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How to Pick Betting Sizes

March 10, 2023
by Lex Veldhuis

When you start to grow your chip stack in a tournament, it can be easy to get impatient and make costly mistakes by raising or shoving. In this video, Lex goes over a tournament where he employs patience and gets rewarded by picking his bets correctly. By being disciplined and waiting for good spots, you can still accumulate chips despite the size of your stack.

Choosing Your Spots Carefully with a Short Stack

In one instance, with only 10 big blinds, Lex finds a spot to go all in with Q-7 and gets called by A-10. Even though he’s got a short stack, he still has 40% equity in the hand. While you don’t want to get your money in with 40% over and over, you must recognize that players will also fold a fair amount, allowing you to pick up the blinds and antes. By studying push-fold charts, you can determine which hands to shove and which to fold in late stages of tournaments, varying your bets accordingly.

Maximizing Your Short Stack

While many players think you must play extremely tight as your stack gets shorter, this is misguided. When short, it’s easier to play hands post-flop since the most you can lose is 10 big blinds or less. Lex draws attention to three things: positions, how much is out versus the board, and how deep you are. This gives you an idea on how to bet, particularly with a short stack. In the example, despite a strong flop, Lex still bets the minimum to stretch out the pot into more streets.

Run Good and Staying Disciplined

It’s important to remain disciplined while playing and not start making wild plays with your increasing stack. The more disciplined you are, and the less you are drawn into raising and re-raising the further into tournaments you will end up. Consider the size of your stacks and the table movements and adjust your bets accordingly.

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