PokerListings.com is the world's largest and most trusted online poker guide, offering the best online poker bonus deals guaranteed, over $1m in exclusive freerolls every year and the most free poker content available on the Web.
Multi-Table Tournament Strategy: Late Blind Levels
Congratulations! You've made it to the late blind levels.
This is where you'll face your toughest decisions.
Generally you should find yourself right out of the money or at the final table. If you're more interested in winning the tournament rather than placing, here's how to build a huge chip stack to do just that.
You Don't Need the Cards
You read that right. You'll almost never get the cards in the later rounds but the majority of the time you can still build a huge chip stack.
How? Raising the blinds when everyone else is trying to make it to the money. This is a surefire way to either (a) get eliminated, or (b) go on to win the tournament.
There will be a lot of risk involved, but usually people won't call you when you raise their blinds. If you've been playing tight all game, you now have the opportunity to steal blinds left and right.
Out of the Money Strategy
The best way to build a huge chip stack is to raise blinds. The main reason to play tight the whole tournament is because sometimes cards run cold.
If you've been playing tight the entire tournament, you have the license to bluff.
When the blinds get high, you can take just about any two cards and raise them. Again look for tight players, but even if you don't find them put players to a decision for every chip in front of them.
A lot of times you'll raise the pot and if you get a caller, bet the flop regardless. Usually your opponent will miss the flop and you can take the pot down.
If he re-raises, just fold and do it again on the next round of blinds. You can rack up a ton of chips doing this throughout the later rounds of a tournament.
Sometimes you'll get called on a bluff. The key here is to just back off and let your opponent have the hand. But mostly put people to decisions for all your chips.
The reason this works is because you've been sitting tight. If you happen to run into aces, you must shake it off and recover for the next tournament.
This strategy may seem very risky, but it's less of a risk than it might appear. Most people will not call you unless they have aces, especially if you've kept a tight table image.
Large Stack Strategy
If you have an average stack or small stack, you want to stick with the above strategy. If you happen to be the chip leader of the tournament or within the top 10, you may want to play a little tighter.
Play as you did in the early rounds until you get to the final table. The exception is if you have a tight player left to act behind you.
In this case, you can raise his blinds with any two cards and expect to make a profit. But don't get greedy for blinds. Don't make this mistake.
If you have a really large stack, play tighter than usual. If you're catching some decent pairs you may want to raise the blinds occasionally, regardless of the player. Just remember that all those chips can disappear really quickly if you're not careful.
Check the final article, entitled Multi-Table Tournament Strategy: Final Table, for tips on how to walk out of the tournament a winner.