Learn Poker


5 Questions To Ask Yourself Before You Play a LIVE Poker Tournament, For The Very First Time

1. Do I have the Bankroll to last throughout the tournament?

One of the basic questions you need to ask yourself before you sit for your very first Poker tournament is whether you have enough bankroll to fund at least 50-100 buy-ins in the tournament.

If you realise that you don’t, you need to evaluate if you have the mindset to go ahead and play in tournament as if you were securely bankrolled. Think you can do that? Awesome.

If you are jittery, then maybe you should step out and see how you can solve the problem.

2. Did I get enough sleep last night?

As with any other mind sport, your biggest asset is a clear and sharp brain that has been given sufficient rest the night before. Make sure you get at least 8 hours of good quality sleep the night before your tournament. You want you brain using its full potential to help you strategize and win the tournament.

3. Have I had a good breakfast?

Having a good breakfast isn’t the same as having a heavy or a rich breakfast. A rich or a heavy breakfast will slow you down even before you reach the third or fourth round of the tournament. Your brain gets foggy and sleepy and your stomach is on a trip of its own, trying to deal with all the heaviness crammed inside it.

Nope. You need to have a good, healthy breakfast that keeps you full and yet, fresh and raring to go on the tournament table. You can take a look at the brain superfoods you need to include in your breakfast before the tournament here 

4. Have I studied my past performances?

Knowing the rules, reading about your opponents’(if you know them) as well as your own past performances is a very good confidence builder before you start playing in the tournament. You know the hand hierarchy, you know the rules, you know the errors you tend to make, you know how to strategize and calm yourself in the face of table-talk. If you are confident about these, you will be able to relax and play the game, better. If you haven’t, you need to ask yourself what you can do to make it appear as if you have the confidence and skills to win the game. You will need to keep checking to see if the cracks beneath your armor are showing.

5. Am I mentally prepared and focussed to last the tournament?

The last and final question to ask yourself before you sit at the Poker table to play your very first Poker tournament is- Is my mind prepared to prioritize my game right now? Am I clear that playing poker is the only thing that matters right now?

Getting clarity on these questions is very important to help you play better and concentrate on your game.

Play to Win!




Prashaste Sinha

Prashaste lives to eat and write. She's our very own homegrown poker sceptic who's gone on to enjoy her stint with poker and loves writing and interviewing people who are passionate about poker and life.