Most true poker rookies seem to end up in the same place in most poker tournaments – as the short stack.
If you’re constantly ending up with fewer chips you’ve got to learn to dig yourself out of that hole or you’ll never make the big money.
The first thing to remember when your chip stack is running low is to be patient.
If you’ve just had a big hand nearly bankrupt you, don’t simply go all-in on the next hand because you think your chances of winning are gone.
To truly have a shot at getting back among the chip leaders you need some patience, and a little luck.
Since you have so few chips the hands you can play before and after the flop are limited.
You’ll want to get into a mindset of either all-in or fold.
You’re going to need to think like this to have a chance at rebuilding your stack.
If you still have enough chips to survive a few rounds of blinds, wait for real premium hands and go all-in.
This is your best chance of doubling up, or if you’re playing at the right table, possibly tripling up or more.
If the blinds haven’t reached monumental heights yet and you still have enough chips to see a couple flops, do it with medium to premium hands.
If you hit anything on the flop be aggrevisse and come out betting.
Even if you only end up with what’s already in the pot at least your stack is going growing again. If you’ve got a read on any of your opponents now is the time to use it.
If you come up against a tight player, try to steal the pot when you think they might be weak even if you’ve got nothing yourself.
If you’re up against a loose player, try to wait for a big hand and bet big since you can almost be assured they will call.
If you’re down to your last chip and will be forced all-in the next time the blinds come your way, your next play should be determined by position.
In an early position you should go all-in with any medium hand or higher.
You’re basically hoping to get lucky here with the blinds coming right behind you.
If you get a junk hand fold it and hope for something better in the blinds position.
In a middle position tighten up a bit and play any ace, any pocket pair or any two face cards.
If you end up hitting on the flop with one of these hands, you should have a good chance at winning or even doubling up.
In late position you’ve got more time before the blinds get you so don’t bet anything unless it’s a great starting hand.
Don’t be affraid to let go of mediocre cards if a player ahead of you goes all-in, especially if this player generally plays tight.
by David Harrison
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