League Tournament Play
by Smunker | Published May 28, 2010
A lot of leagues have popped up across the country and a lot of players are playing. This means there is a wide range of players playing. This is a great place to adjust your play and develop your tournament strategy.
First let us look at the basic tournament strategies. Focus on your table which can be difficult since you are usually packed in tight. Know the house rules and be sure they are enforced. Remember you are here to win not just to socialize. However this is a great forum to discuss hands with others and how they were played and how you could have played them differently.
Just because it free does not mean you should not play to win. Many of these leagues have great prize structures and payouts. So it is worth it to keep your "A" game on. This is the perfect spot to practice reading players and increasing your observation and memorization skills. If you notice Joe playing like a donkey you know not to tangle with him on flops that are unfavorable to your hand and full of rags.
Though there may be 60 people in the tournament your focus is the other eight people at your table. You have to focus on how they play what they play and when they make their moves. This will be key on knowing when you can steal a pot or two. Also you will know when to be cautious of those who slow play their hands. You do not want to over bet your hand to a slow player.
I constantly play with a player named Gary and I know when Gary calls that I am in for a fight for my chips. I know I either need to slow down or be prepared to give up on the hand because he plays so tight. Learning how your opponents play is critically and league tournaments help with this.
Finally like any tournament take mental notes and go over them afterwords. You can constantly increase your play by learning from the mistakes you make and remember there is always going to be a donkey you can not get off a hand to save your chips. So save your chips by figuring out who they are quickly.
As a final note about me. I have won several league tournaments I am a constant qualifier for the monthly tournament based off the point structure of the league. I also play at my local casino and online with success in lower limit tournaments.