How Players React To A Run Of Bad Cards Or Bad-Beats In The Mid To End Game Of A Poker Tournament Can Have A Surprisingly Big Effect On Profits – Tips For Spotting And Getting Through The Poker Tournament Dip Here.
Here is a scenario that is familiar to many players of online poker tournaments: You played well, building a healthy stack for the middle stages of an online tournament, you lose a pot to a short stack, then raise and have to fold to a big all-in re-raise – a couple of blinds go through you… all of a sudden your healthy stack is average again. While you did nothing wrong your urge is to make a play, a big bluff or daring steal to try and regain your momentum – you have hit the dip!
Many tournaments will involve similar situations, the necessity to keep accumulating chips always carrying the risk of a sharp reversal in fortunes. Key to a winning poker tournament psychology is how you react to these situations and whether you are able to maintain your discipline and look for edges rationally.
Some good news: If you have through about this scenario, and how it can and does effect your play then you are already ahead of 90% of your opponents. After all, you can not begin to think about how to react to a situation in advance if you do not acknowledge that it could occur.
Reacting to the tournament dip will depend on several factors including stack sizes, your personality and tendencies and the dynamic of the table. If you have enough chips left following a rough patch of play then take a step back from the action while you decide how to profit from the players around you.
For example if you are getting 3 bet (re-raised) by the button or blinds every time you raise in later position then make sure that the next time you raise you have a hand you can 4-bet against their range. If you are being flat called too often then shift your hand selection to implied odds hands which welcome a multi-way pot (for example small pairs rather than big unpaired cards). Making sure you are deep enough to make this profitable over time.
Key to the dip is not to become frustrated and make a play in circumstances which you normally would not. On the surface there is a big difference between angry tilt and frustration at having your momentum blocked. However if they both result in an inappropriate bluff or re-steal attempt then the effect on your chip stack could be exactly the same. Each time you think about making a bold move ask yourself whether it is really +ev against this particular opponent taking into account stack sizes, game flow and any history you may have.
To summarize, the dip occurs in many poker tournament situations where your healthy chip stack is diminished after a bad run or reversal. Being aware that this can change your behavior at the table and have a big effect on your profits can save you a lot of unnecessary bust outs. Take a short while to assess your new situation and a few more seconds before each action to confirm that a move is really positive expectation over time – your results will improve for it!
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