Don’t let your stack get too short in a tournament

Tournaments are how i spend most of my online poker time.  I love the action, i love placing just the right bet to get people to fold, and i love the (usually) short time it takes to make a quick buck.  What i don’t love?  Getting short stacked, and realizing it too late!  Don’t know what i mean?  Let me explain. 

I multi-table a lot, and there are times that i don’t realize how big the blinds are getting with relation to my stack.  Typically i sit waiting for a hand before i make a move, but at the same time am very mindful that you can’t wait too long!  I realized too late that pushing all in on a hand only meant another 400 to the player calling.  He would have been stupid not to call me, as there was already 800 in the pot, and for another 400 he couldn’t afford to fold the hand!  Any 2 cards were good enough to call on the in case that he hits and i miss the flop completely. Now, this was me just having too many tables open, (and watching transformers…Megan Fox is distracting!), but i think it’s worthwhile to point out that it’s possible to wait your way out of winning a tournament. 

You always want to leave yourself 2 ways to win the hand.  The first?  Getting the other player to fold.  When that ace hits on the flop, and you’re all in puts more than 3/4 of his stack at risk, he’s only calling if he doesn’t have kicker problems (or he’s got a great chance at beating you).  The second?  Winning the hand at showdown.  If you limit yourself to only 1 way of winning the hand, you’ll be all-in preying to win a race.  Not a great way to play poker. 

Once you’re down to 10 big blinds your strategy gets pretty simple.  Push or Fold.  It’s better to win a small amount every hand you’re in, than to let someone call you and not have enough chips after the flop to push them off a marginal draw.

Distracting eh?

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