From my Co-host at CPL Poker Podcast – the Upper Midwest’s ONLY poker podcast – enjoy! And, feel free to check out the show!

By Mark “Verbal” Cardenas

If you believe that a certain tournament is too ‘rich’ for your skills…is that a sign that you shouldn’t play?

I was recently invited to a bigger buy in tournament home game. I’ve played with a number of the folks in the past but about ½ the field was new to me. I struggled with not only the time commitment but also as to whether my poker skills were ‘up to the task’ of getting through a number of quality players…then finding a way to win.  I hadn’t played in a live tourney for several months and hadn’t played all that much online either.

Once I reacted with the ‘sheesh…that may be too much for me’ did I actually sabotage any chance I had of winning the tourney?

 I don’t think so…but I do believe that you need to recognize what you are feeling as it will come out in your poker play. If you’re like me, you will react at the poker table by playing too tight, and bluffing will be completely taken out of your arsenal. Both of these items will cost you chips, so I suggest that you acknowledge what you are feeling so that you are able to combat your natural tendency to play too tight.

Try these tips next time you feel you are outmatched:

  • Recognize that you are going to play tighter naturally
  • Forget about the money and just focus on playing YOUR style of poker
  • Remember that everyone can be beaten
  • Go after the blinds by bluffing from position
  • Lead out with a heavy bet from early position with marginal hands to mix up your game
  • Have fun! A bad day at the poker table is better than a good day at the office! 

Using these tips at the beginning of the tournament will place you in a better ‘mental’ position for the later rounds and hopefully will gain you more chips as well! See you at the tables!


  • Avatar of
    [email protected]
    March 25, 2012 at 2:11 pm

    Only with experience you will dleveope an instinct to pick up on bluffs.You have to watch the players habits and bet sizes.Do they check call draws or bet out draws.Do they always raise from the button.Do they slow play a flopped set.How often do they raise preflop.Studying these and other factors will help you put opponent on a range of hand.The range is not exact.For instance if a tight player raised preflop, and then called my reraise I would put him on a range of pocketpairs 10 s, J’s ,Q’s, AK ,AQ ,BUT NOT KK or AA. If he had AA KK I would expect a rereraise.The flop,turn ,river give you more information.Analyse betting patterns, remember previous actions.Based on this if you get an unusual overbet.You got to think is he bluffing or has he trapped me.Ofcourse you will not always be right,but as long as you are right most of the time,you will be profitable.check my blog for my experience #If you are going to play online click on the fulltilt link on my blog.There are many freeroll games foir you to practice.No need to deposit cash.

  • Avatar of
    [email protected]
    September 27, 2011 at 1:43 pm

    That’s not even 10 mitnues well spent!

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