One of the most frustrating things in tournament poker is playing your way to mid way with the blinds ascending and you simply have no cards to play. The frustration builds as the blinds go up and your stack goes down. You can almost figure here i go again, another bubble out.

Ok, here are some strategies to use when you simply have to steal blinds to maintain and grow your stack.

1. Steal all in from the small blind. If it checks around, and you only have one to beat, push. Forget about your hand, just do it.

2. If the flop checks around, and someone weakly beats the turn, push. High percentage steal here. Even better as a checkraise.

3. Raise the blinds in unraised pots with some marginal hands like lower connectors, such as 78, 56, etc. The idea here is if you hit the flop you want to win. Stay away from tempting hands like say Q7. It is total garbage.

4. Absolutely do not back down with good hands, QQ is gold at this point, figure out how to get as many preflop chips in the pot and go for it. Early in the tourney, you may have to lay it down. Mid to late, you have to make a move with a average to small stack.

5. If someone is punishing your blinds, take a stand against him if isolated. Almost all big stacks become gluttons, so you may just have to punk this porker. Don’t be afraid, when it comes time go for it.

And lastly, never ever give up. I don’t know how many times i have come back from absolutely nowhere to win or place in the good money. You simply don’t know when your run is going to come. Sometimes it is flopping trips out of the BB, other times it is AA, followed by KK. Stay focused, ready to pounce, but be every so patient. Poker punishes the impatient.


One huge difference between good and great players is whether they can extract the maximum value from there winners. Very easily said, very difficult to do.

Well here is what not to do, flop a big rig and immediately shove them all in. Premature echipulation. How many times do you see someone do this then, show the hand to a chorus of nh, gh, or wow. That is horrible play, you may not get another chance at nice pot for an hour and you need those chips to survive coming storm.

So in order to get maximum value, you have to either induce a bluff or disguise your hand as a bluff. Todd Arnold says you need to constantly misrepresent your hand, the same point.

Now to set it up you have flopped a set, flush, straight something really strong. How do you induce a bluff? Well first of all don’t bet so much you chase them out of the pot. If you have 2 cards working here the chances they have much are less than normal. Your flop bet is like a permission to chase bet, you cant bet so much they have to leave, but you want to bet enough to get them really interested in the pot. Situation specific but somewhere around 1 to 3 BB’s. You generally will want to make this type of bet when you are last to act or there is a large field that saw the flop.

Heads up i think you really should check as people are far more willing to bluff heads up and a permission to chase bet is not necessary and likely will drive them off. It also relies heavily on your previous reads of the players in the hand of course.

Now to induce a bluff, you are just going to have to check the turn or bet a smaller amount than you did on the flop. You have to look weak. Now a strong player will pick up on this and check down with you, but a strong player probably isnt in there swinging with nothing and they probably raise your flop bet to find out where you are and where they are anyways.

Now your hope is your opponent will interupt this as a sign of weakness and go all in or make a pot committing bet. Happens all the time.

Sometimes you will have to make your hand look like a bluff. This will depend largely on table image. If you have shown down some rags and your table is live, check the flop and bet huge on the turn when a rag falls. Maybe checkraise the minimum amount. Think about all the times you watch a play and think to yourself that is bs. The best time to make your hand look like a bluff is on the river when a nothing card falls and way overbet the pot. You will trap both strong and weak players with that one.

The types of hands really worth trapping are hands like an 8 high straight where there is a whole bunch of overcards out there and willing participants who will party with you if they hit their ace for instance. Don’t bet them out, give em a chance to hit that ace or that king. For an instance they will be like a schoolboy who just found a quarter, thinking about all the candy they can buy and forgetting about the rattlesnakes in that part of the country.

This post really isn’t that good simply because it is really so situationally specific to try to extract chips. Pay attention and learn from you experiences. Keep a journal of all the big hands you flop, how you played them and how you can play them better. This one point is extremely important to long term success. Almost as important as being able to lay down rigs like TPTK.

JUST DON’T OVERBET AND CHASE THEM OUT. You are going to have to survive some situations where you opponents have some chance to draw out, make sure you risk you chips in the optimum situations.

That’s all folks! Thanks for reading!


In Summary

Point 1: Tight is right in the first hour of a MTT.
Point 2: Shut your pie hole unless you are eating pie.
Point 3: Play where you belong.
Point 4: Stop telling bad beat stories.
Point 5: Specialize
Point 6 Be a Big Picture Person.
Point 7: Have Some Guts With the Nuts.
Point 8: Two Special Situations to Tighten Up.
Point 9: Thou Shalt Not Steal From the Wounded.
Point 10: Give Yourself 2 Ways to Win Every Hand You Play.
Point 11: Count to 10 Then Begin.
Point 12: Consider the Blinds.
Point 13: Consider the Implications of an All-in Bet.
Point 14: Analysis of the Weak Lead.
Point 15: Thoughts on the Rebuy/Addon Tournaments
Point 16: Analysis of the Strong Lead
Point 17: Let the Biggest Hands Bring Home the Bacon.
Point 18: Ace on the Turn and Chips to Burn.
Point 19: You Got to Know When to Fold ’em.
Point 20 :Use the Chat Box to Your Advantage.
Point 21: Remember to Remember What They Remember.
Point 22: Trip Talk, Trip Talk
Point 23: You’re Not Invincible, Stupid.
Point 24: Celebrate Your Bad Beats
Point 25: Bankroll Management 101
Point 26: Consider Draws Carefully.
Point 27: A Common Mistake – Overbetting a Good Hand
Point 28: Like Offering Candy to a Baby.
Point 29: “In Order to Live, You Must be Willing to Die.” -rilla
Point 30: Artificial Intelligence Can Be Deadly
Point 31: What’s in your toolbox?
Point 32: Busted Flops
Point 33: The Biggest Lie in Poker
Point 34: Bizzaro Poker: Betting into Strength, Checking to Weakness
Point 35: One for the Mathoholics and Rippy
Point 36: A Really Big Secret, ssshhhhhhhhhh
Point 37: The Secret of Macbeth
Point 38: Do You Have Worms?
Point 39: Implied Odds
Point 40: What Do They Have, That You Don’t?
Point 41: How and Why to Bluff and Thoughts on Rippy
Point 42: Heads Up
Point 43: Short Handed Final Table Play
Point 44: How to Properly Go on Tilt?
Point 45: What to do When You Win?
Point 46: The Difference Between a Tough Call and Bad Call
Point 47: Why Are You Playing?
Point 48 (of a planned 30): Middle Tourney Play: How to Build a Stack
Point 49: Extracting Maximum Value From Your Winning Hands

Find all the chapters by soupie here.


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Win MTT Poker 16 - Building Your Stack
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