The complete guide to dead money in tournament poker
The complete guide to dead money in tournament poker
In poker, more than in any other game it is important to learn what is dead money in tournament poker and how you can attack it.
This is because there is so much dead money in a tournament. Owing to the antes and the blinds this amount just keeps increasing before the game is even in full action. As the game keeps moving forward, you will often realize that your stack is dwindling, and the blinds and antes are ion a constant rise. Soon you will notice that the money that you have put in the pot even before the cards are dealt with is a significant portion of your complete pot size.
Hence, much of the mid to late game depends on attacking dead money at the table and defending it from your opponents because they will be trying to attack the dead money too!
What is dead money?
Before we get into the details of how you should attack and defend dead money, let’s get the meaning clear. Dead money meaning the money that is in the pot without a hand behind it. This could be money from a player who has already folded or from the antes or forced bets. It also includes money from bluffs and semi bluffs and attempts to blindly steal. The term dead money is also used to refer to a player who had very little chance to win.
So, overall dead money is just extra money in the pot. It affects the strategy you use to approach different situations in the game.
How to attack dead money poker
When it comes to dead money in poker, there are only two instances that it is obvious. That the players have put in more money in the more than the worth of their hands. These two are the antes and the blinds. As a tournament player, you want to do better than just break even the sum that you have posted. But when you are against the experts, you have to learn how to make your plays.
This often means recognizing situations where the experts or opponents have put money into the pot that they are in no position to defend. Of course, recognizing it is just half the battle, you need to then go ahead and attack it.
Let us take an example of one such situation. A re-steal is the ideal play to attack dead money. Let us assume that you are in the Small Blind position and the Big Blind is occupied by a weak and tight player. The Button is occupied by a strong player. In this situation, if all your opponents fold to the strong player at the button, this player is likely to raise with a wide range of hands in the hopes of stealing the blinds. In this case, the Big Blind could even be folding a hand as strong as an ace and ten.
Your play would be to jump in and re-raise the strong player. This is because you know that the amount of money that he has raised is way greater than the strength of his hand. Even in the case that this player does have a strong hand, it is very unlikely, and your re-raise will be profitable in most cases.
Other common situations to attack dead money poker
There are some other common situations in which you can attack dead money. The above example is a good guide to keep in mind while considering the following situations.
In these situations, good tournament players bet or raise when they wouldn’t otherwise. All because of the added equity that they gain. These plays can even end up in you winning the pot without a showdown. So, read on!
A continuation bet: This is when a player raises pre-flop and after that bets one or two callers on a dry flop. This drop flop is not likely to help anyone. A check-raise or a raise to counter a continuation bet from a strong player is likely to let you win a huge pot. Although, it should be noted that you should use strategy this sparingly.
You will find such similar situations where you can steal or wait to steal and attack the dead money.
How to defend dead money
Now that you have an idea about attacking dead money, it is time to have a strategy to defend the dead money you have in the pot too.
Tournament poker often calls for some risky moves. Even though it would be great to just keep stealing and re stealing chips without risking a showdown, reality calls for different plays. Most multi-table tournaments feature shallow stacks, which means that when a strong and aggressive player wants to make a serious play for the pot, he or she will commit an entire stack to that purpose.’
So, you are left with the option to make a big call yourself, even if it costs all of your chips. This is, of course if you are in a good position to make a steal. However, if you are against weaker players, then you should probably fold as they are less likely to make a play.
Many players make the mistake of evaluating hands in a vacuum. The correct approach to the situation is to consider the situation in its entirety. Assign realistic ranges of hands to all the opponents, so that you allow the chance of an opponent making a play with a weaker hand than you expect. Ultimately you should calculate your equity against that range of hands.
Hopefully, you will be more prepared to attack and defend money in your next poker tournament.
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