The Poker Tournament Formula — Introduction
(Or, Why a New Approach to Poker Tournaments is Long Overdue)
I am going to show you how to make money in the “fast” no-limit hold’em tournaments that are now so popular on the Internet and in poker rooms all over the country. I’m going to show you how to stop being at the mercy of the cards you are dealt, and how to adjust your strategy for each tournament you play. I’m also going to explain exactly why you must learn to do these things if you have any intention of making money in these tournaments.
What is a “fast” tournament? Briefly, it’s any tournament that has blind levels that last less than an hour. These tournaments generally have buy-ins from $20 to $1000, and last anywhere from two hours to six or seven hours at the maximum. If you think that the strategies for beating these tournaments are the same strategies that you would use to beat the major events, you are mistaken. And if you think you can use a single one-size-fits-all strategy for every fast tournament, you are mistaken again, and your mistake is costing you money.
If you currently play regularly in small buy-in tournaments, you have probably noticed players who seem to make the final tables consistently. You may think that these players are just lucky, and get dealt more good hands than you do. You may think they suck out so much they must have some kind of a pact with the devil. In fact, if you read this book, you’ll learn what they are doing. And soon you will be feeling a whole lot luckier yourself.
For every player who enters a major $10,000 buy-in tournament, there are at least a thousand players who enter a small buy-in tournament. In Las Vegas alone, there are more than 200 small buy-in tournaments every week. These tournaments are also exploding in California’s poker rooms and other poker rooms all over the country—to say nothing of the Internet poker rooms, where you will find thousands of online tournaments daily. The boom in tournament play represents an influx of unskilled players to the game that makes these fast tournaments one of the richest gambling opportunities I’ve seen in decades. And you don’t have to be a poker star, or have a big bankroll, to take advantage of this opportunity.
This is a book for the 99.99% of no-limit tournament players who are more interested in making money in the tournaments they actually play than in reading about strategies that might work in the major $10,000 events they can’t really afford. After all, if you make more money in the tournaments you’re actually playing, you’ll be able to afford the big events much sooner.
This book will be different from every other book on poker you’ve read, even if you’ve read them all. This is not a rehash of the same old stuff that all of the major poker authors have already said. This is something entirely new, from a different type of professional gambler’s perspective, and it works.
If you picked this book up because you are a beginner, and you apply yourself, you should soon be making a lot of money in small buy-in tournaments from many more experienced poker players. If you are an advanced player and you’ve read all of the major books on this subject, this book will contain analyses and strategies that will surprise you.
This book is a gift to the up-and-coming pro gamblers of tomorrow who are trying to build a bankroll today in the small tournaments. These small buy-in tournaments won’t make you rich overnight in and of themselves, but they can get you the bankroll and experience you need to take on bigger gambling ventures. Playing in these baby tournaments, you’ll learn a lot about gambling and people.
And even if you have no aspirations toward becoming a professional gambler, poker tournaments are fun. Once you start playing them, it’s hard not to develop a passion for the game, and making any money at all at a game you enjoy playing is reward enough for many players. This book is for you too.
I have great admiration for the top players I’ve met in the fast small buy-in tournaments, the players I’ve seen over and over again at the final tables. I learned a lot of what I know by watching the winning players who were already doing much of this stuff when I got there.
As to the question a friend asked about whether this book will open the eyes of the tournament hordes, making the small buy-in tournaments tougher to beat, I doubt any book could ever change the one basic fact of poker that has kept the pros going for decades:
There are a lot of fish in the sea.
©2006 Arnold Snyder