Advanced Holdem Poker Tournament Moves

If you’ve been reading the tournament articles on this site, you know that I tend to oversimplify tournament strategy. The advice that I give will easily make you a winning player at the lower buy-ins, but if you want to play with the big boys you’ll have to learn some more advanced strategies. Here are a couple of moves you can use to dazzle your friends and infuriate your enemies.

***Warning! These Moves Should Not Be Attempted By Inexperienced Players!***

Attacking High Blind Limpers
A high blind limper is anyone who continues to limp with speculative hands once the blinds reach the 50/100 level. These loose passive poker players are prevalent at the lower limits where the player knows that their hand doesn’t merit a raise, but still can’t let the sucker go.

In order to peg someone as a high blind limper, you’ll have to see them limp and show a hand like J9 suited or KT more than once. Some players will limp with AA and KK hoping that someone will raise them so they can go all-in. Don’t get caught in that trap.

High blind limpers can be great stack builders when you have less than 10 times the big blind. When your high blind limper is the only one in the pot, you can shove all-in with a decent stealing hand. Not only will you steal the blinds, but you’ll steal the extra gravy that the high blind limper left on the table.

Players steal blinds in poker tournaments. It’s the nature of the game. They know they’re doing it, you know they’re doing it, now I want to know what you plan on doing about it. If you fold your blinds every time a late position player raises, you’ll be labeled as a passive player and your blinds will be attacked without mercy. You have to defend yourself occasionally and that means going on the re-steal.

The first step to re-stealing is to recognize when a player is actually on a steal. For example, a player raising from early position probably has a genuine hand. But a player in late position may or may not have a genuine hand. If you notice that a player tends to raise a lot from late position (particularly the button), they’re probably stealing your blinds.

Once you’ve identified a steal attempt, it’s time to execute the re-steal.

First, you need a solid hand to re-steal just in case you are called. Spite calls happen a lot more often in low buy-in tournaments than in more expensive tourneys, so make sure you have a decent hand. Something like KJ or even Q9 suited may be enough. When your stealer strikes, come over the top with an all-in shove. You should send a clear message that you’re not afraid to defend your blinds.

Just make sure your blinds are worth defending before you attempt a re-steal. If your opponent raises to 40 on the button, you can let your 10 chips go. But if your opponent raises to 600 and you have a decent hand, show him you won’t let your 200 chips go without a fight.

The Stop And Go
The Stop and Go is a good alternative to the all-in shove. Some people will call your all-in with all kinds of trash. You don’t want these players calling you because very few hands are much more than a 2-to-1 favorite over anything. Against that kind of player you can make a standard raise and then shove all-in on the flop. This move works best if you’re in early position since you can shove before your opponent has a chance to act. He might call you with nothing preflop, but it will be very hard to call you with nothing when three cards are already out.

Remember that these moves aren’t for novice players. When you’re new, you should play basic tight poker. But once you start getting a feel for the game, give some of these moves a try. Your bankroll will benefit greatly from mastering these advanced strategies.