Turbo tournaments are a fast and furious way to play poker. They can be extremely profitable too – but only if you know all the turbo-charged moves. Test your mettle with Ross Jarvis’s quiz
Q1. Aces of Base
Players 6 Blinds 50/100 Your stack 5,000 Your hand A♣-A♠
It’s early in a £11 online turbo MTT. There are a lot of weaker players in the field. You raise to 300 with A-A in early position and the big blind three-bets to 1,300. What should you do?
b) Call for deception
c) Four-bet to 2,800
d) Shove all-in
Q2. The Three Count
Players 9 Blinds 100/200 Your stack 2,600 Your hand 3♣-3♦
You’re playing in a £50 live tournament and have got pretty short in chips. A big stack raises to 500 under-the-gun, and two other players call before the action is on you with 3-3 on the button. What should you do?
b) Call the 500
c) Three-bet to 1,300
d) Move all-in for 2,600
Q3. Go For Broke
Players 8 Blinds 500/1,000/a100 Your stack 28,000 Your hand 8♣-7♣
You are in a $22 online tournament and approaching the money. A player in the cutoff raises to 2,200, you call on the button with 8c-7c and the big blind calls too. The flop is 7♦-3♦-2♣. It’s checked around and you bet 4,000. The big blind shoves all-in and covers you. What do you do?
Q4. Boogie in the Blinds
Players 5 Blinds 3,000/6,000/a500 Your stack 150,000 Your hand T♣-T♦
It’s the final table of a £75 live turbo. You’re doing really well with five players remaining. It’s folded to you in the small blind with T♣-T♦. Your opponent is super-aggressive and has a 77,000 stack. What should you do?
b) Call the big blind
c) Raise to 12,000
d) Move all-in
Q5. Heads-up Heaven
Players 2 Blinds 5,000/10,000 Your stack 250,000 Your hand A♣-4♦
You’re now heads-up in that same turbo tournament. You raise preflop with A-4 and are called. You both check the A♠-8♥-J♣ flop. Your opponent bets 40,000 on the 5h turn and you call. He now bets 80,000 on the 3c river. What should you do?
c) Move all-in
1. d) Shove all-in.
Players typically will – and should – play more aggressively in the early stages of a turbo MTT than they would in a standard-paced tournament. You should go ahead and play your Aces quickly just in case overcards come on the flop to scare your customer away.
2. a) Fold.
It can be tempting to just get it in with any pocket pair when you are short-stacked. In this situation, though, that would be a mistake. You have very little fold equity here because the other two players entered the pot from early position and should have a strong range of hands. You should just fold and wait for a better spot.
3. b) Call.
In turbo tournaments it’s essential that you take every close +EV spot you can get. As the blinds move so quickly you won’t have the time to wait around for the nuts. Here, the board is so draw-heavy that you should make the hero call. The big blind is unlikely to have a bigger pair and will often be making this huge shove with hands like Qd-Jd that don’t really want to be called. You must sometimes take a big gamble in turbos.
4. c) Raise to 12,000.
It’s tempting when you have a good hand like T-T just to limp in to allow your opponent to either raise preflop or hit a piece of the flop. However, T-T can be quite vulnerable to overcards coming down so you should raise. Another reason is good players will almost never just call you preflop with a 13 big blind stack – they will either shove or fold.
5. b) Call.
You’ve checked back this flop both for pot control and to disguise your hand. When you have a hand that is stronger than it looks you must be prepared to call down lighter than usual.
0-2 Fast & furious
Oh dear. The faster the game the faster you hit the rail.
3 Live fast die young
Not bad but you’re not a turbo champ just yet…
4-5 Fast track!
You feel the need for speed. Time to turbo-charge your bankroll!