Pre-Flop: Common Mistakes
- The number one common mistake in a no limit Texas Hold'em freeze out tournament play is to not play a very solid game. If you are not selectively aggressive when choosing hands to play, you will very quickly find yourself out of the tournament and on the rail.
- Using a maniacal approach to playing in a no limit freeze out tournament will severely jeopardize your chance of winning. You must change up your play. Slow down and accelerate your aggressiveness according to your cards and your position. If you play too aggressively and try to bet flush draws and straight draws too often, it will lead to your demise. It is a mistake to never learn to adjust your play.
- Conversely, don't play the game so tightly that you never attempt to win a hand. This will cause you to slowly leak your chips away. If you have the best hand, then play it for all it is worth.
- Don't play in a tournament if you are tired. Tournaments last a long time and to play your top game, you need to be well rested and ready to play the entire time with your best foot forward.
- Don't visit with friends, competitors or watch TV during the tournament. If you find you are getting sleepy or bored, get up and get a drink of water and walk around a bit.
- Don't go all in with anything less than the winning hand, or at least a hand that has 20 or more possibilities of drawing to the best hand. So many players get bored and just toss in all their chips in order to get it over with so they can go do something else. Why even play??
- Be aware of chip status. Some players with average hands will go against huge stacks pre-flop when they only have a small stack sitting in front of them. If the huge stack is at all aggressive, then the small stack will have hung themselves out to dry.
- Players often enter a pot in early position with a run of the mill hand. This is a particularly significant mistake because the player is likely to get himself into a trapped situation.
- Another big mistake is not putting your opponent on the correct hand. If his hand is stronger than you think it is, then you are going to lose chips by losing the hand. If his hand is weaker than you think it is, then you have lost chips by not betting. Putting your opponent on a hand is a tough skill to learn, but a very important one in tournament play.
- If you have identified a player as a "rock" (an extremely tight player who rarely takes any chances) then respect that player when he bets. Many players don't take note of this type of player and try every which way to beat him with less than premium hands.
- Most poker players don't prepare themselves for a tournament. Almost all athletes go through mental and physical preparation before a big game. A tournament poker player should be no different.
- It is a very big mistake to think you are only playing your cards in a tournament. You are actually playing your competitors and their stacks as much as anything. Assessment and re-assessment is very important and it is very fatiguing. If you don't stay on top of the strategy of the other players, then you are playing in a vacuum and will eventually be alone on the rail instead of on the table.
- Players forget that paying the extra ½ price for the small blind bet can end up being some of the most crucial and expensive bets made. When a player forgets that survival is the name of the game, then he has made a crucial mistake.
This is just a brief list of common mistakes made pre flop. Most of these mistakes can roll over to the other hands played in a no limit freeze out tournament. This list of mistakes is designed to stimulate you to think as you play.