Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Stupid/System 011: Atypical Poker Tournaments

Hey kids, look, it's a brand new chapter . . .

Not all tournaments are created equal. This may come as a surprise to some of you that haven’t been playing Texas No Limit Hold Them for as long as I have (since 2005), but it is true. I mean, sure, yes, you may well be familiar with the typical, meat-and-potatoes garden-variety online poker tournament, where the leisurely fifteen-minute blinds and the 1500 starting chips allow for lots of advanced play (like the min. raise, the triple check-call, and the early position limp). It’s quite possible, I admit. Oh yes. I admit it.

But did you know that there were a whole other variety of tournaments out there for you to sink your fangs into, if you are a wolfman, or possibly Dracula? Even if you don’t have fangs, you can still easily play any number of tournaments whose differences from the norm result in novel changes to structure and optimal strategy in this game we love. [1]

What are these types? You know, I was hoping you’d ask me that. Let me go read some poker books, and then I’ll tell you.

OK, I’m back. Here is a complete listing of the atypical tournament types, along with a few notes for optimal play.

The Turbo. This is a hold ‘em tournament in which the blind levels go up much faster. In fact, every five seconds, somewhere in this country, a blind level is going up — a sobering statistic unless you are drunk on tequila, in which case God bless you. Have you ever been at a tournament, bored and wishing that you could be in that magic part of the tourney in which you might plausibly call off all your chips with Ace-rag without being called a bad name? Good news! This tournament starts there. A lot of people disparage turbos, saying that they are nothing but coin flips, but the truth is that if you are a top player, you can use your edge to lose a lot of money really quickly.

[Go to Poker From the Rail to read the rest of this article.]

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