As the tournament progresses to the middle stages – the blinds begin increasing in relation to the average stack. Many online poker rooms, such as Poker30.net and FullTiltPoker.com begin the ante stages as well during these middle stages. While early on in a poker tournament, where you extract most of your money after the flop, focusing more on your preflop play is key to negotiating the middle stages of your poker tournament.
As the blinds increase and antes come into play, pots begin to be worthwhile to take down preflop. While not wise to raise often preflop early on in a poker tournament, you will begin to raise hands for value, as well as in looking to isolate players.
Additionally, your play will tighten up somewhat, as solid play, timing and hand selection becomes more important. You will begin raising preflop with “good hands” and when trying to gain isolation. Surely you will focus on winning money after the flop; however, the stealing of the blinds becomes a common art form here.
Mid-Tournament Bet Sizing
While we should always be aware of our bet sizes, as the blinds progress and the average stack shortens, relative to the blinds and antes – the size of our bets begin to matter more. Plan each bet with precision. Be aware as to whether or not you are raising to a point where you or your opposition is committed to the pot. Paying close attention to such things will make the decision making process easier for you when determining whether to continue in your stealing efforts, or simply give up. Additionally, if your opposition is committed to the pot, it makes a borderline call decision easier to digest, as the likelihood of your opponent trying to pull a reverse steal increases significantly.
Ideal Targets for Successfully Stealing Blinds
In the tournament’s middle stages, when in position, one should most often target tighter, weaker poker players. In addition, ideal steal candidates include players at or near average stack size. Deeper stacked opposing players are likely to try to bully and re-steal, while shorter stacked players will be more inclined to want to race for their tournament life. These players should be targeted with your better holdings, as a rule.
Keep Stealing, Play High Pressure Poker
Stealing the blinds in the middle stages of a poker tournament can really help create a mountain of poker chips for you. By taking calculated risk, targeting specific players, and sizing your raises accordingly, you stand to gain most profit during the middle stages of a poker tourney by stealing the blinds preflop, and on the flop.