The beginning of a tournament can set the tone for how well you do in that tournament. There are a few things you can do that can help you start a tournament well and can potentially set you up for success later on in the tournament:
Analyze your opponents - When you are first seated for your tournament take note of the competition your up against. If you have notes on a particular opponent that you haven’t played against in awhile, take a moment to review those notes.
Play Tight - I’ve seen a lot of players call with almost any hand at the beginning of a tournament. In my opinion it’s best to play fairly tight at the beginning of a tournament. A lot of those players who are calling with almost any hand usually won’t last that long in the tournament. It is important to pick your spots when you have a strong hand and make good bets. Don’t just go all in preflop with Aces because most of the time that scares everyone out of the hand. Bet just enough that your getting good value for your hand while not betting too high that causes everyone to fold.
Don’t Chase A Bingo Player - In freerolls and low buy in tournaments there will always be a bingo player (A player who goes all in every hand) It’s important to stay clam and not get frustrated. These players normally bust within the first few levels of a tournament. Just like playing tight you should pick your spots and only call against bingo players with strong hands like Aces or Kings. Don’t chase them with a bad hand and give them the satisfaction that going all in every hand worked for them.
If you pick your spots in a tournament you could potentially build up your chip stack for the later stages of a tournament. What strategies do you use at the beginning of a tournament?