By: Jason Lake
I love tournaments. Most poker players do. But tournaments can take up a lot of your time if you do well – and you should always plan your schedule accordingly, just in case you do make that deep run. Don't have enough time? Then turbos are for you. Turbos have shorter levels than typical tournaments; the blinds increase around twice as quickly, or even more if you're playing super turbos/hyper turbos.
From a strategic standpoint, there are a few tweaks you should consider when you're playing turbos. The faster levels give you the incentive to play more loosely in general, since you don't have as much time to wait for premium hands. Here are five more specific tips to help you get the most value out of your turbos.
1. Pay attention to the structure
The faster the levels, the more you'll want to open up your ranges, but that's not the only challenge; turbos often give you shorter starting stacks to work with – especially hyper turbos. Take the time before you register to figure out how many big blinds you're starting with, how many minutes there are between levels, and when the antes start kicking in.
2. Stick with the program early
Assuming you're not playing with a short stack right out of the gate, it's usually a good idea to keep it tight early on. As a rough guideline, you won't have much incentive to start widening your ranges until everyone starts putting antes into the pot.
3. Don't get too crazy in the middle stages
In any poker tournament, once you get down to around 30 big blinds, you're in a bit of an awkward spot. You'll still want to loosen up at this point during a turbo, but consider saving it more for when you're opening in later position.
4. Punish short stacks
If you've got an opponent who's fallen to 10 big blinds or so, and you've got around twice as many chips, you can really go to town. They'll be shipping it in fairly light on average, so go ahead and re-ship with stuff like medium-plus pairs (66+) and tasty Aces (AT+). As always, adjust these ranges according to position and player type.
5. Get your own shoving ranges down pat
Eventually, you'll be down around 10 big blinds yourself. Don't get into car crashes with other players if you can avoid it, unless you have a sweet premium hand. Be the first to open, and take the time to learn which hands to shove from which positions, with how many big blinds (or M, if you're a boss) left in your stack. The tournament life that you save could be your own.