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Wednesday, February 21, 2018
Article written by Marty Smith

Final Table Tournament Play and Your Poker Calculator

So many dynamics of the game come together at the final table. A mixture of stack sizes, experience, excitement, anxiety, and the thought of having that message pop up on your computer saying, Congratulations, You Placed First in the Tournament and $2,375.00 has been deposited into your account! Nice!

You may have been using your poker calculator during the tournament to help get you to the final table, but now with this new mixture of dynamics present, it may not be as useful to you in moving up pay-out positions. I never play an online tournament without using my Holdem Pirate Poker Calculator. I use the VPIP meter to keep close tabs on the type of player I am paying against, as it truly helps in identifying what they may be raising with. All of this changes at the final table, particularly as a result of short stacks combined with huge blinds and position.

First of all if you are a big stack you are going to be playing a lot more hands than your poker calculator is recommending. This is especially true of you are up against a short stack who is all in and you are last to act. Your poker calculator will say to fold hands like QTs, or AJos, but if your stack is 4 or 5 times bigger than his, this is an automatic call. I would even play more speculative hands in that spot like T9s, and pocket pairs right down to deuces.

Conversely if you are a short stack your play is wide open as you have nothing to lose but move up. In position if your stack can cause some damage to some medium stacks to your left in the blinds you are actually situated better than it may seem. Post flop aggression with first in pressure is your move here with hands that could range from Ace-anything, any pair, suited connectors and any two paint cards. Most of these combinations are instant fold warnings from your poker calculator. So you really should only use it as an indicator of hand strength. When I am short stack I am looking for anything over 75% in position. Thats one of the reasons I really like using VPIP meter because it will give you a percentage strength on your hand, but more importantly a indication of the aggression at your table. From that information, you may, even being a short stack may want to survive just past the next round of blinds if you figure you can move up a pay scale or two just by sitting and folding. I have done exactly this too, earning an extra thousand dollars in the process. In that game I was happy to blind out!

So when you get to the final table, a quick glance at the VPIP meter is about all youll need to determine your strategy, and do you best to move up the money.
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