Turbo Tournaments have become popular in online poker. These games feature short levels and quickly rising blinds and antes. Some games use the word turbo, when really players can just expect a quick pace. National League of Poker is hosting a $1,000 Kickstart Turbo Tournament this Friday to get players excited for the weekend!

Turbo games still tend to reward the same kinds of skills regular, slower tournaments do. Being smart with your starting hand selection, understanding the power of position, sizing your bets effectively, and being able to read opponents’ tendencies and styles are just as important in fast-structured tourneys, and players who have developed those skills tend to perform better as a result.

It’s just that everything is happening faster in turbo tournaments. You have less time to make adjustments, to recover from mistakes, and to wait for the perfect hand or spot from which to make a move. While you may start relatively deep stacked in turbo games, you can quickly find yourself short-stacked if you do not manage to chip up early in the tournament, so it literally pays to play these tournaments aggressively.

Here are 10 tips to keep in mind when playing fast-structured tournaments: 

1. Don’t change style during early levels (tight is still right)

The blinds and antes are too small to be worth stealing, and in fact you’ll likely benefit more later on by demonstrating a tight image early. That will earn you folds in later levels when you do open up your range and go for blind steals and bluffs.

2. Develop reads on opponents during early levels

Always watch the tendencies of your opponents in order to figure out who is loose, who is tight, who seems to be more savvy with their plays, and who appears to be making mistakes. The difference is you have less time to develop these reads, and a smaller sample size of hands in which to do so.

3. Don’t snooze (and lose)

Players accustomed to regular MTTs are used to the slow pace allowing them to register late, to sit out hands, or if online to surf around and let their attention be divided during the early levels. Such is not the case in a turbo, where you’re much better off being present and focused on every hand from the very start. 

4. Widen your range

Dovetailing on the advice to start looking for spots to steal more often, once you get past the opening levels of a turbo tournament you’ll want to open up your ranges for other actions, too, including reraising others’ preflop opens, calling raises (preferably with position), and making postflop continuation bets/raises. Again, don’t become irrationally loose with your decision-making, but be aware that the rapidly rising blinds and antes necessitate you remain in action frequently. 

5. Pay attention to changing stack sizes

Players can quickly slip from having comfortable stacks to having 20 BBs or less in turbos, with the change in level sometimes suddenly affecting a player’s status. Understand that players with such stacks will be more likely to push all-in should you raise or reraise them, meaning you’ll want to anticipate that possibility when making such moves. 

6. Be aware of impending level changes

Depending on how fast players are acting, you’ll usually only be getting through about an orbit or a little more at a nine-handed table during five minutes of online play. That means that often each level will find you playing from all of the positions at the table just once (the blinds, early position, middle position, late position). If you are getting short yourself, you may find it necessary to reraise-shove or make other aggressive moves before the level changes and your stack becomes less able to elicit folds because your fold equity has decreased.

7. Consider isolating short stacks

As in regular MTTs, players slipping to 10-15 BBs will be looking for spots to double-up in turbos and you’ll see many open-raising all in when given the opportunity. Picking up good hands (medium-to-big pocket pairs, big aces) behind these players may mean reraise-shoving in order to clear the field and set up heads-up showdowns against these short stacks. Weigh the risk carefully and don’t enter into such showdowns without worthwhile hands, but be ready to seize opportunities to gobble up the shorter stacks when they come.

Get in and try your skills in the NLOP $1,000 Kickstart Turbo Tournament!

Tips courtesy of PokerNews