Sometimes, when playing tournaments, it is hard to build a stack and the moves you make just donít work against your opponents. If you donít catch cards, this can be detrimental to your chip count. The tendency at this point is to wait for top 10 hands like AA or AK. Donít let yourself succumb to this downfall! If you are waiting for these prime hands, they likely will not come around until you are whittled down to just a few bets. If this is the case, youíll be lucky if everyone at the table doesnít call just to get you out. When you are playing a live tournament, once you get down to 10 bets it is pushing time. In online tournaments, if you get down to 6 or 7 bets it is time to make a move. The purpose of this is you still have enough bets to entice someone to fold their hand to you. In most cases, if you start pushing with 10 bets, small pocket pairs will fold to you and you will get the ace rag to fold as well. This being the case, you can assume that the hands that are going to call you will be the prime hands like AK, AQ, AJ, AA, KK, QQ, and JJ. This is actually a relief because it means that you can essentially push with any live cards to these hands. If your all-in bet does not scare them off (as it should), then you have live cards to whatever they are calling you with. This increases the chances of you hitting a pair, two pair, or a flush (if your suited) and winning. Some live hands would include medium suited connectors, KJ, KQ, JQ, J10, or any suited face card. When looking for a pushing hand, there is a tendency to push with any ace. It is often better not to push with ace rag because you will almost always we called by a better ace. The idea is to have enough bets that you can still push someone off their hands, but have live cards in case you are called by a better hand.
Position is important when pushing with this range of cards. You should be pushing in situations that give you the best chances of stealing the blinds and antes. We are not actually trying to get called and double up with these mediocre hands, so it is best to push in late position when there is less of a chance of getting called. The positions that would be best are the cutoff, button, small blind and possibly the hijack. These positions will lessen the chances of getting called as half the table has already folded. Pushing in these positions will be vital to your survival in this critical state. The trick is not to feel powerless and become silent when you are a short stack. You can still make some moves to push around the big stacks because you can still put a dent in their stacks if they call you and lose. There is a lot of power in that when used correctly. Just be sure not to use it over and over as someone will eventually call you with any two cards if they feel you are just pushing the table around. Donít get greedy. You are just trying to collect one or two blinds each round so you have that much more time wait for prime hands that you can double up with. Be patient and take advantage of good situations!