Monday, September 3, 2012

Bug's Poker Tip #9

Shift gears in a tournament.

Play tight early in tournaments, as this conserves chips and helps establish a nit-like image. Passive play at this point is also OK. Remember, chips lost are more valuable than chips won. As the blinds start to escalate, however, you have to start opening up your game, both in terms of flops seen and aggression. Dead money in the middle is worth more, so go after it, in part by taking advantage of your rock image. Shift into an even higher gear as the bubble approaches and some of your weaker opponents start going into "turtle" mode, just trying to keep their heads down and out of trouble until the bubble bursts. Take advantage of their weakness by picking on them. After the bubble pops, however, you often need to shift back to a lower gear, in part because all those turtles that survived the bubble are now short stacked and are willing to just gamble on a double-up or die all-in. As the final table bubble starts approaching, another gear shift is required. And so on...  Remember, the R in REDi is not just hand reading your opponents, but also reading what their mental state is and what their current strategy is. Stay one step ahead of them, and do the opposite of what they are doing.

All-in for now...
-Bug

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