Three-bet as much as you can, in position, and watch your opponents fold better hands
As I’m sure you can tell by now, the overwhelming theme of these articles has been that in the first few levels of tournaments people tend to play too many hands, are in too many pots and just generally get pretty darn stubborn down the streets. One of the ways we can chip up as a result of this is by three-betting opponents who raise too much and peel too wide.
We want to be doing this as much as we can because it is going to end up being very profitable playing bloated pots in position heads-up against someone who gets to the flop with too wide a range of hands. This wide range results in our continuation bets getting through a lot, but also that your villain is going to get to the turn and river with very marginal showdown hands – giving us the ability to both bluff when we miss and milk them for very thin value when we make a hand.
As for which hands we should be doing this with, you should be selecting hands which benefit from people behind us folding hands that dominate ours and would usually call, for example J-9 suited. With a hand like J-9 suited we get A-J, K-J, Q-J J-T, T-T and 9-9 to fold behind us, which is already a massive victory. We now get to go heads-up to the flop with a hand that plays well down the streets versus an opponent who will, because of how wide his range is, get to each street with very marginal holdings allowing us to really punish him. This is what I like to call the dream.
Read the other articles in this series now:
- How to build a monster stack quickly in tournaments: #1 Assess your table
- How to build a monster stack quickly in tournaments: #2 Get stuck in!
- How to build a monster stack quickly in tournaments: #3 Play for stacks
- How to build a monster stack quickly in tournaments: #4 Don’t over-value hands preflop
Jamie Sykes is a UK tournament pro – get more strategy from him and other big winners in PokerPlayer magazine every month – subscribe today for just £12.99 for 12 issues!