Middle Stage Tournament
In middle stage of the tournament, your stack size relative to your rival becomes a determining factor. When your stack size is short in which you can make just one or two bets, in that case you should be inclined to gamble more strongly. With small or medium pairs, be more inclined to gamble against a short stack. As far as possible you should avoid giving action to a small stack when a third player is involved in the hand, especially if he is sitting behind you with a scary-looking card and could raise, in which case you might be holding and third-best hand. So be almost sure you will be heads-up against a short stack before you do play with him.
Heads-up against a short stack, we will give some loose action with the worst pair. You should be inclined to gamble with hands such as three-straights or small three flushes which you can fold according to the circumstances.
Be cautious about the types of drawing hands you play in these middle stages – even more cautious than you were in early stages when it didn't cost you as much if you failed to make your draw. You may have to use one third or more of your stack to play drawing hand in the middle stage and you want to avoid doing that if you possible can. In poker tournaments, be selective with drawing hands.
With medium to large stack, use a solid strategy to every hand. Play cautiously except against a very tight, passive rival. Then you can profit from the tight player by playing somewhat more profusely, perhaps putting in a raise with a medium pair, semi-bluffing, or trying an occasional ante-steal.
But when you have a short stack and are up against a large stack, you cannot afford to take the risk with weak drawing hand. You should wait for something better. Short stack are more likely to get called by large stacks because it won't cost them very much to try to eliminate a player. So if you are stack is small use your best judgment about when to commit your chips. You would rather commit with a split pair and a kicker than you would with a small three-flush. Your chances of either having the best hand at the start or of improving to the best hand with your ace kicker are much better than you would have with your three-flush or three-straight.
When your stack is short in the middle rounds, don't feel uncomfortable. Pick your spot – with three high cards or a good pair. If you have enough for one or two bets, it is possible better to be aggressive early with your pair and simply go all in. But if you are been forced to play drawing hand with enough chips left for two or three bets, you may not want to fully commit to third-street. If you don't improve on fourth-street of seven-card stud poker, you can get away with enough chips for a few more antes, a few more opportunities to make a comeback.
With a medium or large stack, try to avoid playing small pairs against other medium to large stacks. But if you have short stack that you think your pair may be the best hand you are going to get then play it. You should really avoid playing small pairs unless it will cost you only one or two bets and make you heads-up against a short stack.
In seven-card stud tournaments, it is often right to put in a bet with a negative expectation. For example, when you have a hand that may not be the favorite to win but it will win enough to make it right for you to play against a short stack. You may be able to draw out on him at minimum cost. It is significant to put players all in at every opportunity in the middle stages because even with a short stack, they can make a way quickly.
Be cautious about giving too much action with monster hand. Suppose if you made the forced bet with a 3 showing and have 4-8 in the hole, it isn't worth it to call an all in bettor who raises with a 6 showing. But if your cards were 5-6-7 , for example, you would have a reasonable chance to improve and might consider making the call. Another kind of hand with which you might call one extra bet against the short stack is A-K in the hole, because you have two extra overcards and you could outdraw him if you are lucky.
You allow yourself to be lucky by solid play that lets you to survive and accumulate enough chips so that you can take few gambles such as this in select situations. It is your good, solid play in other stages of the tournament that has been initiated to be lucky when you think it is sometimes necessary to take the worst of it.
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