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How To Win $20 To $50 Tournaments – From Alex Fitzgerald


Sky Matsuhashi

on August 16, 2022

This article from Alex Fitzgerald over at will help you profit in the lucrative world of $20 to $50 online multi-table tournaments.

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How do you win $20 to $50 tournaments?

It’s important you learn the answer to this question.

Many people assume pros make all their money from the big tournament wins. That couldn’t be further from the truth. The big tournament wins are nice but they come around infrequently. Many tournament professionals pay their bills in the meantime through small tournament wins. When I went pro at 18 I was supporting my family off of $50 tournaments.

Why are these tournaments so profitable? The prizes are in the thousands and sometimes tens of thousands, but many players don’t take them seriously. You can pick up a ton of chips early that will propel you to bigger and bigger paydays.

Today, we will discuss some of the quickest gains you can get in these tournaments. Follow these tips and you will start making more money in $20 to $50 events.

Figure Out Who Is There For Fun And Kill Them

Send them to the afterlife.

In all seriousness, there are tons of poker players who enter these tournaments as a goof. They’re sports betting and bored. They want something else to do while football is on. They want to amass a ton of chips or get out of there. The money means nothing to them.

I love playing with these players and seeing that regs aren’t paying attention to them. That happens often because poker players always play too many damn tables online. Live they’re always on their cell phones punting equity away.

If you have a guy who wants to see every flop then let him do so. If a grinder opens then just flat in position to allow the weak player behind you into the pot. If you open make it easier for the recreational player to call. Triple barrel your second pairs versus these weak players. You will often find that they will call three streets with any pair or any two big pretty high cards that still look pretty.

One quick note: Even decent players will play bad when they are in the big blind. Disciplined guys in $20 tournaments suddenly turn into morons when they call with half their hands versus a raise from the big blind. They never bluff enough postflop. They call down with any pair, and they have tons of bad pairs when they call with that many bad hands preflop. Exploit this.

Figure Out Who Is A Bad Reg And Make Their Life Miserable

I was a nut peddling tournament nit for years. Let me tell you a secret.

The way I made my money was massively multitabling. I put in massive volume and moved stacks around when it was appropriate. I made my money playing tight and waiting for the pressure to make other players freak out. People get exhausted in tournaments. It happened all the time. A guy would be playing well and suddenly he’d lose it. I’d call with my great starting hand and build my stack.

I could get away with this style because at the time my bills were lower and I had nothing better to do than play poker 60+ hours a week.

Many players you play against in these tournaments are just like this. You can wreck them.

How do you do this?

Imagine playing tons of tables. You have a couple of seconds for each decision. At some point, you have to trim the fat. How do you do that? You play a solid style. If anyone takes a bizarre line you don’t spend 30 seconds thinking about it. You don’t have that kind of time. You make some key assumptions.

These low-limit grinders make one key assumption that is right most of the time: Weak players tend to have a big hand when they finally wake up and take a weird line. If a grinder is playing $20 to $50 tournaments then they are often dealing with guys who never fold. That doesn’t necessarily mean they are aggressive. Their opponents do the same thing constantly: They see too many flops and then when they hit something they try to build a big pot. They don’t bluff enough.

The way you will exploit regs who see this loose/passive nut peddling all day every day is to spam them with weird bets.

Bring out every exploitative trick you have. Donk lead when you think the board missed them and you have some developing equity you can barrel on the turn. Checkraise them more on hit-or-miss boards. Overbet the pot when they’ve capped their range. Make their life miserable. They will fold more often than not.

Also, focus on spots where their assumptions can be exploited. Call out of the big blind with big pairs and big aces, for instance. When you checkraise a top pair with a great kicker on the flop or an overpair they’ll never believe you, because they would have always threebet those hands. Prepare for them to call down with goofy hands!

Figure Out Who Is A Good Player And Stay Away From Them

There will be excellent tournament players in these games as well. They will be playing tight as they focus on their bigger events. They will keep these tournaments on the backburner in case all their other big events go to hell. This is how they save their ass on many Sundays.

Avoid these players like the plague. When they open they likely have a good range they know how to handle. Just because they play higher doesn’t mean they’re exploiting you. They likely don’t have the time to work on big bluffs with you in a $55 event on a Sunday.

Get As Much Experience Winning As Possible

These are the events where people start worrying about prize money. This gives you a unique opportunity at final tables. This is the first buy-in level where people will start folding to you.

f a guy seems to care about the payout jumps then spot situations where he capped his range and triple barrel him at the final table. If there’s a medium stack at your final table who opens when there is a bunch of short stacks who are about to bust then threebet him. Push people around. Learn what works and what doesn’t. This is the time to get valuable final table experience with pressure poker, especially if the prize pool is not enough to change your life.

Use Flight Simulators

You’re not going to learn how to destroy these tournaments by spending five minutes reading an article. You need a flight simulator.

In flight school, there are classroom-style lessons. Then there are flight simulators. Then you go up in the air with an instructor. Then you do everything on your own.

You have seen my classroom-style lesson packs get advertised on this list before, but did you know I also put together flight simulators? I can’t sit with you at the table and guide you, but I can put you through rigorous timed testing that I created myself. This is how you can prepare to go play yourself.


Sky Matsuhashi

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