The Doldrums is an area of water a few degrees either side of the equator where trade winds converge and their subsequent calmness could trap sailing ships for weeks before they could continue on their voyage.
Sometimes this inactivity would drive sailors crazy, whilst others used the time wisely to prepare for their journey home. The MTT Doldrums are very similar.
You are in the first hour of an online poker tournament and nothing is happening on your table. Players are betting extra cautiously and, other than a few exchanges of blinds, the relative chip stacks are very similar to how you first started.
By clicking on the lobby screen, you can see that there are hundreds of other players far more advanced in the game and you start to get a little concerned that when this table eventually gets moving, you will be so far behind the chip leaders that you will be unable to make any impression on this tournament.
First of all, you should not worry. Inasmuch as we would like to always be in the front rank, or at least making steady progress through the sea of players, sometimes the action all happens at once rather than being conveniently distributed.
Things have a way of balancing themselves out and, as you planned to be involved on this poker voyage for three or four hours, you should remain patient and disciplined and make the best of your opportunities when they come along.
In fact, “hitting the doldrums” in a tournament can be to your advantage. No doubt the same concerns are going through other players´ heads and, in an attempt to make things happen, one or two of the other players will make a mistake sooner rather than later. It only takes one player to lose their patience and the game can very quickly spring to life.
Furthermore, you can use the time to prepare for your “journey home” by observing the tables that the chip leaders are playing on, and taking note of their playing styles.
This way, when the HMS Tournament gets going, you may still be at a chip disadvantage, but you will have acquired an edge on players that you are going to meet later in the game.
The Doldrums can strike at any stage of a multi table poker tournament. If you use the time wisely to help get a better finishing position and do not lose your head when all around you are losing theirs, you can use these periods of inactivity to your advantage and make the most of the MTT Doldrums.