Auxcrieursdevin – You finally accumulated the big stack at the poker tournament tables you’ve been playing. It’s time to get a little aggressive to take down first place. But how do you get aggressive when you have a big stack?
The first answer is to get aggressive in the right places. That means to play a lot of hands, and be aggressive when you do play a hand. The most successful way to do this is to play your position – you want to be in the right position when you are playing a hand.
Playing first (you have the biggest stack in the tournament), on the button, or on the cutoff can all be aggressive. That is one of the reasons that having a big stack in a tournament is so important. All the odds in the world point to you taking down first place. You simply cannot be stopped!
When you get to the middle stages of a poker tournament, and you’re at those crucial 10-15 minute intervals in the tournament where you are going to make some big decisions, you better start playing those hands aggressively!
In the middle stages, most players will play more hands (6-8 range, and some lower). They will be less aggressive in the Early Stage and will certainly be more careful in the middle stages. They will watch what everyone else does, and be trying to work out their opponents’ cards in the hopes of catching a steal or a premium hand.
The button is the finest place to play aggressive in a poker tournament. In the middle stages, you can play almost any two cards you want (so don’t call the blinds with junk). You can play medium pairs in the first stage, and build up to the higher ranks with low suited cards later.
You should play your position at least some in the Early Stage. In the Early Stage, you can play more hands in position, since you have less fear of others catching on to your moves. In the middle stages, you should be more selective, but when you do play a hand, target players with bigger stacks and take them out. Steal the blinds from the Big Stack players that are too willing to call you all-in. And if you are on a break, and can wait for a playable hand, then play almost any hand.
In the late stages, you will have the chip lead, so you will want to squeeze out a win as much as possible. Play hands that you would never call when you are short-stacked, because you are likely to be the favorite. Play aggressive in the blinds and steal the blinds and antes. Play solid, and you will most likely be getting paid off.
In the event you are not successful in stealing the blinds, at that point in the tournament it is time to move all-in. If you are the chip leader, that is comfortable. If you are not the chip leader, leave the game (whether it be early or late).Advanced Poker Strategyfor the advanced player will want to have a little bit of aggression in their arsenal. Raise and raise some more by targeting the Big Stack. As the blinds rise, you want to push a button. That is the essence of the advanced strategy.
For an easy to follow strategy on how to play aggressively the first thing to do is read a good aggressive poker book like Phil Helmuth’s Play Poker Like the Pros. Phil definitely has a good plan of attack for beginners. Advanced players will want to skip over the pre-flop play and go right into the flop, turn, and river. For the beginner, it is just “get the chips out”. You can play some easy cards, but this is the point where you get paid off if you actually have a good hand.
To play lapak303, you are not waiting for a premium hand, or hoping for one. You are playing to win the tournament in the pre-flop play. This is the most basic strategy in poker that can be extremely exciting. However, it is extremely hard to implement in tournaments, because it is not exactly the same as a cash game. The blinds in tournaments eat up your chip stack quickly, and if you in the early stages you can be chip out, as people are birthed every minute.
This means you have to be a lot more aggressive pre-flop in tournaments than in cash games. This is the main reason why people fail, because they wait for a better hand and then don’t bet aggressive enough.
Now, when you have become good enough to do this, you will want to make some other guidelines. One of them is to learn which are the best starting hands. It is hard to be able to determine this the first time you sit at a table, but you will decide it by playing. Play a few thousand hands, and start separating the contenders.