Chip Leader Strategy.

Afterlife000

Afterlife000

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I always seem to be chip leader in the beginning of tournys, butt as the tourny goes on and i get closer too the final table, i find myself being one of the short stacks and havent played any hands. What can i do to make this not happen?
 
Gesus_El_Savior

Gesus_El_Savior

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Well, being the chip leader is a huge opporunity, but it has down sides too.. other players will more likely try to double up through you.. and one more thing you still have to do is selecting your hands right, when you have more chips to spare you can call with any connecters and any Ace/king high flush possibilty's.. and playing only with those hands if you make that flush or straight.. dont go playing with Ah5h and then hit a single A with no flush outs...
 
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jeffred1111

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You have to learn to loosen your play and be the bully. You should be the one betting into dry boards and flexing your chipstack to make others fold. Be weary that there's always a big target on your back and you may back up against a monster if you are to agressive. Basically, control the action and gain as many chips as possible in low-risks situations (c-betting on low board, trying to catch monsters with suited connectors, etc.).

But at the same time, if your stack dwindle to nothing, you're either playing too tight or bluffing too much after the flop. As Sklansky suggest, when the ante get bigger, your preflop requirements should be more loose, but your semi-bluffs and bluffs-should lessen since the pots will always be big and warrant calls. Having a big stack is confortable, but you cannot fly-under-the--radar, you have to make plays or risk everyone getting a share of your hard earned-chips.
 
amygrantfan

amygrantfan

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i used to have that problem, but now i'm never the chipleader to start:( in all seriousness, i agree w/the advice that you have to be a bully. when i was once a chipleader, somehow people figure out that i coudl be easily bullied. and they did. so i'd call a lot from loose play (thinkin i have so many chips), only to fold after the flop cuz i got bullied out.
 
vanquish

vanquish

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I find that not using the "call" button when you're chip leader has a quite a few upsides. (Raise or fold)
 
amygrantfan

amygrantfan

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i think that's key. raise or fold. otherwise, your money just gets sucked away...i've done that way too many times.
 
Afterlife000

Afterlife000

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Yeah i will always do stuff like that when im chip leader but it never works. It seems like they know when im bluffing and trying to buy the pot and stuff. Its just not my thing too do that, i just play good hands and good hands only. I guess thats why i get so many bad beats when i play poker.
 
Tammy

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Yeah i will always do stuff like that when im chip leader but it never works. It seems like they know when im bluffing and trying to buy the pot and stuff. Its just not my thing too do that, i just play good hands and good hands only. I guess thats why i get so many bad beats when i play poker.
Sounds like there's an area you need to work on. :) You HAVE to make that your thing. I have found myself in that same predicatment time and again. And it's because I was what I call "playing scared". I was too worried about holding onto those chips. Too scared to make a move, when I knew I could take the pot down.

When you get to the latter stages of the tournament, you have to loosen up. You can't sit back and wait for the hands to come to you. Playing tight and waiting for premiums works in the beginning stages, but in the later stages this will be your downfall. By this time, you should have a pretty good feel for your opponents. You should know which ones are TAG/LAG, etc. Take advantage of position, and your read on the players at your table, etc.

Jeffred really says it best in that you have to control the action. But also that it's a fine balance. If you get too aggressive, players will catch on and call you on it. So again, it's taking advantage of position, and of your reads on players, the texture of the board. It take practice, but in time, you'll get it.
 
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lyon21

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Some good information above here i have trouble when im chip leader i either play way to tight or i am to aggressive just have to get that balance.
 
Afterlife000

Afterlife000

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Thanks for the information juicee, im not very good at betting with bad cards, but ill give it a try and see where it gets me. Thanks for in info!
 
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rines88

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The curse of the chip lead

i find it helpful to remember how it feels to be short stack when you see the chip leader making moves. you often question why they are raising and will feel they are bluffing more than they are.. and might call with less because of this. so before you go bullying i would suggesting having something-even small- rather than stone cold bluffing. that way if they call out of frustration or reading you incorrectly you still have a chance of winning.
 
Infamous1020

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yeah my problem is when i have the lead, i try overly hard to protect it, thus playing overly tight and just being nibbled on.
 
Goldog

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Sorry this turned into a book but here goes:

When I get an early chip lead I like to use my stack as a club. Just beat the chips out of them. Remember, each of your chips "cost" you less than they cost a smaller stack. Imagine you have 5K when average is 2K. A 200 chip bet by you equals 10% of an average stack but only 4% of yours.

During the mid to late stages just start beating up on people. You may do this with ATC. (Any two cards; learned that today in another thread. I assumed it meant "Absolute Total Crap" :eek: )

A couple of caveats though.

1.Try to focus on weak players and nearly average stacks. Too big or small and they are more likley to play back.

2. Avoid raising marginal hands. If someone should reraise it's easier to muck something like 86 than hands such as 55 or ATs. Be more willing play small ball with these at times. Your bullying will seem more legit if you're only limping with these hands. They'll assume you're raising with hands stronger what you limp with.

