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Tips for Building up Your Chip Stack in the Early Levels of MTT’s

When you’re playing multi-table tournaments one of the most important things to do is build up your chip stack in the early stages of the tournament. Far too often I see players sit and wait for the best hands to be dealt to them before they commit any of their chips. This strategy will work when you’re playing in small sit and go tournaments or cash games, but when you’re playing in multi-table tournaments you need to open your game up a bit in the early levels of the tournament. We’re going to walk you through some tips that will help you have the best shot at building up your chip stack in the early levels of an MTT.

The first thing you need to do when playing in large MTT’s in the early stages is open up your hand selection a bit more then usual. If you generally only play premium hands and you’re a fairly tight player then you need to be willing to play more hands preflop. Whenever you have the chance to limp into a pot preflop in an MTT you should unless you have something like 2/7, 3/7 or something similar. The reason you want to play a lot of small pots before the flop is so that you can potentially hit a monster hand once the flop is shown.

A lot of players bluff a lot when they play in MTT’s and the reason being is because they want to either build up their chip stack or be knocked out of the event. Not too many players will sit in an MTT and wait for a monster hand. You can use this to your advantage because once you notice what players are bluffing you’ll be able to start raising them. Make sure when you raise them you have a hand that you’re willing to commit your stack with though in case you get re-raised all-in over the top.

Try not to commit your chips preflop unless you have a premium hand such as high pocket pairs or suited cards such as AK and AQ. You always want to try and see a flop is possible when you don’t have a premium hand for as little as possible in an MTT. There is no point in committing your entire stack before the flop without a premium hand because you have no idea whether you’re going to hit or not. You also don’t want to get into the habit of being in coin flip situations every time you end up all-in in an MTT.

Often the early levels of an MTT will determine whether or not you’re going to have a shot at making the money in a tournament. When the blinds begin to go up you’re going to need chips to be able to afford them and if you don’t then you’re going to end up being all-in almost every hand after awhile.