How to play the early and middle stages of a tournament: stack management

Wins in the world of poker are always the result of an elaborate and lengthy process. This is built in any discipline, where it is essential to forge solid foundations from the first hand in order to start building an unforgettable feat.

Every time a poker tournament starts , the goal of any player will be to reach the highest level, that is: to win the tournament . However, the path to the final table is not easy. In order to be there, we must go through several phases in which the right decisions must be made at each moment and situation, since, otherwise, we will fall by the wayside.

Given this reality, we wanted to create a guide on how to play the early stages of a poker tournament , taking into account the principle that to go far, the important thing is not to lose early. The text, which will be divided into two parts, has the objective of being of great use to you in order to achieve a solid base at the beginning of each tournament and reach the final phases in the best possible way. Let’s go there!

Adjust strategy to tournament stage

To begin with, it is important to know that the development of a poker tournament changes as the hands go by . Playing at the starting table is not the same as playing at the final or at an intermediate table. The phases are completely independent of each other, so it is vital to know each one of them and know how to play them.

As one advances in the competition, the factors that determine our decisions change: the level of our opponents grows and their style changes, our stack is not the same and the size of the blinds becomes much more considerable. Therefore, we will have no choice but to adjust our strategy throughout the different phases of the tournament .

Manage the stack

At the beginning of the real money poker tournament , the stack that we have will be similar to that of our rivals . For this reason, correct administration is essential to gain ground and position ourselves better in it for the final phases of the tournament. Our positioning will be born from this correct administration and, from there, we must develop the most appropriate strategies to continue advancing. Of course: the more chips we have in our possession, the easier it will be for us to grow throughout the contest.

In the beginning, it is essential to take advantage of the opportunities that arise. In the early stages, our stack is large relative to the size of the blinds. Frequently our stack, and the average stack, will be more than 50 blinds, so we will have to select well which hands to play, which opponents we want to face and the way in which we will face said hands.

Finally, already in the intermediate phase, with the rise of the blinds , our stack will oscillate between 15 and 50 blinds. Sometimes we will have even less, depending on how we did in the first round. The intermediate phase ends when there is a number of players close to the total that can win a prize or, what is the same, when we are close to the bubble phase .

If, for example, the best 100 players are paid, the intermediate phase will end when there are between 150 and 120 players left. Then the bubble phase will come and the tournament will continue with the players who will obtain some kind of profit, so the way of playing could vary .