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Catch-Up Tournament Strategy

Everyone that has played in a poker tournament knows about that feeling that you get when you are way behind in the playing field. Looking around a room of players with stacks that are twenty times the size of yours is not easy to fathom. That instant feeling of desperation starts to come into play and you are just dying to make a move. The next thing you know, you end up looking down at K 3 suited and you go all-in hoping to double up with some very good luck.

There is actually a strategy to being in this kind of position that will be able to allow you to come back and get into the game quicker then you thought. If you have been in this position before you also know how fast you can switch positions with any other player. Sometimes playing from behind is actually better then being the chip leader. When you are making decisions you tend to get a feeling that you have nothing to lose, and you make a lot more moves. Too many of them can be bad, but making more moves will allow you to double up and get in the position to come back.

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All-In or Fold

A good strategy when you are the low stack is to go all in or fold before the flop. When you get to a specific point in the tournament and you are the low stack you just cannot afford to play very many hands. At that point you really have to be willing to make a move before the flop. When you do this; one of two things can happen. Either you will get called and your day will be over or you will double up, or you will not get called and you will automatically win what ever is in the pot. Either way you are probably going to feel better when the hand is over. At least if you loose you can go make some money in the side games.

What is very important to keep in mind is that you do not have to force this move. The all-in or fold strategy does not mean that you have to go all-in the first time you see a face card or an ace. You want to make sure you have good hands that have a shot at winning if you are called. It is okay if you are not ahead but you never want to be completely dominated when you are all-in.

Hands like A4-AJ, K10, KJ, K9 and the hands all around that are not good to go all-in with. They may seem like decent hands and they are. Consider though, that if anyone has a hand that would be worth calling you with it is going to be a hand that has you completely dominated. You are better off going all in with a 78 suited then going all in with an A3. Why; because if you are called it is probably going to be with an AK or AQ. If not, it will probably be a pocket pair which is even worse.

The whole idea is that you have to double up, but you also have to be selective and pick your spots carefully. All it takes is a double up or two and you are right back in the game. Sometimes you will even be able to triple up and get more then you thought you would be able to get. You won’t win them all but at least you are giving yourself a shot at winning the hand.

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