This is a discussion on Small ball vs Power poker within the online poker forums, in the Tournament Poker section; I tend to have more success when playing power poker than I do playing small ball poker. What is your opinion?
I'm more likely to play small ball early on and power poker later in the tournament but for all but high stakes tournaments this is usually not relevant.
More important in small stakes tournaments is having solid fundamentals - knowing your ranges from each position and understanding how your stack size dictates your play.
If you haven't read Harrington on Hold'Em for No Limit Tournaments Volumes I and II, I would suggest doing so ASAP. At the very least you will gain insight into how other players are choosing to approach tournaments.
Study up on push/fold charts (Google is your friend!) and know which cards stack sizes should be open shoving and how tight/loose you need to be calling all-ins.
Originally Posted by Joseph Havelka
I tend to have more success when playing power poker than I do playing small ball poker. What is your opinion?
Small ball takes a lot of discipline and is a tough strategy to really nail down, it also takes a great deal of putting your opponent on a hand. One way to see how good you are at putting people on hands is guess what they'll have at a showdown whether or not you're in the hand and see how many times you're either right or really close. That's a big reason why Negreanu doesn't recommend it for beginners, one because of their inability to get away from marginal situations, and because most beginners can't really put an opponent on a hand
I think it is tough strategy, and next to impossible in some online tourneys when people are shoving all over the place. I'm sure it's different in something like the World Series which is a much slower tourney and you have time to play small ball.
use both of them. Sometimes small ball is the best approach for the table, for example, in huge field events with loads of fish. Being in loads of pots and extracting small value trying to catch someone in moderately big pots with second best hands.
other times its best to just play power poker, on tough tables where you have less skill edge or no skill edge postflop, or in turbo structures.
So i would say both are applicable at all times, it just depends what you can do or get away with. Obviously having a standard way to play is great, which might be a small ball type style, however you should be able to change and play power poker if you need to as well. For me it all depends again, on the table and opponants and strucutre of the tournament.