In addition to wanting to last longer, other pitfalls to avoid in MTT play include

Bounty Hunting. Unless you’re playing in an actual bounty tournament, going out of your way to eliminate other players is not going to help your bankroll. This is particularly useful to remember if you’re the big stack at the table and start to feel the inclination to throw your weight around and knock out the little guy. If at any point during a tournament you start to channel Rambo, take a moment to remember this: it is not your job to kick anyone’s ass in particular, but it is your job to save yours.

Risky Business. Granted, to some extent all poker is risky business, but there is never any reason to take an irresponsible risk. Being chip leader is great, but if you act rashly, it could cost you a lot (or everything) and you won’t even stand a chance of reaching your goals.

Movie-Script Poker. Thinking about playing straight from the script of your favorite poker movie? Then you can also think about packing your bags. Trying to make totally wild plays to satisfy your ego only works in the movies. Don’t be too cool for school; stick to the lessons in this guide for your best odds.

Things to Remember

Never forget your ultimate goals (i.e. winning, maxing your ROI, accounting for the human element); it’s

easy to lose sight due to opportunities for instant gratification.

Never give up. Any stack size can win. (Greg Merson had 3.5 big blinds on day 5 of the WSOP Main Event and came back to win the event for $8.5 million.)

Your stack size is going to fluctuate – don’t let your emotions fluctuate with it.

You need to know your opponents so that you can identify your ideal strategy for getting chips.

BE AGGRESSIVE! You should very rarely pass up on a profitable spot. (Think 60% in your favor or even money vs. the opponent with dead money in the middle.) When you register for the event you take on the challenge of gambling your way to every chip in play, and you’re not going to get that done by avoiding confrontation.

Be aware of your position in the field relative to others; I’m talking about table position and set up, average stack size and payout structure. This will help you know your odds of winning as well as your odds of making a specific payout and these factors will influence when you should play a risk-averse strategy (rarely) vs. when you should play a risk-inclined strategy (appropriate for 90-95% of the event).

At this point, you should be mentally ready to handle your pre-tournament challenges. Your mind should be as prepped as possible and you should know exactly what you want out of the event and strategies that will best help you keep your eye on the prize.


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