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Becoming A Better Tournament Player in 21 Days Part 3

Article By: RuffPoker.com

You’ve planned your strategy, adjusted your play to suit the situation and learned to take advantage of the opportunities. Now you’re ready to take the last step and get to the final table.

A multi-table online Hold ‘em tournament is often a test of endurance. Players can be gone in a flash, but those who manage to play wisely, who protect their stack and last deep into the game can be rewarded with massive pay-offs. Once you get this far, you’ll have to be prepared for the unbridled carnage that is the action at the final table. It’s at the end to the marathon, but only those who can make the final adjustment to their play will prevail.


When you get to the final table, you’ll have to measure yourself in relation to the other players’ chip stacks and the blinds. Depending on where you sit, you’ll have to adopt a strategy that suits your size. Here are several suggestions:


If you have the lowest chip stack AND the blinds are threatening to eat you up, you can’t afford to sit and wait for other players to go away. You’ll have to pick a hand and go all-in. But what hand to pick? Contrary to your instinct, you may want to choose a middle strength hand like Q-X, J-X or anything suited or connected. Why? Because the other players who you are likely to get a call from will probably call with A-X, K-X or any pair. If they have a higher pair, there’s nothing you can do about it. But if they call with A-X, K-X, you have a good chance to double or triple up because more than one player may call with these cards, limiting the chances that both players have at hitting a top pair. This effectively gives you more outs and a slightly better chance at doubling up.


Your stack is large enough that you’ll survive a few rounds of blinds, but not much else. If you are playing against a table of blasters, you might just want to wait a few rounds to see if a few people take themselves out. Baring a miracle, you aren’t going to get a chance at the top money spots, but you can increase your winnings just by letting the others kill themselves. Then, when you get a hand, try to double-up so you can remain dangerous.


With the same chip stacks and blinds as the above example, you can also take a chance to try to double-up. To do this, you’ll want to wait for a decent hand and then push all-in. You’ll either steal the blinds or get a good chance at doubling up against a caller. Either way you need to take chances to build your chip stack wherever you can.


With a medium sized stack and blinds that aren’t really threatening, you can afford to tighten up. Wait for a few more players to take themselves out and steal some pots when you can. If you are playing against a small stack, you can push them around and force them to go all-in if you have a good hand.


If you want to get into the higher rounds, a medium player will want to wait for a good position to make a play. Take advantage of position plays to push around smaller stacks and get into one-on-one situations with bigger stacks when you have a good hand. Aggressive early betting is key here, because you are trying to steal some pots and avoid a show-down.


If you have the luxury of being the chip leader, take advantage of this by trying to bully the smaller stacks out. Make aggressive plays once they are in the big blind and try to force them into a play they might not otherwise make. The more players you eliminate, the more money you are guaranteeing for yourself. Try not to play against middle stacks unless you have a made hand. By picking the weaker ones off one by one and letting the middle stacks beat themselves up a little, you can dramatically increase your chances at the big prizes.