Given that Dominik Nitsche has 3 WSOP bracelets, a WPT title, and $6.6 million in tournament winnings, he’s definitely a player that you should aspire to be like.
But how do you emulate the strategy of a highly successful pro like Nitsche at your own table?
Unfortunately, we can’t transfer the 888poker pro’s endless hours of experience to you. But we can offer you 3 of Nitsche’s strategies you can use to play like him and crush tournaments, or even your home game.
Get Involved Early On in Tournaments
Some players take it easy in the early levels of a large poker tournament because the blinds are low and you have time to pick your spots. But while it’s smart to avoid unnecessary risks at this stage, you should still be playing hands and looking for opportunities.
According to Nitsche, this is a great time to pick up chips because many of the loose and/or weaker players are still around. This is especially important in events with quick structures since the blinds will increase faster, and you need to build a stack before you’re dealing with bigger blinds and tighter players.
Many inexperienced players will play marginal hands before and after the flop because their chip stacks aren’t in danger. And you should identify these players and take advantage of them before the blinds increase. If you need help identifying your own play, take this quiz to figure out if you’re somebody who spews chips early on, or can capitalize on these spots like Nitsche.
Know when to Adjust in Tournaments
One thing Nitsche is great at is adjusting his play in the middle and later stages of tournaments. He knows that players get tight later in tournaments as their big blinds start to dwindle. And Nitsche is never afraid to make a big call or fold in situations where he thinks he has the edge.
Two of the best points when tournament tables tighten up are near the payout bubble and final table. These represent excellent times to take risks because everybody will be concerned with merely surviving.
If you find your table tightening up, look for opportunities to raise, re-raise, or steal the blinds in late position.
Aim for the Top of the Payout Structure
One reason why Nitsche adjusts his play and takes risks to build his chip stack is because he’s not concerned with merely min-cashing. Instead, he aims for the top 3 payouts since this is where most of the money is at.
Nitsche does believe that min-cashing is important so that you get some money back in your bankroll. But after getting this min-cash, he makes aggressive moves in pursuit of the top payouts because there’s normally little value in laddering up a few spots from a min-cash.
Beyond Nitsche’s broad tournament strategy, he also takes a very mathematical approach to the game. So if you want to play more like Nitsche and experience more success, keep studying the mathematical side of poker too.