Top tips to improve your multi-table tournament poker profitability

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Find out how to accumulate more chips in your MTTs

Are you someone that enjoys the thrill of playing multi-table poker tournaments but struggles to run deep? If so, the chances are you are probably hemorrhaging from your poker bankroll. Chasing the monster payouts from multi-table tournaments (MTTs) compared with sit-and-go’s or cash games might be the “sexy” way to play Texas Hold’em, but there’s nothing romantic about your bankroll dwindling.

If you are self-critical of your MTT poker strategy, consider the following tips that could help you make crucial adjustments to your MTT gameplay, and enhance your live and online poker tournament profitability in the long term:


Be prepared to defend your big blind

If you didn’t already know it, to become a profitable MTT player long-term, you need to be ready to protect your big blind. Defending the big blind is something people often avoid because they feel like they are throwing good chips after bad chips. However, in many cases, the big blind gets very generous pot odds to continue, especially if an opponent has only made a modest open raise.

It’s also important to take note of who is open raising. If it’s someone that you deem to be a weak player, you’ll be much better off defending your big blind more instead of surrendering.


Don’t switch off when you’re not in a hand

At a multi-table tournament, a critical factor in successful poker strategy is to pay attention to your opponents’ cards, even when you aren’t in the hand. It’s imperative to gauge for “tells” and find out whether they were bluffing when displaying signs of strength mid-hand. This ties in nicely with the previous tip too. If you can recognize when an opponent is leading with an open raise in a weak or speculative position, you’ll be better placed to defend your big blind.

We get it, playing MTTs at any level can be a grueling, energy-sapping experience. It’s arguably the “daddy” of poker. They don’t make the World Series of Poker (WSOP) Main Event a week-long process for nothing. Be sure to eat well and stay hydrated to help your mind remain switched on.


Do your best to steal pots regularly

You must use your late position in hands as an advantage, particularly against weaker opposition that’s prone to make rookie poker mistakes. The best way to deter tighter, weaker opponents from getting involved in a hand is to raise small and often. In later position, your hand range can expand, particularly if there have been no other takers to get involved on the flop.

Some poker experts even suggest ignoring charts that tell you the best hands to open raise with when you’re in late position. Instead, you should focus on the mentality of your opponents and jump all over any signs of weakness.


Become a master of heads-up poker

One of the best ways to improve your MTT profitability (in a positive way) is to secure more first-place finishes instead of second-place finishes. It’s far from a secret that the jump in prize money between first and second place is very high, which can, therefore, affect your bottom line.

In the main, MTT players focus more on survival, which leads them to avoid heads-up confrontation. That can be detrimental when it comes down to you if you reach the final two. That’s because, in heads-up, there is a greater emphasis on stealing pots.

Those who can master thin value betting and recognize bluffs will be far less likely to come up short in an MTT final table. Heads-up sit-and-go’s are a great starting point to practice for this eventuality, with the chance to get a feel for pre-flop shoving and calling ranges.


Try to manipulate small pots to see more flops

In the opening levels of an MTT, it’s essential to try and manipulate the size of pots at your table. If it’s at all possible to maintain small pot sizes pre-flop you will be able to view more flops and expand your hand range.

It’s foolhardy to throw in a third of your entire stack chasing a flush in the opening blind levels. By seeing more flops and keeping pots small, you can gauge how your opponents like to play before the pressure and the blinds rise.


Know when to tighten up around the bubble

When the time comes for the bubble in an MTT, your level of aggression must be aligned to the size of your chip stack at this stage. If you have considerably more than twenty big blinds at this level, it’s a good idea to tighten up your hand range and avoid any unnecessary bluffs or confrontations. The last thing you want to do is throw away your hard-earned stack with the money approaching.

However, if your chip stack is significantly higher than the tournament average, you may wish to play the table “bully,” by forcing smaller stacks into submission to steal blinds and small pots regularly. If you want to make regular deep runs in MTTs knowing when to change through the gears is vital.


Stay patient after the bubble

Once you are in the money, the temptation can be to get embroiled in all manner of pre-flop and post-flop shoves. The truth of the matter is that some players will simply be happy to get beyond the bubble, mainly as their chip stack doesn’t give them any time to build momentum. If you have a sizeable stack at this point, it’s a good idea to steer clear of speculative shoves from small stacks as suited connectors, and high-card aces can sting you and bring you down to their level unnecessarily.