Correctly Playing A Big Stack In A Poker Tournament Can Make The Difference Between A Mere Cash And A Huge Score – We Look At Some Common Big Stack Errors Here!
Successfully turning a big chip stack into a big final table score is one of the things which differentiate great tournament players from the field. This article looks at 5 common errors made with a big chip stack during poker tournaments and shows you how to avoid them!
Big Stack Poker Tournament Play – Error #1 – Over-Relaxing
Time and time again players build a decent stack during the early stages and then take their foot off of the gas too soon. Before you know it you have allowed several of your opponents to catch up – seriously reducing your ability to put pressure on the rest of the table. Keeping up your momentum and drive to accumulate more chips is a key factor in making a big score in poker tournament play.
Big Stack Poker Tournament Play – Error #2 – Too Much Calling
Since it is (relative to your stack) ‘cheap’ to see a flop, many players with big stacks will call too many bets in the hope of hitting a solid flop, further compounding this by choosing easily dominated hands to do it with. While calling has its place in a balanced strategy, you should be looking to be the aggressor in hands where possible. Taking the initiative against players who know you can bust them will allow you to win many pots without a showdown – calling just ends up building pots when you have slightly the worst of it.
Big Stack Poker Tournament Play – Error #3 – Effective Stack Sizes
When deciding on the best play it is the stack sizes of your opponents which are often the critical factor. For example, you have built a 200 big blind deep stack and each opponent remaining in the hand has 15 blinds or less – here your maximum gain from a single opponent are those 15 blinds. This means that your decision to raise, call or shove should be based on the smaller amount, even though you have a lot of chip the ‘effective’ stack in play can only equal those of your opponents.
Big Stack Poker Tournament Play – Error #4 – Bubble Pressure
Putting pressure on opponents at the money bubble or final table bubble is a pleasure. However big stack mistakes are made here too. Common errors include calling raises from mid-stacks with weak hands (since they are often unwilling to raise you here without a strong holding). Failing to raise when folded to is also an error – those blinds and antes are there for the taking, make sure you use the bubble to accumulate as many as possible!
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Big Stack Poker Tournament Play – Error #5 – Not Respecting Other Big Stacks
While you should, generally speaking, look to take any positive expectation situation that arises – it is often prudent to avoid confronting other big stacks in the late stages of a tournament. The concept is that you are in a great position to exploit the smaller and medium stacks, and risking busting while conditions are this favorable requires an extra equity edge. Simply showing some respect to the other big stacks can leave you in a great position to go after the ‘scared money’ during the late stages instead.
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