Winning a large field poker tournament
When you first sit down to play in a large field Texas Hold em poker tournament and by large then I am referring to events where the average field is more than a thousand players then there are certain ways to maximise your chances of cashing or going very deep without having an awful lot of skill. Firstly I am going to make an analogy here with casino betting to highlight what I mean. Putting card counting to one side for a minute then you cannot go into any casino anywhere in the world and play on any game without the situation being –EV.
So essentially you cannot overcome the house edge. However there is a huge difference between overcoming the house edge in the long term and doing so in the short term. If you go into any casino in the world for only one or two hours then your chances of coming away with more than what you went in with are extremely good. This is purely because there isn’t the necessary time available to the casino for the house edge to guarantee that they will get all your money or even part of it for that matter.
This principle is similar to poker tournaments where the biggest factor which decides on the outcome of any one event is luck over skill. In tournament poker as in cash game poker then skill really only makes a difference long term. You could take two players at the opposite ends of the skill spectrum with one player making $100k/year while the other breaks even but yet the break even player could totally dominate during any one session of play.
The exact same applies in tournament poker where the skilled players really only show themselves over a long period of time. This is why I simply do not buy into all of the hype surrounding many players who win big events. Unless they have a long proven history then there is nothing to prevent them from simply having overcome variance. Any half decent player with enough aggression has the game to win an event. But if you have limited experience of playing tournament poker in large field events then you could do worse than follow the piece of advice that I am about to give.
This is to play the event like a super expanded SNG where you are playing very tightly during the first few levels. This at least takes you away from the manic early levels and takes you into the middle stages of the event. However you then need to become very aggressive at this stage before you get short stacked. If you get lucky then you may have already amassed chips. But playing tightly during the early stages not only gets you deeper into the event but it also allows you more time to get dealt good hands that can double you up.