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Bluffing/ Blind Stealing ???

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  • Bluffing/ Blind Stealing ???

    I have been a member since March 2002, so that is the extent of my tournament play experience. I have worked very hard on my game and have reached a 60% Cum avg. I have learned alot and still have alot to learn. Heres where i need help.

    When is the right time in the tournament to begin bluffing. It seems that it starts with the first guy to get a large stack over 20k. It seems to me that it is not worth making these kind of moves until the blinds and antes are high enough that it will pay off. However my greatest weakness in my mind is this: less then 25 players remaining, I get there alot(don't know the exact figs but im happy with the amounts) Once there and the tables are say 7 or 8 players before they balance to two tables the antes and blinds come around much faster and I tend to tighten up. Thus my 30K stack goes to say 15k by the time it goes to 2 tables. Same problem when there is only 15 or less I try to be patient not to enter the wrong pot because it seems that any pot i enter is going to force me all in. Is tjhis because I limp in and not raise? I make it to the final table and am ussually to short stacked to do anything. Do most good players lower their entering hand requirerments late in the tournaments and let the money talk thus praying on timid players like myself? It seems like every time they bet they have AA. Any suggestions would be help thank You.

    Thief 21

  • #2
    If you mean that you limp in late in the tournament when there is a lot of dead money in the pot, then stop it. Raise or fold. Re-raise or fold. Reach out for the dead money. Generally no limping or calling, (unless it is an all-in situation).

    Realise that at this stage, someone raising an unopened pot in late position could have a wide range of hands, including very weak ones.

    Realise that when you raise an unopened pot in late position and get re-raised all-in, they may put you on a steal dpending on your image, so may have a wide range of hands themselves and are re-stealing.


    • #3
      Yes, good players loosen up their starting hand requirements in the later stages of a tourney.

      You can bet your own hand or you can bet that the other players won't be able to call. Do not let your stack get too low.

      It would probably be a good idea to watch FreddieBoy, Hukilau or ApryllShowers play an entire tourney or at least then end of a tourney. Notice their hands that get shown down when theres 3 or less tables left. You'll see lot's of hands like Q10o that they raised with in middle position. Stuff they generally (well, Freddie might) wouldn't touch in the earlier part of the tourney.

      Peace, Starrs LSOGC


      • #4
        also - keep in mind the power of position and the effect of showing weakness.

        If you are in late position or on the button - having seen how everyone else has acted, you are in a much better position to try a steal - if a limper re-raises you you must then decide if that player was slowplaying something or is on a re-steal.

        The best time to try to steal is after the flop. You already saw the action pre-flop. now if the pot is two or three handed - and all check to you - it may be worth while to throw a pot sized bet in an attempt to end the hand right there (a small bet will almost never do it) Keep in mind the importance of timing - if you wait 8 seconds and bet it is not as effective as letting that bet fly the second it is your turn.

        If there are four or more players - you may want to rethink stealing as it is likely you will get a caller or a re-raise

        (now for those of you reading this who are now thinking that whenever they see rover on the button betting the pot after it is checked to him he must be on a steal - please let me assure you that I probably have AA)


        • #5
          In no-limit holdem, a player such as yourself would probably learn a lot watching Ironside.


          • #6
            i never steal or bluff, i just happen to think my hands are goot! my master taught me that 44 is very goot when the board reads 98765...if u think i am stealing ur blind, wait till you see me call a raise with 7:c:3:d: and then the jam will be fully spread


            • #7
              This is a very debateable question and a part of my game that is probably my biggest weakness. One that I am trying to correct.

              There are 2 very different schools of thought to this.

              1. If you have a big stack you can use it to put pressure on the smaller stacks. By raising pre-flop with hands such as A-K or pocket pairs, forcing the small stacks to make a decision for a lot of their chips. The problem is you have to time it right cause if you pick the wrong hand someone is going to double up at your expense.

              2. If you have a big stack you should only go in with the premium hands. This allows other players to knock each other out while you slowly accumulate chips when you have the best of it. If you go this route you must have a big stack to stick with this strategy. If you start to get blinded down toward average or lower you may have to start looking for situations.

              Theory on stack size.

              As long as you have 1/4 of the average stack. For example:

              Average stack 100,000
              you have 25,000

              you should be ok because you can double up on 2 hands and be average. So you are still in it at this point. However anything below this and you will really have to start looking for a hand and the right situation.

              Also think of raising in late position in an unopened pot in an attempt to steal the blinds like this. If you are on the button and no-one has called yet that means nobody in the first 7 seats had a hand. That means that the chances of one of the blinds having a hand is greater. And if you raise and get re-raised you then have to try to figure out if the re-raise is a legitimate raise on a good hand or a re-steal back at you because they think you are on a steal.

              Let me give you an example.

              I was playing in a tourney a couple of nights ago. All fold to me on the button. I hace K-J os so I make a pot sized raise in an attempt to win the blinds. Thehazyone was in the BB and re-raised me all-in. I immediately think that he has put me on a steal and re-raised me with nothing to steal the pot. So I figure since I have a reasonable hand that I will call him and I do. One other reason I decided to call was because he raised me all-in. I thought he was trying to intimidate me by showing me he was not gonna fold. Alot of players will try to trap you with a hand and just call. He turns over J-J and I am fortunate enough to hit a K and win but it was still a bad call on my part and in that situation you can never know for sure.

              So if your gonna steal you have to be prepared to lay your hand down if played back at. But if you lay it down too often people will always play back at you in an attempt to make you lay it down. So you have to be very selective.


