Tournament Poker Strategy Series

Moving through the gauntlet that is the bubble in MTT poker tournaments on online portals such as judi slot terbaru is quite an accomplishment if you make it out with a top stack. At this point, you should consider yourself a front runner to win the tournament, but don’t get ahead of yourself because there is a lot of action yet to come before enjoying the spoils of victory. This part of the tournament should feature tables sitting 5-8 handed for a significant amount of time, depending on the particular tournament and its structure. The goal of this section is to teach you how to not bumble up the great spot you’ve put yourself in for the “down the stretch” portion of the tournament. Trust me; I’ve seen many players enter this stage with big stacks eyeing the prize money while they ship their stacks FedEx overnight to multiple locations, ultimately leaning against the rail wondering where it all went. I want you sitting at the final table watching these people shuffle around the ropes watching you take it down with calculated play.

So, what does shorthanded play entail? It’s the same game, same blinds, and same antes, with less competition. In a shorthanded cash game, you might open your range a great deal, playing multiple pots per round, taking advantage of fewer opponents per deal, and at a shorthanded table at this stage of the tournament, you will want to take a similar approach. The idea is that with fewer opponents, you have less of a chance to run into a big hand, which would now make your marginal holdings much more valuable. We want to deploy the same strategy as we did at the bubble, but bully short stacks less. This is because they are now much more likely to make moves with re-shoves and other antics of that nature. This will be the case until we reach the final table bubble, which looks like 2 remaining tables with 5-7 players at each. Until this point, you should be wary of short stacks taking advantage of big stacks. This period will usually produce at least a handful of chip switches. By chip switches I mean a big stack doubling up multiple people into big stacks while becoming short themselves, if not broken altogether.

The strategy here is a higher pressure version of the strategy we used in the last few stages of the tournament. The higher pressure can be attributed to being closer to the real money. You will essentially be recycling and re-using the Antes Enter/Bubble strategies. Before the final table bubble, use the antes enter strategy, and when you reach that bubbly period around the final table kick it back to the bubble strategy. The final table bubble is a period where you can add a significant amount to your stack with no opposition, depending on your table’s makeup. The hope is that your table will be tight, anticipating the final table, and with a shorthanded table already, you will be granted an extreme advantage with aggressive play. There may be fewer people at the table, but with blinds and antes so high, in addition to having fewer opponents at the table, the pre-flop pot is more than well equipped to be snatched up by well-timed aggression in a good position. The biggest opponent you will face is someone employing the same strategy at your table. If this person sits opposite you, then you may both be able to dine on the free currency in a shared environment, but if they sit just to your right and start messing with your blinds, be calm, but ready to strike back.

If it becomes fairly obvious to you that the button on your SB or BB is stealing repeatedly, do not shy away from 3 betting this annoying player regardless of holdings, if the situation seems right. In the situation you hold an Ace, I would usually 3-bet or move all-in depending on my M. It is VERY IMPORTANT you have identified this person as a repeat offender on the pilfering of your blinds, because if you’ve falsely accused this person, you may well be shoving your stack into a real hand, throwing your tournament dreams down the drain in the process. This is just a warning, as it should be easy to correctly identify the culprits while ignoring the tight players betting their big hands they were luckily dealt. Lastly, I want to outline a major mistake not to make at this juncture of shorthanded play. Do not limp in with AA or KK, just don’t do it. You’re at a short table, to begin with, so your hand strength credibility is lowered, and people render big hands like those almost nonexistent. So, raise normally with those hands, and let people call with their lower requirements before finding themselves trapped by the overpair.

I am such a big proponent of the initial bubble period as the key to winning tournaments, so you won’t hear me say this is the most important part. Although, this is a crucial period where you will stake your claim to a seat at the final table, and evaluate how your stack relates to the rest of the remaining players. Initial final table stack in relation to the rest of the players will trigger the style of play to use at the final table, but this is a discussion left for next time. In the 5th and final section of this guide to MTT poker tournaments, I will discuss the final table strategy based on standings as well as a short section on heads up play. For now, keep practicing the sections laid out before. I know it will not work out the way I say it will sometimes, but when you finally play a tournament using this strategy and find that it all adds up section by section, it will be a major breakthrough for you as a player and will give you your own personal experience as a blueprint for success.