I was recently reviewing my hands from a recent tournament series and I spotted a hand illustrates an important concept that you must master if you want to win as much money possible from poker tournaments. This hand took place on the bubble of a $1,000 buy-in 6-handed event. My table was somewhat deep stacked, but the rest of the field was quite shallow, with the average stack being about 25 big blinds.
Let’s put you in a situation:
You have. You’re in a $530 tournament at your local Midwest casino. You’re in the big blind. You have 70 big blinds effective.
A young grinder raises from UTG+3 to 2.5X the big blind. It’s folded around to you.
He’s in his mid-20s. He’s a nice enough guy. He seems to do well in $1/$3. He’s been playing cards more lately, but he hasn’t moved up to $2/$5.
While most of your profit in soft or small buy-in tournaments will come from getting full value from your strong hands, occasionally you will need to run a well-timed bluff. I played a hand in the recent $1,000 buy-in WPT side event at Borgata that illustrates this point.
This is the third part of my series on bluffing. In parts 1 and 2, we learned:
In this final article I want to give three practical tips to apply all of this.
The following hand took place early in Day 1 of the $3,500 buy-in Borgata Poker Open WPT main event. I was pleased to find myself at a table that should have been quite good for me because my opponents were clearly playing in a blatantly straightforward manner. Despite this, I found myself down to 24,000 from my initial 30,000 chip stack, mostly due to making a strong, but second best hands a few times in a row.
Moving up in stakes for a tournament or cash game player is often one of the most difficult things for a poker player. At higher stakes, you are faced with new, unfamiliar, opponents who are more skilled than the players at your previous stake. These two factors, unfamiliarity and skill, lead to a very challenging barrier to entry when moving up in stakes. Let’s discuss some tips that can help you move up in stakes successfully.
For this article we are going to use the example of Mike, who asked me about moving up from 2/5nl to 5/10nl.
The following hand took place in a $1,000 buy-in World Poker Tour side event. The tournament just started and everyone had about 4,500 chips with 25/25 blinds. I raised to 75 from the cutoff seat withand only the small blind, a 50-year-old recreational local player, called.
In part 1 of this series, I did a crash course in bluffing theory, as it relates to how often we should bluff. In this article, I’ll be talking about hand selection.
I recently went to the Bahamas to play a major tournament series and as soon as I landed, I jumped into a fun-looking $10/$20 no-limit game. After about 30 minutes, I won $2,500 from an overly aggressive kid when he three barrel bluffed in a 3-bet pot and I didn’t fold a marginal overpair. He seemed to be tilted, which is always nice.
Let’s put you in a situation:
You are on the button with A-Qo. It’s folded around to you in a $100 buy-in tournament in your local casino. You raise. Dustin Richards is in the big blind. He’s a nice guy. He works in waste management. He likes cards and sports, but this isn’t his obsession. He plays for fun.
You raise to 3X. Dustin calls out of the big blind. You’re both 50X deep.
The board comes. He checks to you.
What do you do here? Should you check? Do you bet 1/3rd pot? Do you bet half the pot? Do you bet more?
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