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10 Tips to Help You Win the Pubcon Poker Tournament

by Kenny Hyder

It’s that time of year again. PUBCON BABY!

While we’re all exci­ted to hit Vegas yet again as we check the events sche­dule to plan out which ses­sions we’ll be atten­ding, I know for sure there’s only one event that is mar­ked in stone on my calen­dar. The ever popu­lar Pub­con Poker Tour­na­ment hos­ted by DK at Pur­pose Inc.

This year DK is doing something really cool and requi­ring all pla­yers to post an entry on their blog about a cha­rity in order to qua­lify for the tour­na­ment. Two thumbs up DK! I am always an advo­cate for doing stuff that counts. While I would nor­mally pimp The Blind Pro­ject. a cha­rity that fights to abo­lish the sex slave trade in Asia, I thought I would bring up another non-profit that I am a mem­ber of that is a little more rele­vant to DK’s event.

The Poker Pla­yers Alliance is a non-profit mem­bership orga­ni­za­tion that fights to give poker pla­yers a safe, secure & regu­la­ted place to play both online and offline. Law­ma­kers across the country are figh­ting to make it more and more dif­fi­cult to play poker legally both online and offline, whether it be in your homes, bars, or even at cha­rity events such as DK’s. The Poker Pla­yers Alliance is a com­mit­ted group of pla­yers devo­ted to kee­ping the game of poker alive and legal. If you are a regu­lar or even occa­sio­nal poker pla­yer, the Poker Pla­yers Alliance can use your help!

  1. Rest — Pub­con is out of con­trol. For those of you who are regu­lars, you know what I mean. For those of you who are going for your first time, you’ll see. If the tour­na­ment starts at 8:00, I recom­mend catching a nap befo­rehand so you’re well res­ted. Being alert and well res­ted will seriously improve your game and give you an advan­tage over the pla­yers who are still figh­ting the han­go­ver from the day before. (That being said, don’t overs­leep and miss the tour­ney alto­gether like I did last year!)
  2. Drin­king - Now while not drin­king may seem ridi­cu­lous at an event when there is an open bar, you can’t play serious poker when your jud­ge­ments are seriously impai­red. If your goal is to win, con­si­der not drin­king, or seriously limi­ting your­self to one or two drinks an hour. Other­wise if you are just there to have a good time and enjoy the open bar… Come sit at my table

  3. Don’t Over­va­lue Hands - If you have top pair top kic­ker on a board with pos­si­ble straight and flush draws, be care­ful about get­ting all of your money into the pot. Just because you think your oppo­nent isn’t that strong, how do you they’re not trap­ping? Even if they’re not, do you know the odds that they will draw out to make the best hand? Best advice is to pro­ceed with caution.
  4. Don’t Be Pre­dic­ta­ble - If you

    find that oppo­nents that you were bea­ting, you are now loo­sing to hand after hand, maybe you have pre­dic­ta­ble pat­terns that pla­yers can easily read. Try to change up your play to avoid being too predictable.

  5. Remem­ber the Action — One of the things that novice poker pla­yers always for­get is to keep track of what has already hap­pe­ned in the hand. If your oppo­nent lim­ped in pre­flop, then chec­ked the flop and turn, and then sud­denly fires out a big bet on the river when an Ace hit — does it make sense that he/she has an ace? Why wouldn’t they bet pre­flop, or when an uncoor­di­na­ted board came out on the flop?
  6. Play A Style Oppo­site of the Table You Are Sea­ted At - As a gene­ral rule of thumb, you will do bet­ter in poker when you play a style oppo­site of the rest of the table. If the table is pla­ying gene­rally aggres­sive, take a con­ser­va­tive style; if the table is pla­ying con­ser­va­tive, play aggressive.
  7. “Poker Tells” — While it is unli­kely that you will pick up someone that has a “tell” as obvious as not loo­king at you when they have a hand, and sta­ring you down when they don’t, be alert of small phy­si­cal tells like someone who might get ner­vous and put a chip on their cards when they nor­mally don’t. If you spot on a tell, sit on it. Oh, and, share it with me

  8. Res­pect the Power of Posi­tion — While you may have heard that “posi­tion is power”, you need to unders­tand why. In black­jack, the house always has posi­tion, they get to see what you do before they have to make any deci­sions. Some­ti­mes you bust before the house has to do anything. The same applies to poker, if you are out of posi­tion, your oppo­nent has a lot of infor­ma­tion about you based on the deci­sions you are for­ced to make before he/she has to do anything.
  9. Don’t Get Bored — If this is the first live tour­na­ment you’ve pla­yed, don’t be sur­pri­sed when every hand isn’t an all-in show­down of AA vs. KK. Poker tour­na­ments are a lot of sit­ting around, and a lot of bad cards that you should fold. Don’t get bored and find your­self pla­ying hands that you shouldn’t just because you want something to do.
  10. Defense - Tour­na­ment poker is much dif­fe­rent from cash poker in that you can’t buy back in if you bust out. Because of this you want to play defen­si­vely, making sure to defend your chip stack. Tour­na­ment play is not the place for outra­geous all-in bluffs or cha­sing down expen­sive hands to the river if you want to build your stack. Con­si­der not only your stra­tegy on each hand, but your stra­tegy for the tour­na­ment as a whole to make it to the final table.

Good luck to ever­yone that will be pla­ying, hope to see you there!

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