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Single Table Tournament Strategy | General Issues | Early Play | Middle Play | End Game | Conclusion
 

STT Strategy - Middle Play

In an STT the time to change gears can be dictated by the number of players left, or by the increasing blinds. In a tight game, the blinds can go up three or even four times without anyone being eliminated, but in low stakes games expect to see three or more players out within 20 hands.

Now loosen up and play your regular game. Middle stages are also prime time to bluff at a few blinds. By now you’ve seen enough of your opponents to know who is susceptible to a bluff. Look for semi-bluffing opportunities in late position (especially strong draws to the nuts). Use the threat of just missing the money to your advantage – don’t let it freeze your own play.

Do not overvalue the threat of drawing hands. Ring games (especially low limit) revolve around multi-way pots. STT’s revolve around two or three way pots. Anyone with a drawing hand is likely to have to pay you at least twice for every time you have to pay them. If you’re ahead, raise and make them pay to draw out on you. And if you reverse this logic, you will rarely have pot odds to justify playing your own draw hands, unless you can limp in or you have other outs (e.g. overcards or pairs).

Summary
Middle tournament play should resemble your regular style of ring game play, but with selective aggression against passive players. More times than not, you are going to have to “create” something to get in the money.


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