“Multi Table Tournament(MTT) Strategy Part 2-The Middle Stages”

As we approach the middle stage of the tournament, the antes will be increasing more and more. Once that happens you will need to open up your game and play more agressively. This is the stage that you need to accumulate chips as fast as you can. The blinds and antes will become significantly large up to 10% of your stack. Types of action you will see in the middle stage will include pot stealing/re-stealing, loose players jamming UTG, and the loosest players shoving with marginal hands in early position.

At this stage, tight aggressive players will have to open up their hand range and play more of a loose aggressive strategy. The middle stage of a tournament is where you will see what the unskilled players are made of. Players who lack knowledge of tournament equity and how to play agressively will get beat.

During this stage you should also be re-raising against late-position players who are blind-stealing with marginal hands. You should be blind stealing from late and mid positions as often as possible. Strong tournament players will actually expect you to steal from late position. This is why stealing from mid-position is far more effective because it shows more strength.

Your value of pre-flop pots at this stage increases with the antes. When you are playing from the blinds in this stage it is necessary to defend your hand by re-raising a late-position raiser once in a while. You should always avoid calling from the blinds to opening bets unless you have the implied odds or are limp-shoving. The most effective way to defend blinds is by re-raising (limp shoving).

Unlike early stage strategy, you have to take bigger risks here and force yourself to steal. The most important thing when bluffing in a tournament (Scotty Ngyugen notes) is to make sure you still have outs in case you get called.

Maintaining a loose/agressive image and preventing players from bullying you in my opinion is key during the middle stages. You want to have enough respect from them to give you fold equity for your steals and a loose image to get value for your overbets and shoves. It is always good to mix up your game and not become predictable.

3-betting against weak opponents from early position is a excellent example of mixing it up. Always try to take advantage of weak players and make sure you are the bully and not the victim. It only takes a few of hands to show your authority on the table and if you’re seen folding too many times to re-steals then everyone at the table will take advantage and re-raise you.

So remember, loose-aggressive play and you will win more pots with re-raises and bluffs . Players will think twice before raising ahead of you in an earlier position.

Good luck and good variance to you all!!!

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