Three Key Ingredients to Winning No-Limit Hold’em Tournaments


No-limit hold’em tournaments not only challenge players to discover the best ways to play particular hands, they also require them constantly to keep in mind the broader perspective imposed by the tournament format. In other words, while it’s great to have a solid understanding of NLHE fundamentals, in tournaments you always also have to remain aware of the constantly changing contexts for individual hands.

Popular Twitch streamer Evan “Gripsed” Jarvis identifies three key ingredients that he believes can help you maintain a dynamic strategy to maximize your expectation in poker tournaments no matter what the situation.

Those three ingredients are:

  • Look at the big picture
  • Know how to play various stack sizes
  • Understand the effects of the payout structure

In the video below, Jarvis explores each of these three ingredients in more detail.

Under the heading of looking at the big picture, he explains how even the best players only cash a small percentage of tournaments, making the deep run (and big cash) an important goal upon which to focus. Meanwhile knowing how to play various stack sizes represents a skill that distinguishes tournaments (somewhat) from cash games — especially deep-stacked games — since stacks are changing so frequently in tournaments. Finally, understanding payout structures can have a big effect on how much risk you take on in the effort to make that deep run and finish in the highest-paying spots.

With the 2016 World Series of Poker getting underway this week, Jarvis will be back at the Rio All-Suite Hotel and Casino where among other goals he’ll try to tie Ronnie Bardah‘s record by cashing in a fifth-straight WSOP Main Event.

To mark the start of the series, Jarvis is hosting a couple of free webinars this weekend along with fellow poker pro and coach Nicholas Verkaik.

The first, titled “How to Win Consistently at the WSOP,” happens Saturday, June 4 at 1:00 p.m. ET and will cover planning for the series, maximizing expectations, deciding when and where to play, managing your time, energy, and emotions, and more. The second follows on Sunday, June 5 at 1:00 p.m. ET, covers “How to Sell Action & Play More Events,” and will discuss the process of selling action, putting together packages, finding investors, record-keeping tips, among other related topics. (Source: