PokerPlayer Quiz: MTT early stages

In order to win any multi-table tournament you’re going to have to get a good start out of the blocks. Find out if you can hit the gun in style with our testing quiz

PokerPlayer Quiz 106 1

You’re playing in the £200 PokerPlayer Tour Grand Final and it’s the first hand of the tournament. A player opens to 150 UTG, another in mid-position calls and you have A-K suited in the small blind. What should you do? 

a) Fold
b) Call
c) Three-bet to 600
d) Three-bet to 1,500


PokerPlayer Quiz 106 2

It’s one hour into the same live tourney and things are going well. You call a raise to 300 from a weaker player with 3-3 and four of you see the A♥-T♥-3↔ flop. The initial raiser bets 1,000, two players fold and the action is on you. What should you do? 

a) Call
b) Raise to 2,000
c) Raise to 3,000
d) Move all-in


PPQuiz 106 3

You’re in the early stages of a $50 six-max online MTT. You raise to 350 with Aces and a very good, aggressive player three-bets you to 850 from the big blind. What should you do? 

a) Call
b) Four-bet to 2,200
c) Four-bet to 3,000
d) Move all-in


PokerPlayer Quiz 106 4

In a £100 soft local tournament you raise to 450 with Queens and get two callers. The big blind then squeezes to 5,000. The only times you’ve seen him play aggressively preflop he has shown down Kings and A-K. What should you do?  

a) Fold
b) Call the 5,000
c) Four-bet to 9,000
d) Move all-in


PokerPlayer Quiz 106 5

In a $22 online MTT the ante has just kicked in and it’s folded to you on the button. You have an ugly-looking 7♦-3♦. What should you do?   

a) Fold
b) Limp in
c) Raise to 500
d) Raise to 1,000

Quick-fire round

6) If you’re new to tournament poker what is the best approach to take in the early stages?

a) Tight-passive
b) Tight-aggressive
c) Loose-passive
d) Loose-aggressive 


7) At what stage of the tournament should you start playing more aggressively?

a) In the queue for the dinner buffet
b) If you get moved to the TV table 
c) When you need the loo
d) When the antes come into play 


8) When you sit down in an online tournament what can you do to gain an extra edge? 

a) Stay hydrated
b) Look up your opponent’s past results on a site like SharkScope 
c) Close all distractions like Facebook and Skype 
d) All of the above 


9) A famous pro known for table talk sits next to you and asks how much poker you play. What should you do?

a) Stay quiet
b) Change the subject to something else
c) Tell them everything 
d) Ask if they have seen Howard Lederer 


10) You get a double-up in the first hand of an online tournament. What should you do? 

a) Chill out, you’re almost guaranteed to cash
b) Continue to play your normal game
c) Turn up the heat – you have chips to burn! 
d) Instantly post the hand on Twitter 


The answers

(No cheating!)

1 b) Call
This may surprise you but, even with really strong hands, it’s often best just to call a raise preflop when the blinds are so small compared to the stack sizes of the table. By calling we disguise our hand and can either win big pots postflop or only lose a small one when we miss. 

2 c) Raise to 3,000
Big hands are hard to make and you must try to get maximum value from them. By betting into three other players the initial raiser is indicating he has something, probably an Ace. A weaker player will find it very hard to fold top pair so you should raise here to give yourself the chance of building a big pot.  

3 a) Call
All good tournament players are very aware of stack sizes and you must be too. He will be three-betting you with a wide range here because you have an awkward stack size for playing postflop. As it’s a wide range he will often just fold if you decide to play back at him, making calling slightly better. 

4 a) Fold
This is a close spot and there’s a good argument both for calling and jamming. However, when you think you have a big edge on the field it’s sometimes better not to take on spots where you suspect you will be racing and rarely ahead. 

5 c) Raise to 500
This would be an easy fold before the antes kick in but now, with an additional 225 chips in the pot, it’s worth trying to steal the blinds preflop with any two cards. Even if you get a caller you have position so could win it with a c-bet a lot of the time. 

6 b) Tight-aggressive
If you are only playing premium starting hands it should be impossible to make any huge mistakes, especially preflop. Until you get more comfortable with tournament poker this approach is the best chance you will have of going deep and hopefully cashing. 

7 d) When the antes come into play
Antes change the complexion of a tournament. Now there is a significantly bigger pot to fight for and your stack is also under more pressure as you must contribute chips every hand. It’s important to try and grab your share of the pots now to keep ahead. 

8 d) All of the above
If you are willing to put the effort in there are tons of small changes you can make to improve your edge at the online tables. By doing these you will be more focused and instantly get some general reads on your opponents. 

9 b) Change the subject to something else
Talking at the table can make the game much more fun. However, it’s important not to reveal too much about your poker history as this can give perceptive opponents an early advantage on you.  

10 b) Continue to play your normal game
As great as it is an early double-up really isn’t that important in the grand scheme of a tournament.

Your score

0-4 false start

Phew! What’s that fishy stench – oh, it’s you…

5-7 start me up

Not bad, but you still have a way to go before mixing it with the big boys 

8-10 head start

You can negotiate the early stages and are clearly set for MTT glory

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