Just as you would prepare for a big football tournament by checking out the team sheets, odds, and tips, you can prepare for an online poker tournament. The process is a little different, but the fact remains that you will perform better if you take some time beforehand to plan and get ready.
As the old saying goes, if you fail to prepare, then prepare to fail. Even a few small changes can make an impact. Most crucially, the more you practice the habits and preparation steps in this guide, the more it will all pay off. Whether you’ve got a serious event coming up or just want to feel comfortable sitting down at a table, virtual or real, for the first time, this article has the tips for you. Read on to discover how to physically and mentally prepare for your next poker tournament
Poker Warm Up
We don’t recommend playing a lot of poker before a tournament, as you could exhaust your mental capacity. Spending too many hours on the computer could also lead you to feel uncomfortable in a sitting position or give you pain in your hands and arms.
A little time spent playing poker will help to warm you up though. That could be virtually at a site like GGPoker.co.uk or similar, or play one or two hands with some friends for fun just to get into the mindset. By playing poker where you can do some thinking but also feel calm will assist you in carrying that feeling through to the tournament.
One of the simplest strategies for preparing for success is to plan for physical comfort. There are many ways you can do this. The first is to check the timings of the tournament. That will allow you to know whether you can block out that time without needing to do anything else. Poker can often run late into the night, so be aware if you have to be up early for work the following day.
You could sit for hours in front of your computer. Once you’ve made sure that the time is free and you won’t have distractions, the next step is to think about your space. Do you have a comfortable chair to sit in? You need to stay awake and alert but not be fidgeting and struggling after an hour in one position.
Finally, think about your basic needs. Wear clothes that will keep you comfortable for several hours, which might include layers in case you get too hot or cold. Think about when and how you can take bathroom breaks. Also, prepare to have enough food and drink handy to sustain you, including snacks, water, and something more substantial.
Before a tournament, think about what you want to get out of it. Saying that you want to win is stating the obvious. Fill that out with a little more detail by thinking about how you will do that. What are the best and worst-case scenarios?
It helps to think about the things that you can control, so decide what you want your playing style to be. At a minimum, you might want to make some good calls, read the table well, or stay calm even when the stakes get high. Use it as an opportunity to work on your patience, as tournaments are about the long game as well as taking each hand as it comes.
Keep It Simple
Heading into a tournament isn’t the time to try out a new betting style or pull off some incredible bluffs. Stick to what you know so that you’re sharp and at the edge of your comfort zone.