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Playing An Extremely Short Stack: Part I

by Steve Zolotow |  Published: Jul 25, 2012


One of the most important skills a tournament player can develop is the ability to make the correct play with an extremely short stack. Many of these decisions turn out to be more mathematical than decisions involving deep stacks. In this column, we will examine a very simple situation, and in future columns use it as the basis for discussing more complicated ones. The situation: On the previous hand you were under the gun and lost nearly all of your chips. (It doesn’t matter how. You may have had the best hand and gotten unlucky. You may have gotten in with the worst of it. You may have been caught bluffing. That is now ancient history.) There is a 100 ante and the blinds are 400-800. You are now in the big blind, and have very few chips left after posting your 800 big blind. Worse yet, a sound player ...

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