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Need some help with final 3/4 strategy

Need some help with final 3/4 strategy - Wed Jan 29, 2014, 03:00 PM
Stun Needle's Avatar
Since: Nov 2012
Posts: 9
So I've been playing some of those play money sit and go tournaments with 9 players and Top 3 get paid and etc etc etc, and I noticed a worrying flaw in my style during one of them. I had played good til the final 3 thanks to judicious use of the all-in, trap-springing, and not playing dreck like 10-3offsuit unless I had to(unlike my competition).

However, at the final 3, despite having like 8000 chips compared to my 2 opponents with like 2500 and 1500, the game got stuck. We traded wins in pots for like half an hour, usually for nothing more than about 5 BBs or so. I noticed that my opponents were often(not every hand, but maybe one every 3 to 5) backing me off by min-raising me and taking the blinds when I held a bad hand like 9-4offsuit that I had to lay down. However, I didn't get nearly enough good hands to raise preflop right back and take the blinds, and they slowly gained ground on me. I've noticed this happening every time I enter a tournament like this, regardless of whether I have the big stack or the small stack, people seem to minraise against me to take down blinds and I'm reluctant to call with a hand worse than, say, QJoff-suit or something.

I know they have to be completely airballing at times, but I don't want to concede more blinds to them because its just making the problem worse. I've tried stuff like occasionally going all in with pocket 2s through queens, and indeed I won 3 out of 4 all-in situations with that move against the usual slew of callers like Big Slick/KJ/AQ/etc, but that isn't always reliable. If I don't get a good enough hand to justify calling(or worse, call with AJ and such and then have the flop completely miss), how can I change the circumstances? Can I justify an occasional raise with the trash hands and play right back at them? Do I do the Tom Dwan 3 barrel bluff special? Do I just wait for Aces or Kings and try to break them in one hand? Is it totally dependent on the circumstances and theres no real set strategy for these situations?
Thu Jan 30, 2014, 12:06 PM
Bouncer1963's Avatar
Since: Aug 2010
Posts: 14
Hi, I would say that this is a very common problem especially for newer players. I find that once you are in the final 3 the best advice is to play for first, settle for third. You have to open your range greatly both when entering a pot which you should nearly always be raising 3 handed and indeed calling or reraising behind.

You are right to say that your opponents are airballing much of the time and the secret is to dust off the old 4 bet and let them have it. You have to be aggressive ( but not stupidly so ) and give them the difficult decisions.

Above all once you are in the last 3 dont be scared to lose and dont be worried about being caught out bluffing once in a while trust me it will add to your overall table image. Thats only my opinion but hopefully some aspects might work for you.

Good Luck
Thu Jan 30, 2014, 07:38 PM
TrumpinJoe's Avatar
Since: Jun 2010
Posts: 4,557
As Teach always said: "Raise more than call..."

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