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Poker Strategy for middle stages in a Multi-Table Tournament

Now you have surpassed the first test of lasting an hour, you now need to keep your chip stack healthy and within contention for claiming a high placed position.

Depending on how the first hour went for you, you could already be in a good position or a bad position. If you are in a bad position and are short stacked, you will need to find a spot to double up very soon. You are considered short stacked if you have less then six times the big blind in front of you. You cannot afford to wait to long before you get your chips in, otherwise you will just get blinded out and it will almost be worthwhile doubling up. Once you have received your desired hand you wish to play, you need to use the right play to lure one player to call. Whether this be an all-in bet or just a call, it all depends on the style of the players at your table and the image you have created for yourself among your opponents. The advantage of going all-in also gives you the chance to steal the blinds and at this point of the tournament, they will significantly improve your chip stack.

If you have a large chip stack, you will need to be the bully of your table. This does not mean raising every hand and bluffing every pot, you need to employ a good strategy which will allow you to increase your stack at a good rate. To do this, you must put pressure among the weaker players, and play tighter against players with larger stack and wait for your chance to scoop a big pot. However, as we went through above, smaller stacked players are looking to double up so be cautious when bullying these players, as you may find them firing raises back at you.

Now you have reached the middle stages play will have calmed down and you should have a good read on your opponents, unless of course you have recently switched tables. You can now make the correct decisions against each player and maximise your winnings. You need to be constantly increasing your chip stack by winning pots whilst you are in position, e.g. raising the pot on the button etc. and playing your good hands aggressively.

You will also get several chances to stamp your authority on the table and win some pots as the bubble approaches. The bubble is the last position before the prize pool starts, a place no player wants to finish. Because of this, the play tends to tighten up and the opportunity for stealing pots becomes more applicable. Players who are short stacks are likely to fold almost any hand in order to get into the money, so targeting them should be your main priority.

Once the bubble has passed, you will realise play becomes much more aggressive as players who were hanging on to make the money, now have to go all-in to stand any chance of making the final table. You may want to tighten up again here, and pick your spots to keep your stack healthy.

 

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