All tournament players love having a big stack of chips in front of them as it gives them the freedom to play whatever style they want to and also gives them an avenue to win even more chips from timid players scared to tangle with them.
There are two way which you can have a large stack, one is at the beginning of a tournament when you are generally 100 big blinds or deeper though this is not nearly as exciting as if you are the biggest stack at the table or in the entire tournament later in the game. In the first example tournaments essentially play like
poker cash games
but in the latter you can really use your stack to your advantage.
The first thing you need to realise is that the more chips you have in comparison to the rest of the field the less they are worth. If you this concept seems alien to you imagine the winner of this year’s WSOP Main Event. He bought 30,000 tournament chips for $10,000 making them worth $3 each. However, the winner will have accumulated all 219,570,000 chips in play and he will exchange them for the $8,944,138 first prize money, valuing the chips at $0.04 each!
This concept means you can afford to play much looser as a big stack than if you had just started the tournament although do not fall into the trap of calling with the worst of it just because you think you can afford it. You should play aggressive poker though and put pressure on your opponents as many will simply get out of your way as you have the ability to bust them out of the tournament.
Capitalise on players looking to avoid confrontation by raising them preflop and even three-betting with not only premium hands but speculative hands such as suited connectors. This will often see you take the pot down preflop but on the times you are called you stand the chance of flopping a big hand or draw and winning a substantial pot from your opponents.
You should be aware that as the big stack all eyes will be on you. If you play
and have managed to acquire a large stack early in the tournament then a number of players will assume that you won all the chips by playing loosely and will approach you accordingly. If this is the case and you suspect your opponents are simply making a play at you be prepared to call them down lightly and show them who the boss is!
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