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Daniel Negreanu teaches you how to keep up with the trend and play the most IN tournament poker

 If you started playing poker 10 years ago, especially tournament poker, you will find that most tournament players use a few fairly simple strategies.


But today is different.




In the past decade or so, the strategy of tournament poker has made a leap forward, and the "old school" gameplay is not enough at the tournament table.


In the modern tournament play, the amount of betting and the specific play of each situation have changed dramatically.


Don't worry if you've only recently started playing tournament poker or are a bit confused about today's tournament poker strategy. We have found the best people in the history of the global championships to give you advice.


Who is he? No one else, it is the PokerStars professional player and the iconic figure of the global poker circle Daniel Negreanu. Not much nonsense, here are his recommendations for today's poker tournament.




Question: How do you play the early stages of MTT?


Daniel Negreanu: In the early stages of many tournaments there is no ante, which forces you to play very conservative. I’m a big believer in the saying that you can’t win a tournament in the early stages but you can lose it.


If you find that a player is weak, especially after a flop, you can play more hands with him, try to exploit his loopholes and take the pot on the flop.


Good players don't often slip into the pot, mainly because if you slip into the pot, it will give the small blind and big blind a very good chance to achieve all the winning percentages because they can use 9-6 off-suit or 9-2 off-suit. Kind of garbage cards to see the flop.


There is a basic guiding principle:  in the first couple of levels, you don't bother to increase the stack by 20% to 30%, and try to keep what you have.




Scenario 1: You get involved in a big pot in the early stages of the tournament. You won this pot and found that his chip has risen to the top 20 of the leaderboard. Next, should you continue to play with caution, or try to constantly pressure other players?


Daniel Negreanu: You won't face a lot of ICM pressure in the early stages of MTT. There’s no bubble to get across, and no one on the table is a real short stacks, so in fact, winning a big pot in the early stage can't change your original gameplay.


If you play 200 big blinds at the start of the tournament and then accidentally go up to 350 big blinds or 400 big blinds, that's no big deal. The real thing to do is in the later stages, when there are several players on your table whose chips fall below 30 big blinds. At that time you can start bullying on the table, because for them, every decision is related to money.  The difference between 200 and 400 big blinds is mostly irrelevant outside the fact that you can lose an all-in and still survive


Scenario 2: You played a big pot in the early stage of a tournament. You lose this pot and find that you only have 20 to 25 big blinds left in the bottom of the leaderboard.




Daniel Negreanu: In this scenario, you just lost the ability to play deep chip poker. So now you have to make adjustments and implement Plan B. Basically, you need to adopt a more conservative gameplay.


You are now looking for a time to double your spots , which is not the same as when the chip has 200 big blinds stack . At that time you won’t try to get in to double up.


Question:How Do You Size Your Bets?


Daniel Negreanu:  Bet-sizing is extremely important, and since I started playing, the right bet has changed dramatically.




In the past, people started to raise a minimum of 3 to 4 times the big blind, and the flop was basically a pot bet, no exception. This is what I want to invent "small ball poker". Small ball poker means that you have to take a smaller bet and give yourself the opportunity to play more hands.


If you look at High Roller tournaments and how they've developed in the last 18-24 months, you see a lot of small pre-flop raises and small bets on the flop.


But on the turn and river, the bet amount will be 2 to 3 times the pot bets - use the huge super pool bet to put as much pressure as possible on other players. These are the highest level of poker, so you can learn what to do.


From a broader perspective, your bet size depends on the flop texture, the size of your stack in relation to the pot and the range you put your opponent on.


In the case of polarization, you either have a very strong hand or no card, and the Super Pool bet is a weapon you can use. At this time you can bet twice the pot, making it difficult for opponents to cope.


Small ball poker is now essentially the fabric that every good poker player uses. But this refers mainly to pre-flop and flop play. Flop bets today mostly a quarter or a third of the pot whereas in the old days it used to be three quarters to full pot.


Today, the turn and the river are the moments when the war is really lit. This is the perfect time to adjust your play and exploit your opponent's holes - the amount of bets on the turn and river.


As you can see, the bet on the half pot is getting less and less. The player's bet is either small or large.


Question: how to play the late stage of MTT?




Scenario 3: you are in the top threeof the leaderboard, and now you are on a new table. You use the pocket K to raise in the middle position and get a call from a player in the blinds who has you slightly covered. On the flop the situation is as follows.

    your hand:KK



    Daniel Negreanu: In this situation you should usually call, unless you think they have a strong hand they want to go with. But, as there’s a chance they might be bluffing, I want to give them the chance to bluff again.

    Pushing all-in would not be very smart even though you have the best hand at the moment. Yes, you’ll occasionally get value from drawing hands. But by calling you’ll accomplish one of two things.
    If the draw doesn’t come in you can pick off any bluff and call any bet.
    If the draws come in you can minimize your loss. Say the T♠ comes on the turn, you can play more cautiously. With your hand you block the king so your opponent will either have a lower set or a flush if he check-raises the flop and bets turn and river.

    You might even fold your three kings. Also at this stage you have to think about what you would do with your entire range.

    If you call the check-raise with just a king or a nine or even a gutshot, you have to have a set of kings in your calling range, too. If you don’t, you become too easy to exploit.

    Your play in that situation changes if you don’t have position. Out of position you would often re-raise on the flop because if you don’t your opponent is likely to check back the turn if he misses.

    And that would mean you miss out on a lot of value.

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