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Why You Should Play Tighter in Poker Tournaments on the Weekend

Live Poker Rooms

Today, we will go over a bit of an atypical strategy that’s based on my personal experiences as a tournament player. We all know that you should change your style of play based on your opponents, stack size, and blind levels.

However, have you ever changed your strategy based on the day of the week? I have. When I travel to Las Vegas, there are times where I will change my style of play based solely on the fact that it is the weekend. On the weekends, I tend to play more like a rock than I do at any other point of the week. Here are some reasons why.

Increased Field Sizes

Often, the field size of your average daily poker tournament in Las Vegas will double over the weekend. A tournament that normally draws 30 people may draw 75 players. This is due to multiple reasons.

The first is your weekend warriors. These players will only play on the weekend as they have jobs during the week. The other factor is tourists. Places like Las Vegas get a large influx of tourists on the weekend as that’s the only time they have to travel.

Large Poker Field

On the weekends, poker tournament sizes tend to double at smaller casinos.

With a larger field size, more players were paid. Quite often, we would get to the final table with almost all being casual players willing to strike a deal. In these cases, it would make more sense to rock up and make the money as you have a better shot at a decent payout.

Beer, Booze, and Rebuys – Oh My!

Weekend warriors and tourists are looking to have fun and unwind. How do most do this? Alcohol. When I enter local rebuy or re-entry tournaments on the weekend, there is a great chance that a player at the table is going to get drunk. Other players will play wild and crazy and throw away their money like it grows on trees.

In these spots, I am going to channel my inner Allen Kessler and win big pots when these players play like fools. If you don’t think that rocks can be chip leaders in tournaments, play alcohol-driven tournaments on the weekend. This is a great example of low-risk and high reward play.

Player Don’t Adjust After End of Rebuy or Reentry

Once the rebuy or reentry period ends, tournaments become freezeouts. Many players in these events fail to adjust their play and this gives tighter players some opportunities to pick up chips.

This is also a good time for you to start becoming the table bully if you have been able to build a stack. Put pressure on the shorter stacks, especially if you are anywhere close to the bubble.

You should be able to gauge when it is time to start playing more aggressively as the field thins out. Many of your drunks and bad players will be out of the field by the time you get down to around 20 players.

At this point, you have your regulars and better players left in the field. At this point, you can change over to your standard style. Of course, there will be times where bad players and intoxicated players make it this far. A tight style of play may work in these spots.

While a tight style of play telegraphs your play, there are times where it is still very profitable. Pay attention to the tournaments at your local poker room on the weekends and see if there are opportunities to rock up.

Note that these tips generally work for small to mid-sized poker rooms. Your larger poker rooms like those at Bellagio in Las Vegas will tend to require a more balanced approach to play regardless of the week. However, for smaller rooms, these tips can help you win more on the weekend.

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