              • #8



                • #9
                  I hope this post helps you. I used to be a serious ROCK. Yes. I was proud to throw away all sorts of "trash" waiting and waiting for the magic cards. Then I would get them and BET. Then no one would play with me. So. i figured out I would have to learn to do the thing us rocks despise the most. STEAL. Then I had to figure out when to steal, who to steal from, how much to bet, when to reraise, and when to throw it away. Your post sounds a lot like me about 6 months ago in the school.

                  My two cents. is this. I do not even think about stealing until the ante's start. By then I have been watching what people show down, who defends the blinds, who makes big bets, etc. If I am in a tournament that I really want to do well in, then I do not play any sats or other tournaments at the same time. I charted my results when I do 2 or even 3 (I do really bad 3 at a time). You MUST watch and pay attention to the other players and their actions. To win one of these tournaments, or even just get in the money you need to be very lucky, steal/bluff really well, or work on a combo of those two. The combo works best.

                  Start out by picking your spots. one or two away from the button works well. The button is a bit scarier because a lot of people automatically assume you have an inferior hand and play with you.
                  A real gutsy move is raise with not so good cards UTG. Most of the time people respect it and fold, especially if you have shown good cards early, but if someone calls or re-raises, you are in trouble.

                  When tables get down to 7 or 8 people lat in the tournament (example is starting with 90 or so and down to 33 or so) there is a lot more raising and folding. Don't just limp unless you are a monster stack, and try ing to trap someone. Raise it or dump it.

                  I would encourage you to do 2 main things.

                  1) Experiment--- Loosen up in the last 3 places. Position, Position, Position. It is scarey to raise with j-10, but you are probably raising hands like 3-7. 8-4, and maybe Q-3. Try it. It is a school. We are here to learn.

                  2) I strongly agree with the other posts about following certain players. I watched jmuzzey, and Freddieboy in action. Several other good players to watch too. Pay close attention to what they show down at different stages of the tournament, whether they re-raise or release after they have been re-raised. Maybe even make a chart of what their position is when they are the first one to enter the pot, how much the raise is in relation to the pot or blinds.

                  I hope this helps.

                  Shane aka Jeff


                  • #10
                    I remembered a book I have that has a couple of good chapters specificially on Stealing and Bluffing. It is "Poker Tournament Tactics for Winners" by D. R. Sherer. I don't agree with all that is in the book, but these two chapters have helped my tournament game a lot. I bought it through an add in CardPlayer a few years back. I would be happy to loan it to you. I could mail it to you, or I will be in Tunica and could loan it to you there if you will be there.

                    Also, If other PSO students (or teachers for that matter) have read this book, I would be very intereted in your opinions on this book.

                    Shane aka Jeff


                    • #11
                      Shane I have been looking for that book and I can only find it used on the internet for close to $100.

                      I would love to borrow it. I would be happy to give you my airborne express account number and you can call and they will even pick it up from you. I will read it in only 3-5 days and would be happy to then overnight it to thief, who could bring it to you in tunica or use my airborne to send it back to you when he is done.

                      Its still a lot cheaper than ordering it from one of those used book dealers.

                      Thank You

                      Also one more addition to my post earlier on blind stealing. When you are making a steal raise you always want to have at least one face card or an ace in case you do get called. This way you always have at least 1/2 a hand to go into battle with. LOL


                      • #12
                        OK. Send me an e-mail and we can set this up to loan the book to you, then also figure out a way to get it to Thief if he is interested. This may be the only thing I have ever purchased that actually appreciated in value.

                        Shane aka Jeff

                        I looked at your profile. You are number 1 jbh5000. Will you beat up on us worse after you read this?


                        • #13
                          I'm fairly selective about blind stealing. I don't do it at all early, I wait for the antes to kick in, and then I will do it from anywhere. UTG, MP, LP, it doesn't matter - but I will only do it on someone who will not overdefend their blinds and respects the fact that I don't raise a lot - and give me credit for having a hand. I don't vary my raises (unless I am reraising someone) so I raise with 39 off the same as I would with AA. Never try to steal from someone who over defends their blinds (you can figure this out pretty easily). Never push all in on the button trying to steal (unless all in is less than 3x the BB) because the only thing that will call you is something that has you beat.

                          It's all about position, and your opponents when it comes to stealing. Some tables, I'll never steal. Other tables, I'll steal twice an orbit. Of course, stack size and your opponent's stack size also come into play.

                          And jbh, go ahead and keep thinking I'm restealing.



                          • #14
                            Thank you very much all for the advice it has been very helpful.

                            Thief 21


                            • #15
                              hi thief,

                              I was really bad when i first started in here. I play mostly live
                              poker myself, so it was a change not seeing live faces in front of me,
                              touching the chips and cards etc....So it also took me a while
                              to learn all of the players styles, and what hands they like to play.

                              Personally, in the beginning of a tourney, also depends where
                              my position is, (that makes a difference in hand play)..I play the usual, AQ or better, KQ, 88 or better in the fist few seats, and big
                              pairs or big sooted cards...And i have done quite well with this.

                              When the blinds get to 800/1600 i will change it up a bit and play
                              a little more aggressively, like pot raise with QA or pocket pair 5's
                              and higher.....The key is to show everyone that you mean business.
                              and dont get caught raising and losing with garbage hands. you
                              will never get the respect...I dont normally bluff, seems to get me into trouble often. I would rather just stick to my game plan and not
                              stray from it...My goal is to finish in top 15 every tourney i play in...
                              and im sure there will be a 1st place or 2 in there...Stay focused,
                              timing is everything...Take care