Good position to be in. You have managed to grow your stack beyond the initial 1500 you started with if you hit the middle stage and have M > 10. Good job! In this position, you play very similar to the M:20+ middle section. The big difference is that now, you can’t be bullying people around. You are vulnerable to loosing and people won’t be that afraid of you. They know that you are vulnerable and might be hesitatnt to push all-in with a mediocre hand. Because of this, we tighten up and don’t use the semibluff plays. Still look for easy opportunities to take out a small stack though.
Any two cards Call (your stack is huge compared to his 10X): Again, you are looking to grow your stack without risking much of it.
Raising 3BB or All-in?:
At this stage, you can still get away with raising 3BB. You don’t need to rush anything but will need to maintain your stack if possible. Don’t rush it however. You are in good position. You really shouldn’t worry until your stack gets to be around 1200 with the blinds at 200/100. At this point you need to make a move. With big M’s like you have, you are ok. Play solid and tight.
Pre-flop Starting Hands:
Limping Hands – all positions
AT, AJ, AQ: Same as M: 20+ No more Semi-Bluff: Big Stack Continuation Bet play: OUR Stack is not big enough to do this anymore.
22-88: Same as M: 20+ No more Semi-Bluff: Big Stack Continuation Bet play: OUR Stack is not big enough to do this anymore.
Any two face cards suited: Same as M: 20+ No more Semi- Bluff: Big Stack Continuation Bet play: OUR Stack is not big enough to do this anymore.
Raising Hands (don’t want an all-in)
AK, 99-QQ: Same as M: 20+ , No more Semi-Bluff: Big Stack Continuation Bet play: OUR Stack is not big enough to do this anymore.
Raising Hands (we want an all-in) AA and KK: Same as M: 20+
Facing a raise (you haven’t acted yet)
AK or JJ+: You may use the Standard Reraise: ALL-IN play. This is hard to do if you are not use to pushing all-in like this. You have a lot to gain however. This is a key edge in this system. You have fold equity, plus a decent chance at winning should you get called.. Since you still need to grow your stack, its ok to make this move even if it means you might lose the tourney and knocked out. You need to grow your stack still and this is a good chance to do it. Most of the time, the raiser will fold. If he calls, hopefully he’s dominated. Should this happen, you will have a very big stack which will help you coast into the money.
Facing a raise (you have acted already)
JJ+ and AK: You may use the Standard Reraise: ALL-IN play same as above.
ATs, AJs, AQs: Call. If your stack is 10x his, push all-in.
AA or KK: You may use the Standard Reraise: ALL-IN play.
Blind Stealing (button or one off button)
You are allowed to use the Blind Steal: 1.5X BB. If he reraises you, fold unless you actually have a hand. Try to steal a blind though if possible.
Blind Defense (from big blind – small blind is stealing)
You are allowed to use the Blind Defense: 3BB Reraise This is one of the best plays you can make for maintaining your stack. This is a high probability play.
Other Pre-Flop Plays/Comments
You are allowed to make the Small Blind Play: Call any half bet from small blind if one or more limpers exist. You are hoping to trap someone and get a lucky double up. Again, check down/fold if your hand doesn’t improve after the flop.
Post-flop Play (flop,turn,river):
Same as M: 20+ Rules
*Only difference is that we don’t use our big stack bluff. This has been mentioned multiple times so it should be clear. Play basic poker when your stack is not enormous (M:10-19)