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Texas Hold'em Tournaments - Early Round Survival Tips

Despite certain restrictions on online poker for United States players, tournament poker is alive and well, both at online poker sites and in live casinos. The first event of Commerce Casino's 2007 L.A. Poker Classic saw over twelve hundred players make the trip to participate, and Full Tilt Poker 2007 main event championship saw nearly 2500 players pull their virtual seats up to the poker table. Thousands are expected to show up for the World Series of Poker in the coming year.

To survive late in a poker tournament, you have to survive early. Here are a few ways a casual player can survive the early rounds of a tournament with a little bit of luck on their side.


Tight is Right

Unless your tournament has a very fast structure, with a small number of chips relative to the blinds and/or short rounds, there's no need to get too involved early. Committing a lot of chips to a moderately strong hand right out of the gate is a good way to get sent packing in the first round or two. Try to stick to premium hands, and if you don't improve too much on the flop, be prepared to fold them to a show of strength. Don't worry if you think you’re getting bluffed a few times. Once the antes are added to the blinds and the pots are really worth winning, you're going to start trapping and firing back, and those overly aggressive players may quickly find themselves shipping all of their poker chips to your side of the table.


Beware Aggression

Some professional players will tell you to adopt a super aggressive strategy from the start, with the idea that you will either double up early and have enough chips to be able to fully utilize all your poker skills, or get knocked out early and save a few hours that you might lose by going deep into the tournament but not cashing. For most players on a limited bankroll who are looking to stretch their tournament dollar, this is not a great strategy, as you are likely to get eliminated early, and even a few double ups when the stacks are low will not necessarily put you in a position to win the tournament. Phil Hellmuth, the most successful no limit texas holdem tournament player in history, advocates just the opposite, a super tight strategy, for the early rounds of a tournament.


Don't Get Discouraged

Poker tournaments, like any form of poker, require a not insignificant amount of luck. Even the best tournament players in the world get busted out of tournaments without cashing all the time and you probably will too. To be a successful tournament poker player, you must accept that you can play your best poker and still get knocked out. Don't change your playing style unless you are sure that it is leaks in your game that caused your early exit, rather than unfortunate turns of the cards. If you're playing online poker, you can usually get back into another tournament right away, and live casinos hold tournaments fairly regularly too, so you can always jump right back into action as soon as you are ready. Persevere and play solid poker, and eventually you will make that coveted final table.

If you'd like to get some more well written information regarding the game of texas holdem poker, I'd recommend that you pay Learn-Texas-Holdem.com a visit.


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