Originally Posted by teepack
Assuming that everyone has folded to you, what is your strategy on trying to steal blinds when you are on the button or the SB? Early in a tourney I am not going to risk a lot of chips to pick up tiny blinds, but towards the middle I will get a little more aggressive. At bubble time I get really aggressive because I know folks are trying to get into the money. After the bubble has burst, I tend to go back towards being a little more cautious, although that also depends on my stack size. If I've got a much bigger stack size than either the SB or BB, I might shove just to put them on the spot, especially if I have at least one face card or an Ace.
this sounds about right, actually. assuming we're readless I'd do about like you suggested.
with a read on the blinds it goes like this:
If they are likely to defend I'm gonna want hands that play well like small pairs, suited connecters and 2 big cards as low as let's say J9o and i'll shy away from Ace rag unless it's suited.
if the blinds are unlikely to defend, then I'll go ahead and raise about the top 80% of my range here, being very cautious if they don't fold pre.
if they're short and likely to either fold or 3bet shove, I'll either open jam into them, or raise with hands that can stand to call their all in.
Originally Posted by Pandaaaaa88
i'm vice versa afraid to steal fromshort stack, they can just push, and it will be stressfull situatiation for my stack)
me too. it depends on their exact stack size...but something in the neighborhood of 12-24 bbs is the worst size to try to steal from. if shorter I'll just have to call with almost any playable hand, and if deeper their shove probably signals a strong but vulnerable hand like 88 so I can happily fold or call depending on what I've got. but in the middle there, their shove can mean so many things. really puts you in some tough spots. I try to avoid tough spots like these. now....there are some players who at a stack size of 17bb are total doormats and I'm not afraid to steal their blinds because it will usually be successful and when they finally play back I know I'm crushed. no biggy. It doesn't have to work every time to be a successful strategy.
Have you ever done the math to figure out just how often your steals have to work to break even? it's pretty eye opening. when there are antes it is a really low break even point.
say its 600/1,200 with a 200 ante. starting pot contains 3600. if your standard raise is about 2.5bbs that means you'll be risking 3,000 to win 3,600.
if you win 4/5 times that's 15,000 risked to win 14,400 almost break even.
if you win 3/4 times that's 12,000 risked to win 10,800
if you win 2/3 times that's 9,000 risked to win 7,200...so a slight loss over 3 hands if it doesn't work once.
run that a buncha times and it's easy to see that it doesn't have to work every time. ...And, the worst case scenario is somebody 3betting you. often you'll just win the blinds or get flatted, but now you have the betting lead and can win by outplaying them or binking the flop.
The more straightforward they are at playing post flop, the better it is to attack their blinds, because then you'll frequently win the blinds AND their call when they miss the flop and check to the raiser (2/3 the time when they hold a hand like AT or KQ)
the other thing that's great about blind stealing is it gets you paid off when you have a real hand. imagine if you never stole...then everytime you raised with KK everyone would just fold. but if you pick up KK in late pos and the last 3 orbits you've made a late position raise and you folded to a 3bet twice..well now you're extremely likely to get 3bet by AT or 44 or whatever. YAY! You get to decide when to play a big pot and when to give up. add to that you're just winning the blinds without a fight a fair amount and there's very little downside to stealing in late position.