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WSOP 2011: Final-Table Deals Analysis and Nash-Equilibrium Solution

WSOP 2011: Final-Table Bubble Factors Overview

Watch This Video for Instructions on How to Utilize The Texas Hold ’em Tournament Deals Calculator.


If you haven’t already done so, definitely read the following pages first (in the order listed below), as the information provided there is crucial for properly understanding this tournament strategy: starting-hands ranges and respective percentages for Texas Hold ’em, equity and expected value (EV) and many other fundamental concepts you’ll need to become a card shark in the shortest amount of time:

  1. Texas Hold ‘em (Cash Games)
  2. Advanced Texas Holdem Strategy Article #1: Short-Stack Strategy (SSS)
  3. Advanced Texas Holdem Strategy Article #2: Poker Betting Strategies
  4. Advanced Texas Holdem Strategy Article #3: Big-Stack Strategy (BSS)
  5. Advanced Texas Holdem Strategy Article #4: Deep-Stack Strategy (DSS)
  6. Advanced Texas Holdem Strategy Article #5: Mid-Stack Strategy (MSS)
  7. Advanced Texas Holdem Strategy Article #6: Fixed-Limit Strategy (FLS)

Note: This page is is currently still under construction, but there is a lot of information provided below; please check back in a few days for the finalized version.

Multi-Table Tournament Tournament Strategy: Brief Theoretical Overview

Multi-Table Tournament Strategy: Real-Time Final Table

MTT Strategy: Final Table Review


General Strategic Considerations

Read the parent page on poker tournaments to better understand the numerous different formats that are commonly played today.

Starting-Hands Ranges

Full-Ring No-Limit Texas Hold ’em Cash Games

Your hand is listed in the starting-hand ranges below per position. That means that if you check the hole cards you’re dealt from early position (EP), middle position (MP), late position (LP) or the blinds and you don’t see a hand on that list, in general, you fold. The percentage listed after the range indicates the amount of all possible Texas Hold ‘em hands that range comprises (Ex.: JJ or better, and AK comprise 3.02% of all possible Holdem hands).

Check the following pages for more detailed information on bet types and bet sizing, pot manipulation and lines of play.

Note: The following recommendations are general guidelines for playing a small-stack strategy at full-ring no-limit Texas Holdem cash-game tables and must always be adjusted and sometimes markedly altered according to table conditions, the respective limit, effective stack-sizes, player profiling, respective positions at the table, etc. If you would like ALL the details on starting hands for Texas hold ’em cash games, including 6-max and heads-up games, click the button below.

Get the Comprehensive Starting Hands Charts for Texas Holdem Tournaments Here

Big-Stack Strategy (~80+ BBs) “Tighter” Starting-Hands Ranges
in the ranges below means ATs+, KTs+, QTs+, JTs = AT, AJ, AQ, AK, KT, KJ, KQ, QT, QJ, JT of the same suite.

Open-raise size in general should be 3-4 BBs + 1 BB per limper; 2.5-3 BBs when on the button

Early Position (EP = UTG, UTG+1, UTG+2): TT+, AQ+ (4.68%)

Middle Position (MP = UTG+3, UTG+4, UTG+5): 77+, AJ+, KQo+, suited broadway (10.3%)

CO:  55+, broadway, A9+, A7s+, J9s+, 78s+ (19.6%); 2.5-3.5 BBs “steal”: o-Raise CO, BU, SB

BU: 22+, broadway, A2+, K9+, Q8s+, T8+, 98+, 54s+, 64s+ (36.3%); tighten vs. aggressive re-stealers

SB: 22+, broadway, A9+, A2s+, K9s, Q9s, T8s+, 54s+ (24.3%); BU range adjusted to Villain’s style and aggression from the BB in “blind-battles.”

(Generally) 3bet all open raises with JJ+, AK (3.02%); adjust markedly for a 3bet or SQZ vs. steals!
(Generally) raise all limpers when you are in later(er) position with:  TT+, AQ+, AJs (5%)
Over-Limp and (sometimes) Cold-Call or make an isolation raise (when in doubt, raise/fold!) in LP with: TT-22, ATs-A2s, suited broadway, 64s+, 54s+ (11.9%). See below for the speculative details.

