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A Leveraged Call

by Andrew Brokos |  Published: Feb 22, 2012

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Leverage, the ability to threaten much or all of an opponent’s stack while risking relatively few of your own chips, is an important factor in all big-bet poker games. It is especially critical in tournament play, where chips can not be replenished. Thus, players who can squeeze the most value from each of their limited chips gain the largest edge, and they can use leverage quite effectively because their opponents must value survival in the tournament and protect the last of their own chips. A simple example of leverage occurs late in a tournament, when many players are short stacked. These players are unlikely to call a raise of any size, preferring either to reraise all-in or fold. Players who understand leverage make very small raises, sometimes just two times the big blind, at this stage. This is because, although they risk only two big blinds with their raise, they ...


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