Playing Vegas88 Hold’em short stacked is quite obviously not where you want to be. I would rather be sitting with the big stack any day, but let’s face it, if you play much poker, you will find yourself short-stacked at various times. What I see way too many players do when this happens, (especially online) is immediately ship their chips to another player on the first junk hand that comes along. It is probably a form of being impatient, but I for one do not want to be one of those picked, too.
First of all, as an over-forward player, you want to be accumulating chips as much as possible, but you should be waiting for hands like A-J or A-Q . This is because you want to be in position to act after the flop, which puts you inunch-raise predicaments if you are playing from the button. If you are playing from the small blind, you are inunch-call predicaments because you can be forced to act before the flop as well. I see players all the time come out with a weak hand and forget about the big stack sitting right there with you.
In instances such as this, you can either let the big stack just keep betting at you, or you can take the opportunity to get all your chips in. Why would you want to do the latter when you could be waiting for A-J or A-Q here? This is called stealing the blinds. If you notice the big stack rarely just keeps betting at you, it is probably time to take the opportunity to steal the blinds yourself. It doesn’t matter if you do it every time, because the most you will get is a call or a raise from the big stack. The thing is, if you are playing online, your opponents will call you pre-flop raises with junk hands because they are so concerned with playing the tournament online. What you need to make money in an online tournament is have a plan other players will respect.
First, if you are in the blind, always raise with a premium hand. You want 2-2. You don’t want to be called with a weak hand with a guy who will use his chips to call. You are far better off having your chips in your own hands than to be all over the big stack’s servers. If you are in the big blind, always re-raise with a hand that has value pre-flop. Treasure your raises and don’t fall into the realm of playing junk hands out of position. If you think your hand will still be best post-flop, raise. The worst thing you can do is let a guy who called your raise out of position to go all-in after the flop when you were all-in behind. Also, don’t think that just because a guy re-raise out of position that he has a strong hand. He could also be trapping you, so don’t let it discourage you from re-raising out of position with strong hands.
Beside the point, don’t get all your chips in every pot. Ask yourself, is there an especially aggressive player in the pot that you want to eliminate? If you think there may be, don’t eliminate him easily. Even with a hand as good as pocket Q’s, you don’t want to eliminate a guy just because he pushed you all-in pre-flop. A lot of tournament players will do that if they think they can get lucky folding to a big raise.
In addition, even if you think you have the best hand, you don’t always have the best outcome. Sometimes you will bet out instead of raising and be called by the big blind. Likewise, you don’t always have the best outcome with your hand. On the flop, you raise with KQ and the big blind re-raises you all-in. You know you have the best hand, but there are a lot of other players in the blind who could possibly have the flush. You don’t always make the best hand, and being out of position with a weak hand pre-flop is probably the worst thing you can do.
This is an obvious distinction that a lot of players make, but it’s a very important one. The anointing of certain hands as “good” or “bad” hands is a distinction without a difference. When you hold pocket 5’s, if you raise early, you will get a call more often than not. It is just faster to call a raise than to fold. To re-raise a raise pre-flop is just calling a raise and it is sometimes used as a steal move by a lot of players.
You have heard the word “con”.