How to Prepare for a Poker Tournament

Entering a poker tournament can be a justifiably daunting experience. New players will want to be prepared as well as possible before getting to the table. 

Here are some tips for preparing for a poker tournament. 

Keeping Calm and Visualize

Nobody ever won big by getting angry at the result of a play. Staying calm and collected during the rigours of a poker tournament is not always easy, but it is the best approach to take. 

By employing the visualization method, you can better prepare yourself for bad hands and when things go awry. Before playing, imagine how you will react if you have a hand that you cannot do anything with. 

Then put yourself in the position of reacting calmly and coolly to this development in the game. The more you do this you can make it more of a familiar response if (and it invariably will happen at some point) it happens during a game. 

You could also visualize the positives of uncovering a good hand or winning a game. You could even put yourself in the picture of winning the whole tournament. The more you visualized something happening, the greater your chance is of managing the outcome. 

The Rock Technique

Sometimes the best advice for playing in a poker tournament is to use the rock technique. As the name suggests, being a rock in poker offers greater potential for solid and less risky gameplay.    

Players using Rock technique will often wait for potentially big scoring hands such as high number pairs and Ace and King combinations. 

Advantages of the Rock Technique

It is easy to see why the Rock is often used by new players to poker tournaments. The overall strategy of only going for a play when you are reasonably sure of a win makes it ideal for risk-averse players.

Rocks can be generally counted to go in with their best hands. Bluffing and more subtle techniques are not part of the equation. 

This is another strength as many experts advise on not bluffing too much. The chances of holding off a big loss are therefore generally in the favour of those who don’t take big risks.  

Another valuable advantage of the technique can come from adding up the hours of gameplay. Some casinos will reward players with tokens and other initiatives the longer they spend at the table. 

Obviously by taking fewer risks, a player increases their chances of staying in the tournament for longer. 

Disadvantages of the Rock Technique

Players using the Rock tactic can be easily identifiable to experienced players after just a few rounds.   

Rocks will generally play high ranking pairs pre-flop (before the other cards are placed) when they have the opportunity. As they are unlikely to bluff, when they do bet to continue the process, other players can often deduce they have a big hand. 

Look After Your Self

Self-care is crucial when embarking on a poker tournament. That makes looking after the essentials that your mind and body will need throughout the gameplay.

Tournaments can go on for hours, so ensuring you have the physical and mental energy required for a long gameplay session is vital. 

This means getting a good amount of sleep before the tournament kicks off is a valuable way to get off to the best start. It is also worth thinking about a healthy diet before play. That means unhealthy food and alcohol is best avoided.

 When you eat well and sleep well, you have already given yourself an extra advantage.

Breathing Exercises 

Taking part in breathing exercises before you get started at the tournament is a valuable way of getting in shape for the event. Breathing mindfully offers a strong method of developing concentration and coping with whatever happens during the games. 

Breathing is the backbone of meditative practises. Meditation also offers a valuable helping hand before taking part in a poker tournament.

Physical Exercise

Taking the time to get out in the great outdoors and do as much exercise as you are comfortable with is a great way of preparing for a poker tournament. It might be that you will be spending hours in a dimly lit interior playing hand after hand of poker, which as exciting as it may well be, could also take its toll on the body.

Aim to go on for a good number of walks, runs or bike rides in the fresh air. This will help build up you all-round fitness levels before you enter the tournament of play. 

Develop Ways to Control Anxiety

It is only natural that a big game during a poker tournament might raise the stakes both in chips and in anxiety. Practising a variety of healthy methods to manage these anxious responses will offer a better experience all round. 

Make Sure You Can Afford to Play 

It always makes sense to play according to your means. Of course, every player hopes for a big win, but you must be able to cope with the possibility of the losses as well. 

Playing within your means, and budgeting for the possibilities of losses as well as wins will prove for a much less nerve-wracking experience. 

Preparing practically and sensibly before getting to the poker tournament, will provide you with a better chance of a productive and memorable experience.