Mixed Game Poker Tournament Strategy

Mixed Game Poker Tournament Strategy involves much more than being familiar with the rules and basic strategies for the 2, 5 or even 8 games played. The tournament dynamic – and types of opponents that you will face in online mixed format tournaments – also require some adjustments. This article looks first at general strategy, then at the 3 main stages of a typical Mixed Game Poker tournament to help improve your winning chances – and hopefully hit those final tables!.

General Observations

Look out for opponents not familiar with the rules or basic strategies for the games played. Examples include playing aces as low in 2-7 triple draw and often getting quartered (or paying to draw to non-nut half pots) in Omaha Hi-Lo. Make sure you play pots with these opponents whenever possible and raise to isolate them when you have position.

A large number of opponents at the lower limits online will be loose and passive – basically ‘calling stations’ of varying degrees. Honor the key adjustments against this type of player by bluffing less and value betting more often and with somewhat weaker holdings. Semi-bluffs and raises to thin the field are usually still profitable.

Be honest with yourself about your own stengths and weaknesses, for example if you only break even in Stud Hi-Lo while winning the other games then tighten up for that game. No tournament can be won in a single round and increasing your volatility without increasing your potential profit is often something to be avoided.

Position is important in all forms of poker, even in the Stud games in which this is not fixed you can often anticipate who will be high on 4th street onwards. For games with blinds your button is a huge advantage (particularly in pot-limit games), using the strength of position is more effective against players who are not aware and will often play marginal hands when first to act on later streets.

The Early Stages

Mixed Game poker tournaments give even the weakest players an hour to hang around before the combination of their inexperience and bad play see them go broke. This means that observing your table to spot those bad opponents is profitable right from the start.

While it can be temping to tighten up, the early stages of Mixed Game Tournaments will see the fish giving away their chips – the point is that these chips will be much harder to take from good opponents later in the game. Play aggressively when you do enter a pot and avoid spending too many chips in multi-way hands without a monster holding.

The Middle Stages

As the blinds get bigger you are able to exert more pressure on opponents, as it will become obvious that seeing a hand to the end will cost a larger proportion of their stacks. Raising – or especially re-raising – will often thin the field and may give you opportunities to isolate the worst of the opponents you identified in the early stages. This strategy is particularly effective when you have position.

Stealing Blinds and bring-ins now starts to become worthwhile, as they make up a reasonable percentage of your stack. Extra-big stacks and extra-small stacks should be avoided for ‘pure steals’. The big stacks can call without risking their chances and the small stacks may call you with any reasonable hand out of desperation.

The Later Stages

As the bubble approaches in a mixed game tourney it can pay to assess how each of your opponents reacts to it, this will be influenced by both their tendencies and their current stack size. Mid-stacked timid players who appear to be trying to fold into the money are ideal targets for stealing. Conversely a big stack ‘bully’ who is using the bubble to win many pots may actually provide you with positive expectation situations when you have a good hand. Remember that building a stack for the final table will be worth far more over time than folding into the first paying positions… don’t let the bubble tighten you up too much.

Once into the money places those same medium stacks will loosen up, providing you many opportunities to build your stack for the final table. Playing position, raising to isolate and avoiding multi-way pots without a monster holding at this stage should keep your stack growing. Remember, a top place finish will pay for 10 or more of the smallest cashes – with the top 2 places even more, play positively during the later stages and your profits will be bigger over time.

Mixed Game Poker Tournaments – The Best Selection Anywhere

Profitable tournament play involves playing where many of your opponents are inexperienced in the multi-game format. Pokerstars are my favorite site for mixed game tournaments simply because of the huge number of recreational players who find their way onto the tables for these games. You will find a huge choice of buy-in levels from $1 through to $215, and you’ll be enjoying the benefits of the very best player loyalty scheme anywhere online too! Claim your 100% matched intro bonus when you check out Pokerstars.com for yourself now!