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How to Beat Small Stakes MTTs (part 2)   Back

Lets continue the last article by discussing strategy in regards to different blind-levels and positions. This is kind of raw, but I think it will get you an idea of my poker strategy approach.

Strategy BB<100

Early position

I will fold most of my hands, even small pocket pairs like 44 and basically all suited connectors. If I do get a hand i wanna play, like 77+ or AJs+ I will raise. Not much but enough to get a few folds. I hardly ever limp from an early position.If i like the flop I will bet the flop with all my top-pair hands or better and check/call if I got a draw. Since money invested is small, I won’t get crazy with my draws and call of my stack this early.With my very strong hands like AA, KK, QQ and sometimes AK or AQs i don’t mind to open to 5x or 6x. If I get re-raised i will just move all in. You will get plenty of action anyway.

Middle position

Same as above, but I will open up my limp-range a bit and limp small pocketpairs and suited connectors (SC) that i would have mucked from an early position. If i got a small pocketpair (PP) and facing a big raise (5x or more) from early position (EP) i will probably just fold

Late position

I will open up my range of hands even more in late position (LP). I don't mind to call a raise with small PP and SC from LP. What I’m looking for is to get involved when there’s other players in the hand. So if i got a hand like pocket fours and I’m facing a 5x raise from EP, i will fold the hand if everyone folds to me, otherwise i will call. The more players involved, the better it is since you don’t only need to hit a set on the flop, you need to get paid off as well.

Strategy BB<400

Early position

When BB is between 100 and 400 i think you need to keep a very low profile from an EP. Not much difference from BB<100 . Many times effective stacks will be 8 to 13BB so shoving your good hands are fine with these stack sizes.

Middle position

Stacks are truly important at this stage. If you have a large stack (+30BB) you can open pretty wide first in, but have in mind that there will be a few players with stacks around 15 to 20BB that will love to re-steal against you in LP. So I tend to be a bit careful at this stage of the poker tournament schedule, especially if there is not antes involved yet.

If my stack is between 10 to 15 BB i will just shove if i got a hand i can’t fold.

Late position

Open up your game a lot from LP. You can shove extremely wide from the button (BTN) or or SB trying to pick up the blinds if your first in. Watch out for people who will defend there blinds at all costs. There are a few of them and you need to adjust your shoving range a bit against these players. Stealing from LP is essential to your game so you don’t get to short and loose all fold equity when shoving.

Stack sizes is of course very important. You cant shove any two cards against someone with 5 or 7 BB since they will call very light. Adjust your shove range a little bit against these players. You can still shove a pretty wide range tho.

Strategy BB > 400

Early position

Same as before. You cant open to many hands from EP even if you got a large stack. If the table is really weak/tight and your stack allows it, i might min-raise some medium strength hands like TJs and KQo  from under the gun (UTG). This could work in the $2.20, but don’t over do it, people will notice and play accordingly even at small stakes.

If you have a small stack, just shove all in. Don't put yourself in difficult spots by min-raising and having to play your hand against 3 big stacks out of position (OOP)

Middle position

You will get very close to bubble play when BB is about 800 so keep putting pressure of players with medium stacks at this point and watch out for very small/large stacks. If you can spot someone that limps to much and folds to aggression, use it and shove hands you normally would have folded against a limp from EP. Some of your Ax, Kx and SC will be very valuable to shove with against these type of players. And there is a lot of them. Do it carefully tho since you need a hand that you would have shoved first in anyway and you need to have a decent stack for fold equity.

Late position

If you already have a very large stack you can keep opening a wide range of hands and on the bubble you can pretty much shove any two cards against players with small/medium stacks from BTN or CO. Adjust to players that are basically committed to call.

If your stack is small/medium you should take every chance you get to shove from BTN or SB but still you need to adjust to players that are committed to call or those that will “spite” call you with any two cards. So if you got a hand like 67o in SB with 11BB behind and BTN makes a raise to 5x you cant really shove since he will call close 100%. If BTN would have folded instead, then shoving with 67o is perfectly fine as long as you have some fold equity against BB.

To be continued..

P.S.

 

 

This post is already getting too long so lets talk some more about final table play/strategy in my next post. I might be able to record a few replays from some final tables as well to go along withmynext post.

Take care!

 

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