Check Out These Tournament Final Table Tips

Reaching a poker tournament's final table is an exciting time because you stand to win a big payout. Win more with these free tips.

Poker tournament players live for reaching the final table. There is not only kudos for navigating your way to the final table, but it is also where the largest prizes await. Check out most tournament lobbies and you will see the top three finishing positions win the bulk of the entire prize pool. Therefore, it is vitally important to make the most of your final table visits.

Reaching any final table is a difficult task, even in a tournament with as little as 45 entrants. For example, if everyone is equally skilled in a 45-player tournament, you can only expect to reach the final table once in five attempts, and that is over a large sample size. It is imperative to maximize your value when you play your way to the last table.

Be Aware Of Stack Sizes At The Final Table

Expect to see a wide range of different stack sizes when you reach a final table. Big stacks, short stacks, and everything in between will be present and correct under the spotlights. Shootout tournaments are the only exception to this because of their unique structure.

Stack sizes are extremely important to pay attention to. For example, the presence of very short stacks has massive ICM implications. ICM is a topic for another discussion, but it dictates how you play if a move could see you bust before an opponent on life support.

Target the players who have the most to lose. Big stacks can call you, lose, and still find themselves in a healthy position. Conversely, short stacks are looking to double up so are more inclined to three-bet all-in over your raise. Medium stacks have the most to lose, which is usually the case.

Is Someone Trying To Ladder Up Payouts?

Reaching a final table can award some huge prizes. Tournaments such as the WSOP Main Event sees vast differences in payouts. For example, at the 2019 WSOP Main Event, ninth-place paid $1,000,000 with eighth awarding $1,250,000. That is a quarter of a million dollars difference. The prize money increased to $3,000,000 by fourth-place.

Do not be surprised to see players attempting to ladder up the payouts by playing super-tight. Take advantage of these rocks by attacking them at will. They will only play back at you with a supremely strong hand.

Know Your Foes

Any information you obtain about your opponents can help your decision making. Online poker players can use a website such as Sharkscope, with The Hendon Mob best for live events. These databases track tens of thousands of results, which means you can look up your opponent.

Seeing a foe who has a couple of million dollars in cashes lets you know to be wary of them because they obviously know what they are doing. The opposite is true, also. A player with low earnings or limited cashes is more likely to be a weaker player who you can target.

Knowing a player’s past results gives you an indication of their skill level. Couple to that notes you take on them while playing, and their stack sizes, and you have a solid foundation on which to build your decision making.

This next step only applies to online poker tournaments, and you will almost certainly not have thought about it. Online poker is a global game, even on the US-friendly sites listed on these pages. Reaching the final table of a Bovada tournament at 0230 on a Monday morning is tiring for you. But what if you spot someone from the United Kingdom at your table? It is now 0730-0930 for them depending on where in the US you are playing. Guess what this means? That they are tired and will not want too many difficult decisions coming their way.

Use everything legal to your advantage and maximize your chances of winning big.

Brad Johnson

You name the game, and you can bet your bottom dollar that Brad has either played it or placed a wager on it! Brad calls himself a natural gambler, and someone who gains as much enjoyment from writing about the crazy game of poker as he does playing it.


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