playing a middling stack on a final table

Playing a Middling Stack on a Final Table

New Online Poker Poker Strategy

So this is part two of the same earlier tournament where we looked at some hands from the final table bubble. We have now got down to the final 8 players of the tournament and we are right in the middle of the pack being 4th in chips.

In this post we are going to look at some strategy we will want to apply when we have a middling stack like this one on a final table.

Open Jamming 25BBs

Now, this is a questionable play, because we can quite easily want to raise to induce action with a hand as strong as this AKs. However, let’s look at some bad points about just raising with this hand…

We don’t want to induce re-shove from hands that are flipping against us but won’t call off for their tournament life. Hands like 22-88 will most likely look to Re-jam against a stack of 25BBs opening from late position, however against an open jam they are nearly always folding unless they have a pair as good as say TT or JJ that might sneak into the bottom of their calling ranges.

Also very noteworthy we are playing against the big stack in the Big Blind, they can apply huge ICM pressure to us post-flop and put is in a tonne of tough spots unless we absolutely smash the flop, therefore I like just getting all the money in, we would do this with hands like 77+ here, so why not add in some top hands like AKs to punish any AQ type calls that might pop up occasionally.

Preserving our stack

This is another spot where if the action was folded to us we would be getting a good price on a call, adding 60,000 into a pot that would then be a total of 283,850. So with immediate odds alone, we are getting in the range of nearly 5:1 on our money.

But there is more at stake here than just how good our odds are, we are looking to preserve our lead over the shorter stacks on the table.

We are currently sat in 3rd place and even losing an extra 60,000 off our stack will drop us in position, so we will want to just have a tight 3-Betting or Fold type play off this kind of stack depth where we will look to move all-in with our best hands, fold nearly everything else apart from some pocket pairs which we could still look to continue with.
icm pressure

Smooth calling to lower variance

So this is a spot where we could happily just pile all our money into the middle as we started the hand with 16.5BBs and we have a solid hand against an aggressive chip leader.

However we are still 3/5 in the tournament, so whilst we definitely don’t want to fold a hand as big as this one, we are looking to limit our variance if possible and take a flop even when we are this shallow.

We have a perfect hand to make this move with as KQs flops amazingly and we will be happy to stack off or it can flop terribly and we can get away from the hand and still be alive in the tournament tied for 4th place essentially.

This is one of those times that we flop terribly, however our opponent checks to us, giving up the lead.

Now they could easily be doing this with hands like TT+ looking to check-raise all-in for protection however I think many of there JT, QJ, KJ, AT type hands are just going to take this same line and check-fold on this flop.

So we take our one stab at this pot, we don’t need to bet large we are just trying to get hands a lot like ours that have missed this board out of the way and luckily for us our opponent did snap fold and we bag the chips without risking much at all.

Take note if your opponents are playing super tight

This is going to come in handy to know about because when someone is sat there not playing a single hand, never raising their Button, for example, they are a good spot to go after with some aggression.

This was the case here against my friend in the Big Blind, I noticed that they hadn’t been playing any hands against raises. So whereas I would normally look to limp in and play a little post-flop with my offsuit King high here against most opponents, against this particular one I looked to clear up some equity pre-flop and just put in a raise.

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