Big Stack Tilt

tenbob

tenbob

Legend
Awards
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Another thread got me watching how the big stack plays in all stages of a STT, and I noticed something very interesting last night at my usual live game.

A normally solid player became big stack on the second hand after tripling his chips, when he flopped a well disguised straight against set (4's) over set (7's). Put guess what happened then ? He tilted.

Even though the blinds were still small at this stage, he played nearly every hand, reaised or unraised pre-flop. Chased all the draws no matter what, and within half an hour he was back to average chip stack, and went back to his usual solid game. Now i know what your going to say, "its the big stacks job blah...blah..." Yes it is the big stacks job to push the table around, but he didnt push anyone at all. He simply called off all his chips.

Big stack tilt, its not the first time ive seen it happen. You need to realise when a usually solid player becomes the table donk beacuse they have the biggest stack, its a form of tilt. How should he have played ? Well I for one if i was in the early stages, id stick to the game plan, and have some extra chips for bullying when its worth a few steals.

If you want to play more hands by all means go ahead, but you need to be leading at the pot, let your opponent know that his stack is at risk by taking you on. But if your calling and checking when your the big stack your on TILT.
 
soadwes

soadwes

Guest
I'll have to keep that in mind when im fortunate enough to be the "big stack". Last night in a small MTT (28 plrs $5 buy-in), i doubled up early with QQ all in preflop against AQ (won with pair of queens :)) and sat pretty for the early stages. This was a turbo tourney so i knew i couldnt stay too layed back as blinds move up so damn fast! But i did manage to not turn into a calling station and use my stack size when needed. Well i ended up placing 5th ($10), should have done better but blew it in the end... guess my point in all this rambling is i saw the technique you discussed in last nights game and i think i can perfect it in future games. Thanks for bringing this issue to my attention! Everyone should think about this...
 
t1riel

t1riel

Legend
Usually when I'm the big stack, I still stick to my stragedy. But sometimes I chase and bluff more often than I do because I have the chips to do it. I think this guy chased more hands than he should have and that's probably what happened. You got to know when to chase and when to fold.
 
mattisme

mattisme

Guest
ur right i usually do that and its the same outcome every time i either lose or just lose alotta chips.....thanks for the advice im in a tourney now in around 20th place so im one of the big stacks ill try to play like i would if i only had a few chips left
 
Dennis C

Dennis C

Guest
Big stack tilt is an oddity but I know I've done it before. Sometimes it just feels better to call alot of hands so you can see you've got the nuts. Instead of a blind draw Or shot in the dark.
 
Jesus Lederer

Jesus Lederer

Rock Star
If you become big stack after winning a huge pot, and then you start playing very dumb poker, there are two possible reasons:
1.-You went on tilt: this is not just caused for being the big stack. Going on tilt on that situation is generally a consecuence of winning a big pot, even if after winning that hand you´re not big stack. When you win a huge pot, if you don´t control the emotion and adrenaline running in your body, you´re probably going to committe mistakes or play in way you wouldn´t play if you were "cold". Is exactly the same effect as running into a bad beat, but because both situations are so opposite most people don´t think that it can carry the same tilt effect, so they just don´t recognize that they are on tilt.
So if you have this problem you have to treat it in the same way you would do after a bad beat: Fold some hands, clear your mind, try to forget about the particular situation, let in the past all that adrenaline the most important thing is to focus in your game. A good book to learn that is "Zen in the Art of Archery" (i haven´t read it all but it has some interesting things that you can apply to poker, like to focus on what you´re doing, learning patience and all you need to master an art).
If you are able to manage your emotions and not going on tilt, but you are still losing after you become big stack, then your problem can be explained by this:
2.-You just don´t know how to play big stack: tenbob said it very well, "Yes it is the big stacks job to push the table around, but he didnt push anyone at all. He simply called off all his chips." Most people believe that being big stack means to limp in every hand and call every raise in hope to catch something. That´s wrong. Being big stack means that you are able to take control over your opponents putting pressure over them. You don´t have to be a calling station, instead you have to be an aggressive machine when it´s necessary. You have chips to make raises to put your opponents on uncomfortable situations. Make them think that if they enter a hand against you they have to be very careful, because you have the power to bust them.
That is not so easy as it seems, because you need to learn the right moments where you must be the aggresor and put pressure on your opponents. Most people don´t understand that and they just lose their chips by making stupid calls instead of using those chips to put pressure. In my case i don´t know how to play well being big stack, so i try to keep the tight-aggressive line, doing some moves that i think a big stack should do, so i can test and learn if they work correctly (that is one of the 2 ways of learning: practice and studying).
 
robwhufc

robwhufc

Cardschat Elite
Big stack early = bad-beat insurance. That's how I see it. All the "big-stack play" techniques are for the end game not the beginning. Think of it this way - early stages of MTT, the tournament leader will have stack of 3000-4000. Final stages, this is the average bet each hand.
 
IrishDave

IrishDave

A Member
Saw it happen in the live game I played Friday night - guy turned into a calling/raising station regardless of cards or position. He was extremely lucky as well. An example, he raised from the button 6xBB with 4-5 off and the BB had pocket aces. The flop was K-5-5 so he ended up taking the aces out. While I will push hard when I'm big stack, I try not to be stupid about it. I will loosen up my starting hand selection a bit like playing suited connectors but I won't just see every flop...
 
starfall

starfall

Visionary
I know I've done the Big Stack thing... although not quite like that - I've generally been rather more spectacular... getting a sense of invulnerability, and raising aggressively with only a few outs, and generally finding myself called by the 1 person at the table with a decent chip stack apart from myself... then you can go crashing out very, very quickly from a strong position.
The adrenaline and confidence from winning a big pot is what's caused it, for sure, putting me on tilt...
 
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