Texas Holdem Tournament Strategy - Part 2
Congratulations for making it this far. Blinds will be climbing very quickly at this stage, and you will be approaching in-the-money positions. What does this mean?
It greatly depends on your stack size. If you have a large stack, and you are very close to being in-the-money, you should do a LOT of raising against small-medium stacks. These people are holding on very tightly to sneak their way into the money, and will avoid risks if they can. If you are raised or receive a large bet from one of these people, beware. A very small stack, on the otherhand, will likely be looking to make a move to survive. Be prepared for an all-in if you bet into them.
Know the payouts
As you reach the final few tables, payouts tend to increase exponentially. If you have a good sized stack, don't feel the need to push people around with mediocre hands. You can sometimes easily check your way into bigger money.
How effective is this? It depends on if you are looking to guarantee a money payout, or if you are looking to win big. For example, I once left a freeroll unattended, and every hand was automatically checked or folded. I came in #450 out of 3000 players, without playing a single hand..
To win, you must take some chances. This is the time where making the even-money calls can make sense. In addition, you must know your strengths. Are you one of the weaker players at the table? Take bigger risks pre-flop with all-ins and blind steals. Much of the edge professionals have is taken away if you limit the game to pre-flop play. Are you a very strong player? Avoid risk, and play as many hands as you can against your opponents. Take their money from them slowly but surely.