Sit&Go: Mid Levels

Level 25/50
Level 50/100


We change from ultra-tight to tight. It's time to steal some pots, ALWAYS with cards and relying on position. BUT we still have a lot of chips so we can not give false steps. We assume that our ultra-tight image of the first levels will give us credibility in our raises. That's the good news, bad news is that this is not necessarily true. In a live tournament this is correct, the first two hands that you play the game and above as you raise you impose respect online is another story. I remember the SPRO, the bandit of the mountains, well, that guy is playing two hundred thousand games at a time and be sure that the friend is not set in your game, so you'd better take some type of cards when try to steal the pot. Remember that a false step will not eliminate us from the tournament but will leave our stack very crippled.

Of course if the table is loose and aggressive in the stealing pots theme we leave the stealing for later. For this stealing maneuver suits us a tighter table. Especially look at the game of the two people behind you, because you will try to steal them. If you see that friends have a style shirt "I Love Raise" or, "Do you raise with me?" Things will be tough. Careful on the subject.

What cards are good to steal the pot? Any type of cards or only SOME kind of cards: Small pairs, suited connectors, big cards from: J-7, Q-8, K-9 and Ax. Watch out, to steal the pots should not have anyone betting before you, if someone does can have a legitimate hand and get you in position to make difficult decision on the flop. These hands are good to raise but NEVER to call. Your actual play when trying to steal the blinds is a semi-bluff, but more often than semi bluff. Remember that every time you enter the hand you're playing ALL your chips. And now is the time.
Tip: If you don’t have this theme clear, let’s leave the stealing for later.

By now there will be some player eliminated and players with half or less of the stack. Careful with these players. When we play against them, make sure to have a good hand before raising them, because they will have another shirt saying: "From lost to the river".

When we decide to play from middle position we should enter with a raise of 3 times the BB at least. You have to adjust the pre-flop raise to bet the minimum amount that imposes respect.

We have to bet the minimum amount to win the pot immediately

Each time we enter a hand and no one opened the pot before us, give the opportunity for players who are behind us leave. This concept is a bit hard, BUT oddly enough saves a lot of money doing it well. The best hand is the one we don’t play. Tattoo this on your forearm, it’s a very important concept.

The best hand is the one we don’t play

Blinds: Attack and defense

Attack


Much talk about stealing the blinds, BUT How do you steal the blinds?

To steal the blinds need to play in the final position of the table, preferably late position,

To steal the blinds we need cards. See one thing, the orthodox definition of stealing the blinds says: "When we have cards to play from late position (end of table) and all players have folded, we must RAISE to try to win without playing." Careful to this Topic: When we play from late position we need to HAVE cards to do it. I can not (should not) attempt to steal the blinds with 8-2 ​​off suit, because these cards DON’T play from that position if there was someone at the table. This concept should be MORE than clear.

Many people who start playing heard/read in the forums “blinds theft here”, “stealing blinds there”, “you have to steal”, “we can not be passive”, ETC… People do not understand well what is said and there they go with the knife and gun for the tables. I’m going to write on the blackboard 100 times: “To steal the blinds need to have cards”. Lets go, you can get started too: “To steal the blinds need to have cards” “to steal the blinds need to have cards” “to steal the blinds need to have cards” ... But once you have copied the phrase 100 times, we must understand that as the tournament progresses, the requirement of good cards to steal are lower, especially if combined with our tight image and my stack.

An important thing to understand is that in the early stages of S'n'G it’s not worth trying to "steal" the pot, because you risk much money compared to the expected benefit. If you win, you earn a dime and if you lose your stack will get touched. Very important issue... This has to be explained, and people should know it, BUT only experience tells you when is a good chance to steal in the first levels. Tip: Do not force the machine. To steal the blinds in the early stages of the tournament, let the blinds to come to you, let the game come to face you. Stealing is just another resource, in no case is a mean to an end.

Ok. I have A-8 from the button (last position), I have a tight image, we don’t give no fire, if i have twice the average stack, nobody bets, comes my turn to speak and I bet 3BB (3 times the amount of the Big Blind), SB (small blind) folds and player in the BB (Big Blind) calls me!
Now what? Now comes the second part that is most interesting. If I connect top pair I bet the pot, i don’t connect BET 1/2 pot, no more no less. We have the advantage of position and we use it, BUT we make a commitment consistent with the pre-flop bet I made. I can not bet 3BB preflop and then make a single bet to see what happens. What happens is you're saying that you failed flop and you have not connected anything. To do that, save yourself the hassle of having to bet and the BB will do that for you.

