There’s a double entendre for Hold ’em poker players if they reach the final table of a tournament and are left playing heads up, (just them and their opponent). One is that they definitely want to hold the best hand, no matter what it is, to win the all-in. Another is that they want to hold onto their stack, no matter what it is, to win the tournament. However, if they’re left to choose, many players will often grab the low-hanging fruit and see no risk in holding what they have, when it comes to the risk of being eliminated from the tournament.
There are many strategies that you can use as you how to play heads up, many of which may be effective, depending on the poker game you are playing, but there is one strategy that you need to use and that is, at some point, when you are in the blinds at the beginning of a tournament, you need to begin to play aggressive poker, and not necessarily in a premium hand style.
This is simply because, besides the blinds, and relative strength of your hand in a poker game, there is now a different stack structure. When you are trying toy your opponent, the times he is in the blinds, and relative strength of your hand, there is a different sense of urgency. Therefore, you as a poker player, must adjust in how you play, because you are at a different level in the poker tournament than your opponent is at a given point in the tournament.
For example, lets say your stack is Cr, and your opponent’s is 20 times bigger. There is now crush the blinds, and no one to catch, meaning you are just waiting for a big hand. Let’s say you pick up pocket 4’s. Before you play a hand, you might play an ace, or a king, and so on. Back door flush draws or gut shots draw to trips, you’re practically forced to play with an Ace or King since it’s the only hand that you will have an opportunity to catch.
The difference in equity gained by making a small bet than it is lost by not. Although, there are ace and king high flushes, it is more profitable to fold these than to call. Therefore, you will not often make these hands, but you’re just waiting for the ball to be in your court. You don’t necessarily have to play any hand, calling, check or raise. You only play when you have a premium hand, the stronger of your hand is relative to your stack in comparison to your opponents, and equity is gained therein.
When you don’t have much of a stack, you will essentially have to depend on the good hands of other people. Don’t be within the blinds or early positions unless you have a premium hand. Within the later positions, you can still play strong hands pre-flop, or if no one has raised in front of you, as long as you pick a good starting your hole cards.
Once you are out of a tournament, this strategy still needs to be applied. You will lose a lot of the blinds and even more of your own chips while in the event. However, once you reach the stage where you are mixing up your play and no one is really making a ton of aggressive raises in front of you, a hand like 77 or AQ is a good way to get out of the event quickly and drop in a tournament.
These hands are your main bread and butter and should be played aggressively when you have them in the hole. They are so strong relative to other hands that you won’t have to think about folding them pre-flop, but you should still play them aggressively last.
Playing any hand is a way to win a bola88 tournament. Look back to your game after losing one or two hands. Had you been playing tight at that point, it could have saved you a coin flip or two so that you could have survived, therefore, to get to the top you would need to play strong starting hands aggressively to put yourself in a good position to win the event.