Thursday, February 23, 2012

Faldo on Middle Tournament Strategy

Gina Carano likes all of Faldo's 'strategies'.

This is an under-studied area of the game in tournaments, even though it is the stage where the majority of the players bust out.

First step would be the define the “middle stage”. It is when 30% to 50% of the players have busted out, depending on the size of the tournament. A big tourney, use the 50% mark and adjust accordingly to know when to start using these strategies.

First, open your starting hand selection [Faldo visibly cringes when he hears this!]. Get aggressive pre-flop with smaller pairs and bigger suited connectors.

Second, fast-play your big hands. Smaller stacks will be in panic mode and will have to call with lesser hands. And if you have opened up as in step #1, your opponents will assume you are still speeding.

Third, steal blinds. Since the blinds are rising, stealing them will keep you afloat until the poker gods decide to smile on you.

Fourth, defend your blinds more. This does not mean calling. Re-raise with anything decent. If your opponent is applying strategy #3 and you re-raise from the blinds, he has to worry you have a real hand.

And lastly, continuation bet more often. Bet around half the pot post-flop whether you have a hand or not. You only have to win half the time to show a profit. At this stage of the tournament, any profit is critical. But try to focus on WEAK-TIGHT players (like Faldo) and that will increase your odds of taking the pot down without a showdown.

The middle stage is the time to “play poker” and not just the cards or the card odds.


Anonymous said...

But what about when you are at a poker table with poker geniuses such as aqualung and beerhog?

What say you?

Nik Faldo said...

They are both great players!