I know more than a few people who assume you probably haven’t read this article. Because they earn sums in the six-figure range by taking advantage of the players’ lack of knowledge about the concepts that are explained in this article. In the middle and at the end of a multi-table tournament, you can win a lot of chips if you understand a few simple concepts.
Antes Are Good
Many less gifted poker players could improve their game dramatically if they were aware of the impact antes have on a tournament. There is a huge difference between 200/400 blinds and 200/400/50 (50 is the ante). With nine players at the table, 450 chips from the ante are dead in the pot. It’s like a player who is limped. You know that limping is the antithesis of aggression and that aggression is known to be rewarded in poker.
So, stealing the blinds is much more worthwhile in levels where there are antes. Many other concepts related to the “How small does your stack have to be to move all-in with ace-nine in middle position?” Debate has answers that depend heavily on whether or not there are antes involved.
As a rule of thumb, you can say that your own stack is worth less, but it is more valuable to steal pots when ante is involved.
Blind vs. Blind Battles
Let’s say a player has eight big blinds (antes in play) and is in the small blind position. Everyone folds. If the player is good then he will go all-in with just about any hand. Why? Two reasons: First, the pot is big. He steals not only one big blind, but two (think about the ante!) And can also defend his small blind. Second, all he has to do is get one player to fold a completely unfamiliar hand. Most players would probably only call with the top 10-20% of the starting hands. This means that you win the pot 4 out of 5 times just like that. And if your opponent calls you can still get lucky, win and double your stack.
The downside to this concept is that you have to identify players who are knowledgeable about this concept. If I’m at a table and know that the player in the small blind position is good, I’ll call him from the big blind with a wide range of starting hands, including queen-eight and jack-nine. Even if that sounds absurd, I know that any good player in such a situation would go all-in with just about every starting hand. And as long as you know that, a hand is like King Nine the Nuts!
Re-stealing And Fold Equity
You can build your stack very quickly and with little risk if you do well-planned re-steals. A re-steal is when a player raises and you go all-in (or raise again because your own stack is too high to go all-in). In the first part we learned how easy it is to steal blinds . Now you can imagine how valuable it is to steal the blinds from someone who is trying to steal the blinds themselves. You can literally gain 50% of your stack without showing your hand in a re-steal situation.
While a re-steal can be very effective, it is also dangerous. If you steal the blinds, then you haven’t shown aggression and you don’t have to raise a lot to steal the blinds. In a re-steal, however, someone has already shown aggression. So, you should be sure that either your opponent folds or you have a good hand that you can win with if the opponent calls.
How effective re-stealing is with the aim of getting the opponent to fold depends on the chip stack. If a player raises three big blinds and you move all-in with eight big blinds, then if he’s not a really bad player, your opponent will always call you. In this situation, make sure you have a hand to fight with. But if you have 15 big blinds and you move all-in, you have something called “folding equity”. “Folding equity” could be explained in a big way, but the best way to learn “folding equity” is to play tournaments. After a while you learn to assess different situations and can then distinguish between the different degrees of “folding equity”. Good luck with it!