3BB bet from late with the intention of stealing the pot, BB calls me. Comes the flop and the BB checks and i bet 1/2 pot. We now have three options "a", "b" and "c".

Option "a": Opponent folds. This time we got away with it and we know that the BB is not going to give away his money and is tipped off our evil intentions anymore. The next time we have to be a bit more selective with our cards when we play him.

Option "b": Opponent calls. Then it's time to seize the position. Extra Ball (free card). And when the river card falls to await developments: If player check us, good and bad news. Good in the way that we can get to the river inexpensive and we will decide the next step. Bad news because he can be slow playing. Solution? Test bet. We bet 1/4 pot and see what happens. If we get raised, we must fold our cards.

Option "c": Opponent will raise. Abort the mission. The hand is over for us. "But the BB may know that I'm trying to steal the pot, I better not have anything." Sure, sure .. And if my grandmother was my grandfather and my grandfather was my grandmother everything would be upside down... The first impression is usually true. At these levels people do not make elaborate plays, or at least not normally do, and most times when they do it’s by mistake. Forget the play go on without connecting, our actual play is a semi-bluff. The BB has seen the first and the second has not only seen but raised the bet to us. It is clear that the opponent has something. Now is the time to review the concepts and ideas that I’m giving.

1. - Each time we bet we are playing all our chips and we don’t want to leave the game with some K-9 off suited

2. - This is not a game of egos. You tried and you failed the board, you end the hand right there, period. focus on the next hand. And of course leave the player in the BB make his game and you focus on your own.

Here is the problem of stealing the pot, in the times when they call us, is vital that we play with some kind of card to try to defend on a possible counter attack.

Defense

Tons of blind stealing, lots and lots of treachery and premeditation BUT if I am the victim, and if they try to steal from me. My friend, then the scenario is completely different. One of the first things that a SPRO (semi-professional) should understand is that this is not a game of egos. There is nothing personal in the matter. You have to give equal play against one or against another player, and above all you will have to give up many times against the same person. That is, if in a normal game you know you're going to lose 2 or three strong hands, you just have to thing it’s going to happens against many players or even against the same player all the times. This seems so obvious and so clear. However some guys have lost their composure in this matter, including the PRO's. So don’t say that doesn’t affect you that you will grow your nose.
Since the blinds people play more hands than they should, and therefore have more opportunities to screw up. This idea is a quote from “Groucho M.” Saying something like ... Apply the story and speak loudly if you have something to say, otherwise, just shut up. DON’T CALL. Leave the call button quiet and hands in your pockets. At least for now.

Everyone assumes that in the blinds no one has game, and that's true most of the time, so we are going to exploit that. When you play and there's someone else in addition to the other hand is not convenient blind raise, unless of course, we have very good hand. Our game here is going to be the call-check-raise.

If we find ourselves face to face with the other blind and we play, it is best to raise his hand and not play. Remember that the best hand is the one we are NOT playing. The correct amount is usually 2BB raise if you are short stacked, if you have a normal stack 3BB and if you have a stack above average think seriously about leaving this player alone, unless you have it qualified as tight. Means leave it alone and not to raise the flop, and once seen, decide.

From the SB (Small Blind) we will usually call when more than one person in the pot apart from BB (Big Blind) and the pot is still not raised. If we get raised need to have a hand that compensates for the bad position. If we are effective fair this is not a good idea. We will play with any two cards as long as there has been no raise.

From the BB (Big Blind) as short card that we have and we are alone with the SB  will put a raise of only 2BB, and make a simple bet on the flop. If he calls, ill give him a free card on the turn and see the river. I make this move a couple of times, I can do this now that the blinds are not too high. With this move I'm saying: "Beware, I bite." This move is effective even if we lose, because when the blinds go up the opponent will give us a few chips without a fight, something much appreciated.

If we get a flop raised with only 2BB and 2 or more players in the pot we will call whatever cards we have. If we connect check-raise, if we don’t check-fold.

Specific hands

If we are short in chips, don’t play suited cards or small pairs, we wait for big cards. The big cards in the play as the first level. We still have enough chips to drive us back if things get ugly. To the repertoire of premium cards we add: AQ, AJ, AT and KQ suited.

By Juan Carreno

 

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