3 Chips And A Chair – How To Take Advantage Of Tight Tables
Being able to successfully implement a semi-bluff when playing at a table with a few chips on soft 17 or soft 18 felt can be one of the most important cards you can play at the poker table. No matter how long you have been playing poker, whether your a beginner or seasoned player, taking control of these situations is one of the first things that dogs you and the one that needs your full attention.
Taking control tells us that the players at the table are not sure whether to fold their hand, call a raise or go all-in. They are playing with a lot of caution and are hesitant to commit all their chips to the pot, unsure of what the next card can do. Your job is to take advantage of this by playing more balls than the opponents, in my opinion this is where the majority of your profits will come from.
So why is this the case? Well, novice players call a raise or a continuation bet because it’s the ” safest” play. They don’t want to take the chance of losing a large chip stack in one hand, or being outplayed at the poker table. Developing a tight reputation pays dividends, especially in Texas hold em poker. Take advantage of the tight reputation, make your opponents believe their is a tighter game than yours. Then reap the rewards.
Another major mistake that I see many under-socialized players make is when they hit a pair on the flop, they quick-check, and check the turn. They are failing to maximize their returns on the hands they hit. This is especially important when you consider we just pulled an ace on the flop, and there are now 9 two’s on the table. There are a great number of two’s and eights remaining in the deck, and not only that but some very strong cards as well (Dewavegas) that would be very likely to give you a set, or possibly even two pair.
As important it is to learn how to utilize position to your advantage, learning how to deal with position is just as equally important. Let’s say you are the first person to act at the poker table, meaning you are the first to either call the blinds, or raise the bets. Paying attention to your position will help you to more quickly determine what cards your opponents have, and what cards you need to get in position to try and steal the blind.
Many players will try and steal the blinds by making a pre-flop raise with a hand like Ace King suited, or Ace Queen suited. When playing From the Big Blind, you want to raise about the strength of your hand, about the strength of your cards in the hole, if you have a suit of less than Spades, then you should consider folding. Obviously, not all Ace King suited hands are created equal, in fact, I have found that many of the less popular suited hands, can be easily dominated by a strong enough hand like Ace Queen suited.
Knowing what hands to raise and what hands not to raise, can often be the difference between winning and losing in a tournament. adapted from the excellent book “runners” byAdam Meyer.
The most important factor in a poker tournament is to focus on your play and how you are managing the chips that you have, your stack size relative to the blinds and antes. Knowing how these factors can affect your stack size and ultimately your end game is critical to winning tournament poker.
You also need to know what hands to play in different stages of the tournament. My poker playing strategy has been extremely successful, winning approximately %80 of all my games in the early stage, and the higher %’s in the middle and latter stages. Typically when the seeders get down to the %3rd or 4th place they start to make easier and easier decisions. Because they are playing weekend poker tournaments, especially satellites, they are in a tournament that is always full. Therefore, they will tend to call you in the earlier rounds with lesser hands, in order to keep your chip stack nice and big. Be ready for this, it can happen.
Knowing when to defend your blind and how to defend your blind are two of the most important aspects of winning poker tournaments. You must use your chip stack wisely at all times, especially in the later stages of the tournament. In addition, you must be able to switch your playing style from tight to aggressive at will, winning each stage at almost every table you play in.