Having a large chip stack in an online poker tournament is a great situation to be in. Yet all too easily the other players can catch up, or even overtake your table chip lead. One ill-timed confrontation with a medium stack and you can be sitting – frustrated – on an average stack once again.
Many players actually misplay their large chip stacks in multi-table tournaments. There are some fundamental adjustments required – but making the wrong adjustments is actually the number one reason that many players go deep in tournaments, but never seem to win. This article lists 4 ways in which online poker tournament players make mistakes with their large chip stacks – and suggests how to correct them.
1) Calling Too Much.
Your large chip stack puts you in a great position to win chips with aggressive and positive play. However, calling too many raises from other players is a common mistake. The player who rises has already shown strength, and you need a legitimately strong hand to call this raise. Instead of calling you should aim to be the raiser in the hand. Since most hands will miss the flop you can accumulate more chips with far less risk!
2) Playing Pots with Other Big Stacks
Unless you have a monster hand there is less value in playing pots with other large stacks at the table. There are 2 reasons for this; firstly a big stack is less likely to fold to your aggression than a smaller stack, which may see their place in the tournament as being in jeopardy. Secondly, misjudging a single hand or situation against a big stack can cripple you.
3) Steals from Very Small Stacks
Rising to steal the blinds is a profitable move for anyone with a large stack. Under the right circumstances this can be done with any 2-cards. However, you need to be aware of very small stacks that are still to act. If they have 6 or less times the blind and re-raise all-in you will be forced to call (due to the pot-odds). This can be costly both in terms of chips and your table image.
4) Folding Too Much
Some players get a large chip stack and feel like they can ‘cruise to the final table’ – folding all but the very best hands. Your opponents get involved in a few hands and suddenly you have an average chip count once again – just at the critical time. Avoid this mistake by ensuring that you use your chips positively. Accumulating more chips by aggressive play in the right situations will give you a better chance to win.