A while back I was watching an episode of Premier League Poker (if memory serves). That has a pretty unique structure where players play matches against each other, and those who collect most points advance to the final table. It means that by the end, strategy becomes an important part of the game. Everyone's figured out what they need to do to advance. They can't go out first, or the other guy must go out first or second, or I must get first and that guy must go out first. One of the episodes featured the last table of the matches, and Vanessa Selbst was in a tricky spot. There were four players left, and Vanessa found herself in the situation where two opponents could not afford to let the short stack bust next. She exploited the situation to perfection, raising those two players with just about anything, knowing they couldn't afford to bust with the shorty still around. She at one point even raise/folded the shorty giing him extra chips so she could keep on milking the other two.

Such things are fun to watch, but you rarely find yourself in a similar situation.

Until today. We're ina  9-mnan Sit-n-Go, and we're down to 4 players. I'm the big stack with over 50% of the chips in play, the shorty has about 4 BBs left, and the other two about equally split the rest. Both of them were obviously not intending on bubbling with the shorty around. And here we are, presented with the same scenario. It doesn't come along often, as all the criteria need to be met: one very short, two about equal, but on a stack that doesn't allow mistakes, you on the mega-stack, and all three opponents pretty much waiting for a monster, hoping to make the money because one of the others screws it up. But once I noticed the stack dynamics, I immediately remember how Vanessa played it, and I thought this was the perfect spot to play a similar strategy. As such, I found myself raising everytime the two opponents were in the Big Blind, and they both folded every single time. I'd imagine they were not going to call with anything less that a good sized pocket pair. And so my minbet was enough to make them fold most hands. The one time one of them played back I could easily fold my crap, knowing they had me beat. At the same time, I just kept folding whenever the shorty was in the Big Blind, as did the other two opponents. As such, I quickly managed to get my stack up from 6,900 chips to 8,100 chips, just by stealing their blinds.

Alas, the party didn't last up to a point where I milked the other two until they were extreme shorties too, because at some point one of them doubled up the shorty, and that ended the fun. Still, their stacks were dwindled down too far for them to be able to play. Within three hands we went from 4-handed to heads up, and by that time I had a 4-to-1 chiplead. Now often I do find myself having trouble finishing in first, even with a chiplead like this, but fortunately for me, not this tme.

I don't expect a situation like this to pop up too often, as there's a lot of conditions that have to be met. But once a situation like this does arrive, be sure to make the most of it and milk the opponents for every single chip you can get out of them...