Looking to increase your knowledge of heads-up play or planning on playing some heads-up sit n go’s or single table sit-n-go’s? When you are one of the final two in a tournament, whether live or online, National League of Poker has you covered on some things to consider, as well as a strategy for gameplay.
Most importantly, believe that you can win the tournament or heads-up match.
Having a strong belief in your game and that you are going to win the tournament is key. The power of positive thinking really helps you feel like you belong there. Whether it took you 5 minutes to get where you are, or 5 days in a multi-table tournament, you deserve to win.
Timeframe and Patience
How long you’ve been playing for is good to know from a player’s psyche. The longer you play, the more you and your opponent want the tournament to be over. People become less patient when things continue to go on, and they want it to be over. Make sure to stay patient.
What are the blinds, antes, and limits compared to your stack of chips?
Are you deep stacked with chips, and the blinds are still low? Are blinds equal to 1/10th of your stack? Knowing how much time you have to play before blinds and ante’s make this an all-in fest is super important. The more chips you have, the more patient you can play.
Aggression Usually Wins the Day
Hand ranges increase as more players get knocked out of tournaments. All of a sudden, Jack and Queen high hands are favorites against the randomization of two other cards. It’s best not to simply call the blinds or check. Try to be aggressive and win as many pots as you can.
You don’t always need the cards; you just need your opponent to think you do. Hands like King Jack and Queen Ten are pretty powerful heads-up. And if your opponent is aggressive, see where his aggression can hurt him. If he raises you pre-flop and you have Ace 7 suited, maybe move all-in over the top.
The All-in Weapon
Don’t be afraid to go All in Pre-Flop- vs Post-Flop. Putting someone to a decision for all their chips really makes them think you can win a lot of pots by just announcing All-In. Especially if you think the player you are playing is better than you, this strategy allows you to try and win enough pots to when he does call, he’s at a disadvantage from a chip stack perspective. The time for betting for value is over, it’s All in or all out.
Basic Principles that need to be said
Don’t be on your phone or listening to music. You’ll need true focus. Make sure to hydrate, eat, and know when the next break is. Never be too friendly or talkative, you are here to win money. Don’t try and update your friends or family, you’re in this to win it, there will be time to update later.
Whatever you do, don’t fear losing. You made it to the final two in poker tournaments. That alone is a success story. If you win, be humble. And don’t forget, it ain’t over until it’s truly over. Sometimes all you need is a chip and a chair!
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