complete, so always be prepared for a good grinding session.
Always take your other priorities and to-do-list into consideration before registering in one of these tournaments because you’ll need to be patient and spend a lot of time grinding out these big fields.
2. Crazy Swings and Variance
The level of variance in these big field tournaments is too high simply because of the number of entries and the fact that it’s almost impossible to put most of these players on a hand.
Significantly, some of these players will be calling off your big raises, 3-bets or all-ins with ridiculous cards which further adds to the unpredictability of these tournaments.
While this situation is very favorable in the long run, over the short term you can often find yourself running worse than you ever thought possible.
Proper bankroll management is crucial when playing such tournaments in order to prevent tilting or simply having a bad run.
3. Keeping It Simple and ValueBetting Strong Hands
Running elaborate bluffs at any stage during the tournament can and will be really bad for you. A lot of the opponents in the field will only care about what they have in their own hands rather than what you’re trying to represent. So, you’re more than likely to get called off because they just want to get to showdown and hopefully win the pot.
We advise you to simply keep playing standard and keeping it simple. Play nice and simple ‘ABC’ poker and let cards fall how they will. Make sure that you’re getting value for your strong, made hands as well.
Better players or high stakes grinders may bet into you from time to time because it is more difficult to get paid off at those stakes.
At the lower end of the spectrum, you can get away with betting more. Because so many of your opponents will love to call your bets, you may as well take advantage with your strong holdings.
4. Try To Read Your Opponents and Be Ready To Fold Some Big Ones
Everyone has had an instance of playing against players who are not the best and still getting beat. They keep calling you and while you’re thinking that you’re ahead in the hand, by the time the river comes and you get stacked off with a marginal hand, it can get really tilting.
However, what people don’t understand is that a lot of these recreational players play their hands in a manner which gives you a good chance to get away from your hand. You just have to take it.
For example, a guy limp-calls you preflop. He calls your raise on the flop as well as on the turn. On the river, when the flush comes in, he raises into you. That player has most certainly hit his flush on the river.
You need to consider putting your opponents on nut hands when they float and raise you on the river in such tournaments.
5. Don’t Worry About Playing A ‘Balanced Style’
You’ll always have people advising you to play with a balanced style (having nut hands as well as bluffs in your range) in such large field/small stakes poker tournaments.
In such large fields, it’s highly unlikely that you’ll be meeting the same opponents again. So having the need of hiding your range and not revealing patterns goes out of the window.
While against stronger opponents you should balance your play by varying your bets and actions so as not to be read so easily, against large fields of less skilled opponents this isn’t as great of a concern.
These 5 tips are not everything that you need to be successful in small stakes online poker tournaments but they should help you turn your bankroll from a little to a lot.