Re-Stealing Stacks Late in Tournament Poker

In tournament poker you often have to take a lot more risks than feels comfortable.

One of the hardest stack sizes to play in no limit tournament poker is one of between fifteen and twenty five big blinds. This is because it occupies a sort of awkward limbo, being too much to just shove, while at the same time being short enough that you don't really just want to raise and fold with marginal hands. So you either face the choice of just having to blind away waiting for a hand you are prepared to go all the way with, or you have to take a big gamble by shoving in fifteen big blinds or more with a marginal hand.

One of the best ways to play this sort of stack size is to look for spots where you can re steal. Between fifteen and twenty five big blinds is the perfect stack size to shove with once someone else has raised before you. This is an especially useful play at a table with a number of deep stacked loose players, as they will be opening junk enough that you will often be bale to get away with this play with pretty marginal hands. Another great advantage of this play is that it earns you much more than just a regular blind steal, as not only does it pick up the blinds and antes, but you will also get whatever the original raisers opening bet was (typically between 2.5 and 4x the big blind), and this will help you get back to a big stack much more quickly.

So that is the good news about re stealing with this sort of stack size. The bad news is that this play is extremely risky. Whenever someone raises before you, they are indicating that they have some kind of hand. Although loose players will often raise hands that they cannot call a shove with, they will also be raising all the hands that they can call with. As a result, it is often better to try and make these shoves with hands that are unlikely to be dominated by all of these calling hands, such as suited connectors and low pocket pairs (weak aces are awful for this type of move as they are dominated so often - seven eight suited has much better odds against a hand like ace king than ace three has).

In tournament poker you often have to take a lot more risks than feels comfortable. Re stealing is a classic example of this, as it has significant risks, yet ones which are balanced by significant rewards. Strategies such as this are critical to taking down the big money spots in tournaments, and trying to spot situations where you can accumulate as many chips as possible pays big dividends in the long run.

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