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Short Stack Strategy

Discussion in 'Poker Strategy General' started by Mojo1312, Jan 8, 2015.

  1. Mojo1312

    Mojo1312 Well-Known Member

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    I am involved in a multi table weekly tournament that is designed to conclude within 5 hours, so the blinds are fairly aggressive. Last night, we had our largest turn-out since I have been playing, 24 people. We had 100BB's on the table and 10 players left after the blind increase at the 3.5 hour mark. (Time does not include breaks)

    What advice would you give someone playing in a tournament with this kind of structure?

    FWIW, I went out in tenth place with a small pocket pair. I had four BB's left after my small blind. The action folded around to me, and I jammed. The big blind had pocket Jacks. (Ouch!)
     
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  2. Ronoh

    Ronoh Well-Known Member
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    Be patient. Aggressiveness with ATC only works until it doesn't and it rarely ends well for the table aggro in these type of tournaments. Yes, your stack is small... but you are also (more than likely) two winning hands away from being the chip leader.
     
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  3. DrStrange

    DrStrange Creativity Alliance
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    hundreds of BBs divided between ten players is something between 10 and 100 bb for an average player. My advice for this type of structure is be patient and realize that this event is not close to becoming a shove fest even at the 3 1/2 hour mark. This amount of chips would be more like what I normally see in the first round or two.

    That being said - if the blinds really are going to end this at the five hour mark, then things are going to get silly fast because the blinds + antes are going to go through the roof very soon. So the time for patience is coming to an end, maybe by the end of this blind level.

    Hero is going to need to look closely at the blind structure to figure how the game is ending at the five-hour mark. It is possible the host made an error of judgment and the game is going to take eight+ hours. (You have barely lost half the players in 3 1/2 hours, without a "kink" in the blinds I think this game is going to take 9-10 hours.) Look for the introduction of antes or a big jump in the ante.

    Hero with 4BB + a pocket pair = jam. 4BB is desperation time. No shame in shoving and getting busted. The only shame is blinding out.

    DrStrange
     
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  4. Mojo1312

    Mojo1312 Well-Known Member

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    Thanks Dr. There were 100 big blinds among the ten players left in the game at the 3.5 hr. mark. (An average of 10 big blinds per player.)
     
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  5. big_alv77

    big_alv77 Well-Known Member

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    A general rule of thumb would be to consider implementing a Push All-in or Fold strategy when you're down to 10 x BB. So, in your example above, I think the small pocket pair with only 4 BB left is actually too late to be pushing as any player with a decent-size stack may call just to knock you out.

    Your aggression should occur a lot sooner (almost with any 2 cards but preferrably with something that has a chance of flopping big). This would help you pick up the blinds and dead money in the pot without any resistance.

    The idea here is that if you've been playing solid and have shown down strong cards, then when you do get aggressive, people will e scared to call. Whatever you do, "calling with a very short stack should not be an option". I hope that makes sense.
     
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    Last edited: Jan 12, 2015

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