Final Table Poker Tips
Reaching the final table is no small feat. To do this, you will have had to best hundreds if not thousands of players. But making the final 9 is not the end. Everyone knows that once you reach the final table, you need to be planning for a top 3 or better finish. This is where the most lucrative pay-outs are.
Whether you have made few or many final tables, this article will look at final table poker tips that will help your chances of getting heads up in the future.
Identify the “survivors”
Everyone wants to win the tournament but there are some that just want to eek their way up the money. They are the type that will fold down to short stack if needs be, if it means an extra few hundred. You find these players at most final tables. It’s understandable to some degree. You make a final table, you don’ want to bust 9th or 8th. However, their mentality is easy to abuse. They are the perfect players steal blinds from and 3 bet if they open in late position.
Trust your gut
If you’re making final tables, you doing something right. One of the main problems players have is that they do stop doing what was working well for them. Perhaps the money or sight of top 3 makes them freeze – but they lack conviction and don’t pull the trigger. If you make the final table, trust your gut and stick with your reads. It is better to try than wimp out as it those that are assertive that get the win.
Learn to do deals right
Most poker tournaments end up in deals. Its important to recognise how many chips you have, how valuable they are and what price value you should be getting. Doing deals is part of final table poker. An easy way to work it out is to add the remaining prizes together to get the total pool. Now divide your stack value by total chips in play. Once you have your % , you work out the same % of the pool to give you a feel.
Research your opponents
Not everyone at a final table is an experienced player, some will even be losers at poker or break even. There are websites that help you know more about the other players by sharing their results. This is useful as it gives you more of an idea of them and their past results. If it is someone who never final tabled before – he may be nitting it up and nervous. This is something you can take advantage of.
Practice short-handed and heads up
Final table poker is great as it combines so many skills at poker. You cant just be a full ring specialist. One needs to know how to adjust to short handed. There is no better substitute than practice. Fire up some 4 or 6 max SNGs and some heads up. The jumps in pay are substantial so its critical you know what you are doing, what hands to open, 3 bet and defend blinds with. Otherwise, you will get eaten alive.
Final Thoughts on Final Table Poker
Unless you play loads, final tables won’t come natural to you. You need to get as much experience and knowledge ahead of it so you take advantage. By practising short handed, researching your opponents, sticking with your reads and being brave, you will have an improved chance next time. The best players fight for a top 3 and will risk an 8th place to get there because it’s worth it.
If you enjoyed this article, perhaps you’d be interested in a poker tournament strategy article or article about ITM rates?