Tips for Surviving the Grind of Large Online Poker Tournaments

March 2, 2015

While much of the argument for poker players is that the real grind of tournament poker comes from playing live poker tournaments, some may argue the other way. While online poker is played much faster, and you can work your way through big tournaments faster than a live tournament, this doesn’t mean that it’s not harder to grind out results in these tournaments. Imagine sitting back and playing while looking at a computer non-stop for 8-10 hours straight. This is what can happen if you end up making a run in a tournament, and that may not even get you to a final table. Sure, you’ll get five minute breaks here and there, but at least live poker tournaments give you a dinner break, right? It’s not quite as easy as it all seems right out of the gate, but this is why you need to be aware of some tips that can help you grind out these online poker tournaments, and keep you occupied while playing at the tables. Let’s get to it.


Keeping yourself busy while playing in online poker tournaments may seem like a disaster waiting to happen, but it’s really not. While there are many things to take away from watching the action at the online poker tables, you’re likely going to be playing pretty tight and picking spots. Now, this isn’t to say that you shouldn’t pay attention to the tables when you aren’t playing, but it is to say that you should look into doing something at the same time that can keep you occupied on something to help you from trying to play hands that just shouldn’t be played.

What are the recommendations? Well, it all depends on what you’re interested in. Do you like reading books? Then jump into a book and read as you play (probably only with one table at a time). How about video games? If you’re a fan of video games, jump onto whatever game you like, but I wouldn’t recommend playing it online against an opponent. If you want to just do something that’s fun or enjoyable through the actual online poker site itself, if they offer something like blackjack or another casino game, jump into that.

A few other options that you can definitely consider when looking at this option, including the likes of daily fantasy sports or sports betting in general. You don’t even really have to set lineups or place sports bets, but instead just do some research if you are a fan of these, and find out if there’s anything that you like for the day. This can be a great way to stay focused on something aside from playing crazy hands, but will also allow you to get right back into the action if there’s a hand or spot that you are looking to play. Be smart about doing this, as it can definitely get distracting if you find yourself doing too much at one time.


Tired of just sitting back and grinding out a single poker tournament at a time? Well, fortunately most online poker sites are going to offer many different tournaments at the same time. This means that you can jump in on multiple tournaments and play a few at a time. Doing this will actually make it so that you are able to fold those non-so-beautiful hands, since you have multiple other things going on. While I wouldn’t recommend playing TOO many tournaments at once, playing in a few to keep yourself interested is definitely a good call. Be smart about this, and make sure that you can still play the hands that are dealt to you if you need to in those big spots.

A key part of this is to remember that the reason you are multi-tabling tournaments is to give yourself the chance to fold the bad hands, not to have as much action as possible at one time. If you try to play too much or raise with hands you should probably be folding, you’re going to find yourself in a big mess of tournaments that will make it hard to profit from.

Playing On the Go

Many online poker sites have made it easy for players to play from their tablets and phones, as well as their laptops. This means that you can play on the go and take your poker action anywhere that you have service (in most cases). Beware that it will use up your data as you play in most cases, if you’re playing through a browser. Now, if you are hooked up to wifi, this means that you can play from a coffee house or anywhere else that has wifi for free. The best option for tournament players is to be able to play on the go, as this means that you aren’t stuck to a chair and staring at your computer screen for a continuous amount of time. If you want to leave, feel free to grab your phone or tablet and play on the go.

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