Playing a Big Stack in a Poker Tournament
Playing a big stack in a poker tournament is always tricky. All tournament players go through a patch of bad luck one time or another and it is important to be in the right mental state when you play a big stack. A lot of players will continuously raise 3x the big blind no matter what the odds are against them. Once you get a big stack in a tournament it’s very important that you don’t keep playing blind. Playing premium hands in big stack situations is the easiest way to lose your stack and gotten yourself to the final table with only one to two more players.
Let’s say that you are the big stack in a tournament of $100-$200. The blinds are $1-$2 and your big blind is two times the size of the payout. In this situation most inexperienced players that have no idea of the Tournament dynamics will call you to the river with any fairly decent hand when they have to commit over 30% of their stack. That’s a horrible place to be in when you are playing a #1 hand. You want to remove other players from the game when you have a big stack. You will not win many situations where other players are limping in with bad hands and you are the one in the blind. The best players play the players and play them evenly, making it hard for others to read their style and for there to be no tells.
Let’s say that you raise 3x the big blind in the middle of the tournament. Everyone folds to you in the cutoff, except one other player. He re-raises you with middle pair. What should you do?
There are only two possibilities here. You have a decent hand, you think he has a big hand, and you have some outs to possibly make a better hand. In this situation you are about a 4:1 underdog to win the hand. If you decide to call, you are limping in to an 8:1 underdog situation. If you are thinking about re-raising then you should be holding a good hand to take down the pot.
As the blinds go up in a tournament you will have to keep adjusting your game. You will still need to play tight poker, but you can’t be anybody other than “decent” if the blinds are going up. If you are deep stacked in a tournament you can continuation bet to steal blinds and win pots. You will have to be more mindful with your starting hands and less likely to bust out on the first hand when you are small stacked.
If you find yourself short to middle stack in a pokerace99 tournament, look for opportunities to double up or in other words, get yourself in position to win a big pot. Normally you can push a player with a short stack out if you sense they have something, but if you are getting near the money you want to give a PLAYER who is drawing in big with an all in hand a chance to double up with you.
Remember that for you to be a tournament winner you have to adjust your game and figure your opponents as well. Don’t put a lot of stock in your hand, but rather figure out what the best way to beat your opponents might be.