Building up a big stack
What to do when trying to build your stack can consist of a handful of things going right.
The first thing, and something every tournament player has experienced once in a while, is a great run of cards. If you are playing pot after pot, and winning pot after pot, you can build a big stack in a hurry.
If you cooler your opponents constantly you can certainly gather a great deal of chips, but this will not happen all that often.
How to build a big stack
A better way to look at how to build up your stack is to pick up a bunch of small pots with minimal risk.
If you play small ball poker and more importantly play hands from the button or later position at the table, you will have a better chance to win blinds and antes.
If you win smaller sized pots, with minimal chips at risk, you will win enough hands to eventually have someone look you up when you have a monster hand.
If your opponent looks you up in a big spot where you have the nuts, you have done your job right and gathered that big stack. This is the best strategy when it comes to tournament poker.
Ideally, when playing small ball poker, you will put a small portion of your stack at risk to win the pot. If people see that you are playing more hands, they will assume you are bluffing most of the time.
If you are not showing down hands, also, this will help build the credibility that you have been bluffing all of this time. It really doesn’t matter if you had big hands or hands that missed completely, if you have built that reputation, it can work wonders for you and shoot you right up to the top of a tournament leader board.
Also, if you are playing hands early on in a tournament as opposed to later on in a tournament the small ball strategy will work much better.
If you are nearing the end of a tournament or have passed the money bubble, where the blinds are getting bigger, you might look to change this strategy.
You will want to now still play small pots, but look more often for players who are shipping their money in with a wide range of hands.
If you find the overly aggressive player at the later stages of a tournament you can build a big stack by making some big calls in spots.
This will have a lot more risk to it, but if you get your money in as the favorite in spots and ahead, that is all you can look for sometimes after the money bubble has popped or at the end of tournaments.
This comes with maximum risk and maximum reward, but it will certainly make you hold your breath for a short period of time. Once you win a big pot like that you can go back to small ball poker, picking up the blinds and antes and look for another spot where you can repeat it.
If you get your money in as a favorite and give yourself the chance to win a big pot you are doing the right thing when trying to accumulate chips and build a big stack.
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