Turbo Tournament Strategy – First in

Poker Chips 442 Turbo Tournament Strategy   First inIn my opinion the concept of first in is the single most important factor in turbo tournaments. Being first in is massively important for several reasons. The first and foremost is that your opponents almost always get correct chip odds to call versus your range. Yet they still cant because tournaments are not about winning chips but moving up in the money letter. To some extent, understanding the concept of first in means that you understand the nature of turbo tournament poker.

First in

First in means you are the first person to raise. In turbos this is often a shove.

First in vs calling off

This is were it gets interesting. In almost all turbo tournaments the average stack drops during the tournament to as low as around 6-8BB. This means there are often situations where you are faced with a shove. Consider the following key concept:

Key Concept

In many situations it is often correct to fold a marginal hand and shove the next hand first in.


Assume you have 7 BB and are sitting in the SB. CO shoves 7 BB and you hold K9. You are most likely ahead of the CO range, yet I dont suggest the call. You are almost always better of shoving any two cards (ATC) next time you are first in.

First in – When you should call

There are situation though were you are forced to call or reshove with no fold equity. This happens when your opponents dont give you a chance to be first in. Depending on the aggression of the table this can very easily happen. If you dont expect to be able to shove BU-HJ first in, it is mostly better to call of with a marginal hand that is ahead of your opponents range

First in as big stack

This is the best situation you can be in. You have a bunch of short stacks (3-8BB) behind you. Very often you can shove ATC vs their stacks. You can shove even more if there are big pay jumps involved like a money bubble or an ft bubble.

Playing vs super short stack

As a rule of thumb, if there is a super shortstack (0-3BB) all in in front of you
you have a hand that you would have shoved first in
you are ahead of the shortstacks range, its a shove.

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