How to Maintain Your Stake in Live Tournaments

When you look to maintain a certain average stack throughout a poker tournament, you have to keep a number of things in mind, but most importantly you have to maintain a confidence within yourself that you will be the last man standing. Becoming that last man standing in a poker tournament takes a ton of time as well as patience and well-timed aggression. If you have the skills to be there in a live poker tournament eventually you will break through and have a victory. Time is all it takes in live poker tournaments and there is tons of it. Sometimes you will play well enough to just cash in tournaments and sometimes you will run very well and go for a deep run in a poker tournament. The subtleties of doing well in poker tournaments relates to how well you can maintain your stack size throughout the times when you are completely card dead.

When you are card dead in poker tournaments it is very brutal and almost unbearable sometimes to deal with, but you have to keep with what your goals are and what you would like to accomplish. Getting the big stack and chip lead in a poker tournament is always what you would like to do, but it isn’t necessarily an essential part of making a deep run in a poker tournament. What you should look to do is maintain a steady working stack, and also win a number of hands without showing down your hand to the table. When you don’t show your cards ever at a poker table, you have a huge advantage over time because eventually someone will call you just to see what you have. Looking to maintain a stack will leave you with a couple of options as of how to approach it.

One way to approach maintaining a stack is to play pots only when you have premium holdings. If you can do that then you will see over time that you will be able to maintain a stack sometimes, but other times you will bleed off chips because players will begin to pick on you and three bet your pre-flop raises more often. You have to do more than just play ABC poker to become a tournament champion, and you should realize this from the moment you sit down at a poker table. The best mix of poker these days is just that, to mix the range of hands you play up, so that you are unpredictable at a poker table. If you play hands like 89 suited and suited aces here and there this will allow you more wiggle room later on in a poker tournament. The little things in poker are very important as well as when to do certain things and when to not do certain things. One little thing that always helps when playing a poker tournament is to become familiar with your table, so that you have a better understanding of where they come from and what the players at your table are capable of doing. Talking when you aren’t playing pots to find out what a players state of mind is can be essential to determine whether to fold hands or play hands down the road. Live poker tournaments will become very difficult if you don’t pay attention to subtle differences in players at the table.

When you magnify subtleties of players and keep them lodged in your brain, you will know who will fold hands and who will play hands with you. This is essential for maintaining a stack in a live poker tournament. The reason why it is so important is because if you pay attention to everything you will find players blinds who you can steal. As stacks continue to increase, and blinds increase in poker tournaments, the players who are playing tight will often times continue to play passively. If a player is aggressive, often times they maintain their aggression throughout a poker tournament. Maintaining a stack is more than showing down the best hand, but it is a game that you must play where you pick on the weak and avoid the strong. If you pick on the weak you can take their blinds and maintain your stack. If you pick on the better players who are playing a number of pots, you will not maintain your stack and may have to put all your chips in the middle with a marginal hand. This is not what you want.