You Don’t Have to be a Great Poker Talent to Win Money From Tournaments

Poker is 100% luck.

There is absolutely no skill in the game and anybody can rock up, scan a one-pager of the rules and play their way to the prize-pool.

Unfortunately (or fortunately depending on how you look at it), this is a lie.

Poker is very much a test of your logic. And it takes just one look at a career like Phil Ivey’s to prove it…

…if poker was 100% luck, then how could he reach nine final tables on the World Poker Tour? Not to mention claim nine World Series bracelets before turning 38.

Still, you don’t need to be Mr Ivey to make some money from Texas Hold ‘em. You just need a trick of the trade (or two).

The pros often share these tips online but for a n00b, their guidance can sometimes be a real challenge to decipher.

Here’s a method that has helped one poker player edge into the prize money more often:


Learn how and when to fold big hands – really big hands.

It’s a tired piece of advice but remains a useful weapon for the modern tournament player. Phil Shaw wrote about folding monster poker hands back in 2010 and got a bit of backlash from the PKR community.

His recommended moves were (and still are) solid but his focus on the science behind them left some followers confused.

So, let’s just take his main point which is easier to understand…

Folding a pair of Kings, Queens or Jacks

It’s one of the best feelings in poker, glancing at your holding cards to see two big fat Ks, Qs or Js. But if you’re on the edge of the prize money, in a multi-table tournament, is it really worth risking your entire chip count on these pairs?

Even when you’re holding Kings, if somebody moves all in and their stack has yours covered, Shaw recommends you fold. Why? Because the risk outweighs the reward.

If you’re truly in the game to win money and you’re not the shortest stack at the table, then you don’t need to play any of these pairs. Take a gulp and fold.

If you’re interested in the science behind Shaw’s recommendation to fold, read his original post here.

He also goes onto explain instances where you can ‘comfortably call’ with such hands, and even drops some knowledge on how to play Ace-King when on the edge of the cash bubble.

Some players will wince at the idea of folding a hand like KK, no matter what stage of the tournament. But just having this move in your locker could mean the difference between a profit and a loss one day.

Remember that it’s not a rule – it’s just another option.

Learn the science behind even more techniques like this, for free, by accessing PKR’s Raise Your Game hub. The more you digest, the more options you’ll have when it’s crunch time in a tournament. And chances are your opponents haven’t read this stuff yet.

Learn More Here

Write for us

If you have any questions, please fill in the form below.