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Scenarios to Accumulate Chips in Poker Tournaments


Situations to Accumulate Chips in Poker Tournaments

Players who accumulate the most chips in poker tournaments will win.  But how do we know what are good spots (+EV) for stealing chips in tournaments?  In this article I will go over some common stealing scenarios which present good opportunities for picking up extra chips.

The Pre-Flop Limper

Lots of players will limp into pots during poker tournaments.  The biggest limpers are recognisable by a high LWPC e.g. 30% meaning they limp into pots with a weak range of hands.  Whenever you’re in position with marginal hands or better you should raise 4xBB pre-flop and force them to fold.  If this doesn’t work, a half-pot cbet on the flop usually work. 

Of course this won’t work every time and it also depends on your ability to recognise flops your opponent will have missed. 

The Flop Donk-Bettor

You’re involved in a hand where you re-raised preflop, had a few callers, and then on the flop someone bet into you.  The donk-bet is a weak hand – usually low pair.  Here’s what you can do.   Rather than re-raising him on the flop, try flat-calling and then raising on the turn or river – this is known as float play.  It makes your hand look stronger and more legitimate if you check-raise your opponent further down the line.  Some professionals say 90% of the time you can work out the strength of your opponent by what he does on the turn.  If he checks, he was probably bluffing. If he raises ½ pot, his hand is weak/marginal; and if he raises a pot-bet, he probably has something strong.

Stealing Against Weak/Tight Players on the Blinds

When you continuously raise weak players on the blinds they respond by hitting back at you.  Basically, against players with a high enough BD% you should try 3betting, or jam him if he’s short-stacked. Test what he’s really made of. 

The Late Position Stealer

Re-stealing is important to get right.  A lot of new players are scared of re-stealing and that’s one of the reasons they never cash out big.  All you need to know is that if you have a player in LP or CO with a high RFI e.g. 30%, then it means he’s stealing with his top 30% of hands.  These will hardly be unbeatable so you should be willing to re-steal and 3bet him with your premium hands.  If he has an even higher RFI% then you need to take advantage of his looseness.  You can re-steal with a wide range of hands against loose opponents (example J7 or A9).

The Small Blind Open Limper

The small blind limps into the pot and you raise him off it.  It’s pretty simple really.  If he decides to call you should fire into the flop regardless of the cards with a half-pot bet.  If he still calls I also recommend firing into him on the turn (about a half to full-pot bet).  If he still hits back at you, then he probably does have something and you’re beaten.  The beauty of this play though is that you can literally pull it off with any junk hand from the middle to late stages of a poker tournament.  The fact that the SB limped into the pots means he didn’t have a strong hand, and he’ll completely miss the flop 2/3 of the time allowing you take it down instead!

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