Managing Your Stack Size

As you play, your stack size will fluctuate up and down. Since my strategy is designed for small stack play, I advocate getting up and leaving a table once you have more than 45 big blinds. I also suggest topping off your stack if it falls below 15 big blinds. If you are a beginner or intermediate player, you may want to be even more conservative and leave at 40 big blinds. I personally do this when I move up to a new stake until I get used to the larger amounts of money flying around.

When following the strategies in this book, you should be leaving any table at 45 big blinds, no matter how juicy it looks. The only exception would be if you are a competent deeper stacked player and are just using my strategy for shorter stacked play. If you have significant full stack experience and prefer to keep playing above and beyond 45 big blinds then, by all means, feel free to keep playing. Just keep in mind that mid-stacked play requires a shift in strategy which is outside the scope of this book.

Going Into Lockdown

After winning a big pot and deciding to leave the table, the last thing you want to do is squander your winnings by playing a deeper stacked game than my strategy is designed for. Therefore, I recommend going into lockdown mode while waiting for the big blind. This means you should play an extremely tight range and not get involved unless you have a pre-flop monster. I would suggest only playing hands that you would be willing to stack off with, namely QQ+ and AK.

Should you pick up a big hand while in lockdown mode, my advice is to open raise a bit bigger than normal. If you would normally raise to 2bbs or 3bbs, then you would raise to 4bbs or even 5bbs. You do not want to give people the correct odds to speculate or try to hit a set on you. However, if you pick up AK, you should limp-reraise it from all positions, even if it folds to you in the small blind. But if there are multiple limpers, just go ahead and shove it in. Do not limp behind.

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