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MTT Strategy: The Early Stage

The early stage of a tournament is very similar to a cash game. The stacks are still very big in relation to the blinds. The main difference to a cash game is that we normally can't re-buy in a tournament. In a cash game we can re-buy as long as our bankrolls allow. For this reason, in tournaments it's much more important not to lose all our chips (in a single hand), because this would mean elimination from the tournament.

In order to play this stage of the tournament successfully it is helpful to read the article on the no-limit hold'em full ring strategy (or big stack strategy/BSS), because very similar principles apply

Tight is Right 

Many inexperienced players think that they can play even marginal hands in the early phase of a tournament as the blinds are still very low and they can see the flop cheaply. This way of thinking is wrong! In fact, the opposite is correct. There is little or no reason to play marginal hands, precisely because the blinds are still small in relation to the stacks. We play this phase extremely tightly, i.e. we only play our good hands, thus exploiting the loose style of our opponents.

In particular when we are in early positions we should play only premium hands such as :Jx:Jx, :Qx:Qx, :Kx:Kx, :Ax:Ax and :Ax:Kx. If we concentrate on...

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