Online Poker Tournament Late Game Strategy

Playing with a medium or large stack

This is a comfortable position to be in as you enter the ‘bubble’ (the last few positions before finishing in the money). You can afford to wait for good hands to make a move. A few important points to consider:

· Choose your battles carefully. As far as possible, try to avoid any confrontations with large stacks. You do not want to risk your entire stack at this point.

· Be the bully. As you get closer to the money, pick on conservative players with small stacks who are desperately trying to hang on. The chances are good that they will fold unless they hold a powerful hand, allowing you to steal a valuable pot.

· Play your position. If you hold a good position and a decent hand, put pressure on the blinds by raising 4 – 5 times the big blind. At this point in the tournament, stealing blinds is crucial and aggression pays off.

· Bet wisely. There is no need to push all-in pre-flop and risk going broke, unless you hold an A-A or K-K. Rather, bet or raise the amount of chips which will place the most pressure on your opponents.

Playing with a short stack

Playing with a short stack so close to the bubble is much more difficult. If you are seriously low on chips (less than 4 big blinds), you do not have enough ammo to throw larger stacks off their hands or steal the blinds.

On the other hand, it is better to make a move than let the blinds erode away your chips. If you are lucky enough to be dealt a very strong hand, such as A-A, K-K or even Q-Q, it is worth trying a slow-play to capitalize on your winnings.

Bluffing under these circumstances can actually be easier, as players will be less likely to put you on a bluff because of the size of your stack. They will also be less inclined to gamble because as you do not possess that many chips for them to win.