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3 tricks for run deep in tournaments

Simple tips that make you tournament crusher

The list of strategies that make you a stronger player. The article covers 3 topics: aggressive stealing, big blind defense, and the best strategy to protect versus 4-bets with a middle stack.

Steal'em All

Make small bets and don’t be afraid to do it often. This strategy became a part of tournament poker years ago and it still works.

Most of the times raise of 2.25 BB is more than enough. It works as good as raise of 3BB. And the best news is with ante in game, raise of 2.25BB turns profitable when you win less than 50% of pots. It’s definitely possible.

Ignore opening charts on late positions, focus on your rivals and adjust. Play any two versus extremely tight or weak opponents and narrow the range versus strong, loose, and aggressive rivals.

Open small and often

Defend Your Big Blind

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The big blind defense is a vital part of any tournament.

Protect your big blind and do it more often. The main reason for it is good pot odds. Why are they good? Because you have already invested one big blind in the pot.

Believe it or not, but mathematically speaking even 72o is worth calling versus standard button steal range (30%). Does this mean you should call with any two? No way.

The problem is that to realize the equity, you need a showdown. And it’s hard to reach it with hands like 72o or J5o. Even if you are the stubbornest player in the world.

Good balanced defense range versus button raise include 40% of hands. Some of them suit better for 3-betting, some for calling.

It is okay to widen the range versus weak and passive players. But if it is still hard to play such a wide range, defend tighter. At the very least forget about folding with hands like 86s or QTo.

Fight for your blinds

Defend versus 4-bets

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A vital part of the tournament is a game with a 25 – 40 big blinds stacks.

Most of the hands in such stacks end preflop, but you cannot answer to all the raises with a simple 3-bet shove. Your stack is just too big. So, the question is, what hands are worth 3-betting?

If you deal with an aggressive reg, good for 3-bets are hands like K9s, KJo or A7s. They have some postlop potential and include blockers. It means that the chance the opponent has another ace or king is less. As a result, the chance of facing 4-bet is lower. And the chance of getting a fold is higher.

At the same time, these hands are not good enough for a call. It would be hard to go on with them if you will not hit a flop and the opponent will decide to put a c-bet.

If you do face 4-bet, the fold would be an easy decision. K9s and stuff are far behind the standard 4-bet range.

If you play versus a weak player, that has no bluff 4-bet in his range and makes 4-bets only with monsters, make more 3-bet for value with hands like KQs.

Bluff 3-bet with blockers

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