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Tournament poker is incredibly exciting. The blinds and ante bets are steadily increasing; the field of participants is reduced until there is only one player – the winner – left. Turbo and hyper-turbo tournaments take the whole thing to the extreme: the blinds and ante stakes rise even faster.
Usually the blind structure of an online tournament is that the blinds increase after 10 to 20 minutes. The actual pace will depend on a number of different factors, including the tournament buy-in chosen.
In turbo tournaments, the blind levels change after about five minutes. And things get even crazier in Hyper-Turbos: Here it takes about three minutes.
These faster structures are ideally suited for amateur players for a variety of reasons. For one thing, it doesn’t take that long to complete a tournament. On the other hand, the playing strength of the field of participants leveled out a little because luck plays a bigger role in the question of who wins.
At first glance, all tournaments are the same. All players start with the same number of chips, the number of players who get into the money does not change, and the really interesting prize money is earmarked for the top three. However, there are crucial differences in the choice of strategy if you want to successfully play Turbo and Hyper-Turbo tournaments. You shouldn’t approach them in the same way as an MTT with a slow blind structure.
At the beginning: “Tight is right”
The first levels of a tournament always play out the same. You start with a large stack, typically 100 to 250 big blinds. So you shouldn’t be fighting desperately for every pot. Arguing for 75 chips with 5,000 chips on the credit side doesn’t pay off in the long run.
“Tight is right” – have you heard that saying before? In tournament poker, the statement is correct: At the beginning of an event, it is more important to keep chips than to accumulate more chips. With your strong made hands, you should definitely rush forward aggressively, but try to build a tight image. This will help you later when you have to go all in with weak hands!
Be aware that mistakes in fast-paced tournaments can have devastating consequences. Even a seemingly harmless mistake can cost you your tournament life. Losing 10 to 20% of your stack after one mistake may seem futile, but after a short while you will end up with a short stack. Always remember: the next blind level is only a few minutes away!
Always keep an eye on your stack and the stacks of your opponents. You should always do this, but it’s even more important in Turbos and Hyper-Turbos. It’s easy to believe you are in a very good position – only to find out minutes later that you have less than 20 big blinds left. This is a difficult stack to play – and many players make serious mistakes by still calling 3-bets and placing continuation bets with weak hands.
Find the opponents who are not adapting properly to new stack sizes and take advantage of the weaknesses.
The middle tournament phase is reached faster
Keep in mind that the middle stages of a tournament are reached faster than normal tournament poker. Prepare to do more steal attempts in late position – with a wider range so you can stay afloat. Many turbo players act too tight for too long and therefore find themselves in push or fold mode too early.