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  • September 27, 2020

Online Poker Dictionary: turbo tournaments

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When a tournament is designated as “turbo” it features a faster-than-typical structure in which blinds and antes increase at a quicker rate than usual and levels are often of shorter duration. Turbo tournaments are especially popular online, and many live tournaments employ rapid, turbo-styled structures (especially for low buy-in events).
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Because of the rapidity involved in the blind increases (and the often minuscule starting stacks), turbo tournaments require a different strategic approach than normal tournaments. You’ll generally see very little post-flop play in turbo tournaments, as the stack sizes tend to commit players preflop.
Strategic Considerations
The faster structure of turbo events usually is not of great importance during the first couple of levels when starting stacks are often still deep. However, circumstances quickly change with turbo tournaments entering what is normally considered the “middle stage” of the tournament by the third or fourth level — that is, even before the antes kick in.
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As such, players in turbos need to be ready to start widening their ranges when it comes to starting hand selection, including when opening with preflop raises, when calling others’ raises (preferably with position), and when playing after the flop (e.g., when making continuation bets). Stack sizes can change quickly, too, with level changes sometimes suddenly altering someone’s status from medium-stacked to short-stacked.
Rapidly increasing blinds and antes mean that in turbo tournaments players are often forced to make more preflop decisions (e.g., whether to shove all in or call others’ shoves) than play postflop poker.
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