Super Stack Tournaments

December 22, 2009 |

One of my favorite tournaments to play when I am playing online poker is defiantly the Super Stack Tournaments. Most multi-table tournaments will start out at 1,500 in chips, 2,000 in chips, or most times 3,000 in chips. The reason I prefer a super stack tournament is because players start out with 5,000, or sometimes even 7,500 in starting chips. This drastic change allows players to see more hands, and gives them time to choose their starting hands more effectively. Players aren’t forced into the pot like they would be if they start with a stack of only 2,000 chips. A bigger starting stack does create a longer tournament, but yet it allows players to wait on hands, and situations throughout the course of the tournament. Although this give players extra time to wait on quality starting hands, it also allows the opportunity for aggressive players to take advantage of a tight table. I will give you the benefits of playing both styles when you find yourself in a super stack tournament.

First, I want to discuss the benefits for a tight player when they are playing a super stack tournament. When you find yourself in a super stack tournament; you will see that the starting stack will be around 5,000 chips, the blinds will start at 10/20 or 15/30 (depending on the poker site), and the blinds will increase every 12-15 minutes. This set-up creates a dream tournament for the tight player. For this article were going to say that the blinds start out at 10/20. So if the blinds are 10/20, and the starting stack is 5,000 then we are looking at 250 big blinds when we start the tournament. Which is a ridiculous amount of big blinds when you are starting a tournament. With the tournament set up the way it is, tight players can literally fold every hand for the first hour with doing minimal damage to their stack. For instance, if the blinds increase every 15 minutes then after the first hour the blinds will only be around 50/100. After going through the blinds a couple of times, we can guess your stack will be around 4,400 which means you still have 43 big blinds going into hour #2. 43 big blinds is more than plenty to work with as you wait for your quality starting hand. A player wouldn’t have this opportunity if the tournament were a turbo, or if the starting stack was only 2,000 in chips. Tight players, like myself, can wait on quality starting hands when tournaments are super stacked. So if you are a tight player, scour the online rooms for tournaments like this, and see how beneficial these tournaments can be to your overall poker game.

Secondly, I would like to discuss the aggressive play that can be used when you are playing in a super stacked tournament. When the tight players are playing tight in a tournament like this, somebody has to be winning the pots at the table. You will see that aggressive players in a tournament like this will likely play several starting hands. They can do this effectively, because like I mentioned earlier players are starting with 250 big blinds. These players will be playing quality starting hands, suited connectors, or any two random cards. The thought process behind this is that they can take some small pots by playing multiple hands, and hopefully catch a big one by cracking aces. For instance, if an aggressive player at the table plays a hand like 76 suited against a tight player that never plays a hand; the aggressive player should know that the tight player is sitting on a big hand like aces or kings. If the aggressive player’s 76 suited connects with the board (flush, straight, two pair, three of a kind) then he has the ability of taking a huge pot from the tight player. The tight player will go broke with aces or kings, because the aggressive player has been playing every hand, and the tight player won’t believe he has a hand. Thus by playing random hands, he can take away big pots when he strongly hits the flop. This will then create the tight player calling the aggressive player a donkey, a horrible player, etc…

If you find yourself in a super stack tournament then consider both of these options when playing. You can play extremely tight waiting only on the strongest starting hands, or you can mix it up playing every hand. Find the style that fits you, and the style that makes you the most comfortable. Grab some coffee and get ready for your super stack tournament.

Craig Fleck

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