3. Be sure to "change gears" once you get a feeling the jig may be up. Sometimes I just KNOW the BB was ready to fight back this time. I figure my fold pissed him off as much as all the stealing. Even just folding in a few obvious steal situations will help make you seem less of a bully. When you think they're ready to pounce try to have a hand.

4. Do play your position (stealing blinds) but don't be afraid to mix it up. A limp from UTG can appear pretty scary from a big stack.

Goldog
 
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muddawgg

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some of this good advice will try using some thanks
 
robert_wrath

robert_wrath

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I take it that you may want to retain the chip lead in the tournys, well there are easy ways of keeping the lead by playing " small ball " poker. What do I mean, pick your spot once every button pass. You must play " the bully " / move your weight around. Don't you hate it when someone raises your blinds and he has a substantial chip count over you. Take the opportunity to swing at other players in that same fashion. It feels good execute a blind steal bluff. When you least expect it, you'll wake up to a real hand and your opposition won't know what hit 'em when you showdown.
 
K

kid_romeo24

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I agree with Robert you have to play "small ball" poker. Daniel N. does some good tutorials on this type of play. It helps you play a lot more pots and steal pots. As it teaches you to get away with minimal damage, if you get caught! Try bully, but don't get over pushy!!!
 
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young hova

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Preflop Raising is key with the chip lead (only when the blinds are worth stealing) If you get your stack up before the blinds are worth stealing play tight, once they are worth stealing start picking on people, especially short stacks, but don't pick on the shortest stack who is soon to go all in only the ones where they have time to wait for a premium hand to push on you.

Raise alot more in late position, especially on the button, sometimes with almost any cards but don't OD. Raise only premium hands in early position, because you will get called most likely and you'll be out of position. In middle position if its folded to you I might raise with any two cards.

You gotta pick on the weak players blinds not only the short stacks, but the ones than won't get frisky with you postflop, that way in the event they do call you can still bet and its a good chance they'll fold.

By doing this even when you don't get cards mostlikely you'll be chipping up, and if you don't chip up and people call you down its okay, because the chips you are losing here is creating a great image for you when you decide to immediately tighten up when you've lost just enough, that way when you raise again you'll be able to maximize profits.


BE AGGRESSIVE. I used to play tight in tourneys but its not worth it man, because what will happen is you'll play everything right and get your money in good but its not always gonna end in your favor and its gonna be a bigger loss to your stack when your a tight player than when your aggressive. Aggressive players can usually shrug off big pot losses because they already amassed a good amount of chips anyway.
 
pigpen02

pigpen02

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yea pick ur spots carefullly to make a stand

Nah, I think you should pick your spots at randddom. At least your first two posts weren't asking where the password is.
 
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gottabuyit

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I think that once you the chip leader you make people play your game (hands you chose to play and feel that you are at an advantage)... you don't play their game... remember you are in control of your chips and hand... keep in mind as a chip leader you are a target...
 
azforlife

azforlife

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Changing gears

Changing gears is key! It is something no one has mentioned, to my knowledge!
One thing I feel is also key is just playing with BB in mind (Big blinds); It really simplifies things & puts things in perspective! When I re-watch my hands & the chips are in BB, when I see how much BB I've risked, How much I won? BBS, How many BBs the stacks around me are? I tend to overbluff, I put in a disproportionate amount of stack in comparison with what is in the pot, or what I'm hoping to win, despite holding 39 in my hand? (I think the idea of semi-bluffing here is also key, ideally you want to bluff as small as possible "small ball"(or even just check if you smell a check-raise coming) to minimize the cost you have to pay to see the turn or probably the river.
There is so much to talk about here...


Sorry this turned into a book but here goes:

When I get an early chip lead I like to use my stack as a club. Just beat the chips out of them. Remember, each of your chips "cost" you less than they cost a smaller stack. Imagine you have 5K when average is 2K. A 200 chip bet by you equals 10% of an average stack but only 4% of yours.

During the mid to late stages just start beating up on people. You may do this with ATC. (Any two cards; learned that today in another thread. I assumed it meant "Absolute Total Crap" :eek: )

A couple of caveats though.

1.Try to focus on weak players and nearly average stacks. Too big or small and they are more likley to play back.

2. Avoid raising marginal hands. If someone should reraise it's easier to muck something like 86 than hands such as 55 or ATs. Be more willing play small ball with these at times. Your bullying will seem more legit if you're only limping with these hands. They'll assume you're raising with hands stronger what you limp with.

3. Be sure to "change gears" once you get a feeling the jig may be up. Sometimes I just KNOW the BB was ready to fight back this time. I figure my fold pissed him off as much as all the stealing. Even just folding in a few obvious steal situations will help make you seem less of a bully. When you think they're ready to pounce try to have a hand.

4. Do play your position (stealing blinds) but don't be afraid to mix it up. A limp from UTG can appear pretty scary from a big stack.

Goldog
 
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