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Poker Wizard Extracts

Common Tournament errors


Overplaying Small Pairs in Early Position

One of the most common mistakes I regularly see is people overplaying small pairs in early position. Too many people go crazy with deuces, threes, fours and fives when they are sitting out of position. For the amount of times you are going to get paid off, it isn’t worth it. My theory is that if you can’t stand a raise you shouldn’t put chips into the pot. That means that if you can’t make a raise yourself or you’re not willing to call a raise, you shouldn’t enter the pot in the first place. Most pots are going to get raised at some point, so why limp in?

Wasting Too Many Chips Early in the Tournament

You want to be careful about not throwing chips away early in a tournament because the additional chips you preserve and don’t give away then, are additional chips that you may be able to use later in the tournament when you have a good hand and can double up. A lot of people don’t realize how precious chips are early on. They think they have to acquire all their chips early in the tournament. I don’t play that way. If I have more chips at every break, I am happy as hell. I like to just keep cruising along when people are getting knocked out and get my chips later on when it counts.


T.J. Cloutier

“TJ the Magnificent”


As a winner of over 60 major tournaments, six WSOP bracelets and more than $9,000,000, T.J. is one of the best poker tournament players in the world. He has authored or co-authored five poker books, all of which are an exceptional resource for serious players who wish to further their skills and duplicate some of his winning strategies. His acumen for the game is born of an amazing ability to recall how his opponents have played in the past, an uncanny power of observation, and more than four decades of experience as a professional poker player.

Career tournament earnings exceeding $9,000,000
Inducted into the Poker Hall of Fame in 2006

Second place, World Series of Poker No-Limit Hold’em Championship, 1985
Winner, WSOP $1,000 Limit Omaha, 1987
Winner, Diamond Jim Brady $10,000 No-Limit Hold’em Championship, 1990-1991-1992
Winner, WSOP $1,500 Omaha High-Low, 1994
Winner, WSOP $2,500 Pot-Limit Hold’em, 1994
Winner, WSOP $2,500 Pot-Limit Omaha, 1998
Third place, WSOP No-Limit Hold’em Championship event, 1998
Second place, WSOP No-Limit Hold’em Championship event, 2000
Winner, WSOP $1,500 Razz, 2004
Winner, WSOP $5,000 No-Limit Hold’em, 2005
Winner, No-Limit Hold’em Main Event, Scotty Nguyen Challenge IV, Tulsa 2007
Player of the Year (Card Player Magazine) 1998 and 2002

How to Win the Championship: Strategies for the Final Table

Co-Author (with Tom McEvoy):
Championship Hold’em Tournament Hands
Championship Hold’em
Championship Omaha
Championship No-Limit and Pot-Limit Hold’em








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