Late Game Multitable Poker Strategy

Very often in poker tournaments you will find yourself pushing the limit with marginal playing hands. The success of how and when you push will influence whether you make it to the end or get stuck on the sidelines.

Play’em Hard

Learning to forcefully play marginal hands in multi-table tournaments is key to becoming a force at the end of the tournament. The guys who improperly play their marginal hands are usually the players who barely make it to the final table.  Here we will discuss how to play marginal hands late in the tournament.  If you want a full tournament strategy read the article that is linked.

When you are playing out of position it is even harder to make tough decisions on whether to push with all of your chips. A few factors like pot size, volume of players, and your position will likely determine whether it’s time to push all your chips in for the pot. Likely, you would push hard in hopes that everyone folds but marginal hands are not necessarily dead hands when you do get called.

Example: It’s late in the tournament and you glimpse at, K 10. For this example let’s also say you are big blind and the size of the blinds is making a big dent into your stack.  Let’s also say this is a WSOP qualifier and you need to place in the top 3 to get a free seat.

So, everyone folds up to the player next to the small blind and the player sitting on the dealer button raises it up. Lots of players like to raise in that position hoping to steal the blind. This is where the uncomfortable decision comes into play for you.

First, you can be pretty sure that the raiser is pushing with crummy cards and possibly two rags. Because the blinds are chipping away and you now have a decent hand with good pot odds you should be inclined to push in all of your chips. Let’s discuss why you push all-in and don’t just call.

There are two main overlying reasons for pushing all-in in this situation and not merely calling the bet. The first being it’s more than likely the guy who raised first off has crap cards and was trying to power his way through stealing your blinds. Secondly a call will put you in bad position after the flop leaving you with another unpleasant decision if you snag a chunk of the flop. It’s never fun having to make a decision for all your chips with mid pair.

A strong move pushing all of you chips in pre-flop would likely lock up the pot without a fight from the raising foe. Also don’t forget that unless your opponent has a strong pair it will be a very tough decision for him to make when you do push all in. Even if he does have AK an all-in move would likely get him to fold. If he does have a small pair you still have 2 live cards if his pair is small. What I’m getting at is that your hand is not dead and in the rare instance that you do actually get called your hand could still be even money to win.

Marginal Hand Strategy

With marginal hands late in the tournament try to make most of your decisions pre-flop. You’re either in or you’re out, there’s really no in between. Calling or playing too tight will increasingly chop down your chip stack leaving you with no room to put pressure on your opponent which is crucial late in poker tournaments.

Stay aggressive with marginal hands at key times and your stack will rise and lead you into the final table with a comfortable chip stack.  You’re better off playing online Blackjack or something if you don’t mind consistently losing, so grow a pair.  :)

<= Back to NL Holdem Strategy

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