Poker: Single-table tournament strategy

The last stage of rounds in a single-table tournament are usually known as “in the money.” This means all those still alive have gotten to the point where they’re going to walk out with more than they put in regardless of where they finish. This can be a good or bad thing, depending on how much drive you have to be the ultimate winner. If you’re just trying to grind out a positive outcome and let your guard down, it’ll be easier for a hungrier player to swallow up the rest of your chips and lead you to an earlier exit than you were prepared for.

However, if you’re on the other side of that download fence, now’s the time for you to explode with aggressiveness. Don’t play stupid, but no longer are you going to sit back like you did in the first rounds. The blinds are going to force many of your opponents hands to decisions they don’t want to make, especially if they’re the ones short-stacked, so take the opportunity to lean on them even harder. If they don’t have much left, their either going to lose out or double up a small amount, which won’t hurt your chip stack enough for it not to be worth pressing them in the first place.

So go with that plan as a sound strategy. If you’re calling, you should be raising, you know the saying. The goal is to keep the pressure on those with fewer chips than you. Don’t let them limp in. Don’t let them keep their big or small blinds. If you sense it’s someone who avoids initiating the bets, put him to the decision every time. Players that are allowed to coast and catch will do it if that’s their comfort zone regardless of how deep into a tournament they are.

When you get down to the last two Full Tilt players (assuming you’re one of them), make that major move at the first sight of a power hand. Ace whatever, King whatever…make that play. The odds will be dramatically in your favor.

Of course, there’s always having to account for that one bad beat, but those will happen no matter what you’re doylesroom strategy is. Trust me, you’ll kick yourself that much more for letting someone limp in each hand when it counts the most and walk away with an unearned second place than you would for taking a chance when you had the cards and getting beat by better cards. That’s just poker.