3bet raise size = 2.5-3x open raise + 1 per cold-caller (i.e., “flat caller”)
4bet(5bet) raise size = 3x 3bet(4bet) + 1 per 3bet(4bet) caller (OFTEN A DIRECT PUSH!)


Multi-Table TRNYs FR NL: Starting-Hands Early Phase

(50+ BBs) Very Conservative BSS – Open-raise Size: 3-5 BBs + 1 per limper

MTT-Early Phase Starting Hands (total range from all positions): 22+, AJ+, KQ, 54s+ (13.1%, 1 in 7.63 hands)
EP: 22+ (TT+), AQ+
MP: 22+, AJ+, KQ
LP: 22+, A9+, Broadway, 54s+ (mindful of steals/re-steals in relation to respective stacks/images)

General Rule: After someone raises behind you, push AI w/QQ+ (call or push w/AK in rare cases)
“Call 15,” over-limp or 3bet IP w/pocket pairs and occasionally w/max-stretch suited connectors/Axs

EP: 3bet open-raiser w/QQ+ (push directly against 1 raiser and 1 cold-caller or 2+ raisers); cold-call w/TT/JJ/AK
MP: 3bet open-raiser w/TT+, AQ+
LP: 3bet/Cold-Call open-raiser (re-steals from the BU or blinds): player/stack-size dependent
3bet Raise Size = 3x open raise + 1 per cold-caller

4bet Push: only with QQ+ (be careful of open-raising and 3-betting light when there are aggressive raisers who like to play in position or “shorties” behind you who may 3bet/4bet push).
4bet(5bet) Raise Size = 3x 3bet(4bet) + 1 per open raise and cold calls (often a direct push!)

MTTs Middle Phase (24-49 BBs): FR NL: Starting-Hands

(Almost 😉 no calling here! Open-raise Size: 2.5-3 BBs
Ideal Re-Steal (Push) Stack Size: 14-25BBs (especially when calling/losing would cripple raiser): See MTT Re-Steals Charts based on the ICM

MTT Late Phase (<24 BBs or on “the bubble”)

See SNG Push/Fold phase for play when effective stack sizes are under 13BBs.
Play on the bubble depends on the bubble factor and your stack size/relative position in the TRNY
Re-raise push from any position pre-flop w/JJ+, AK w/effective stack sizes of 25BBs or fewer.
General 3bet (“re-steal push”) with a maximum stack-size of 13-25BBs, irrespective of the open-raiser’s position *:
You have position on the open raiser but are not in the blinds: 77+, A9s+, ATo+
You’re in the Small Blind: 77+, A4s+, A7o+, KJs+, KQo
You’re in the Big Blind: 77+, A2+, K9s+, KTo+, QJs
* You can re-raise push with wider ranges (but not wider than the ranges listed above) as your stack size approaches 13BBs, and you can also loosen up your 3bets vs. middle/late-position open raisers.

M = stack size/(SB+BB+Antes); Effective M = M*(players/10): See M-based open-push chart
Green zone: M > = 20 (all big-stack-strategy moves are allowed here; fold in minimal +EV situations)
Yellow zone: 10 < M < 20 (aggressive small-ball play; looser raises & 3bet pushes/re-steals)
Orange zone: 5 < M < = 10 (being first in is crucial; tight in EP, looser in LP. Push/fold mode!)
Red zone: 1 < = M < = 5 (be first to push: all pairs, suited connectors, and face cards)
Dead zone: M < 1 (call in multi-way pots)


Strategy Recap and What’s to Come for Our Members

The strategies for MTTs can be extremely complex and are always dependent on the phase of the tournament, the players at your table and the respective stack sizes.


Other Useful Tools for Maximizing Your Profit


Poker Tracking and Equity Analysis Software for Online Play

Holdem Manager (My personal favorite online poker-tracking software for Texas Hold ’em)

Omaha Manager (My personal favorite online poker-tracking software for Omaha)

Sit-and-Go Wizard (a must-have for all serious SnG players and very useful for MTT pros)



The SitNGo Wizard