How to play a final table

I’m gonna teach you an important poker lesson today. We’ve been talking a lot about tournament poker here lately. One of the most important things you have to master when you want to be a profitable tournament player is how to play a final table. Listen poker ladies and gentlemen: the final table is another game of poker.

Everybody is under great stress in those situations. The message: don’t go with the flow, but make use of this situation. Don’t try to end up with a sweet price, try to win the thing. A hand from Cake Poker I played last week (their hand histories are even worse):

Hand#19725CE2A5001695 – Tournament Table 8 T6087333 — Table 8 — $100/$1.000/$2.000 NL Hold’em
Seat 1: chic1 ($24.293 in chips) Seat 2: dian2 ($28.411 in chips)
Seat 5: White5 ($25.481 in chips) Seat 6: home6 ($6.778 in chips)
Seat 7: UNDe7 ($91.095 in chips) DEALER Seat 10: theo10 ($32.442 in chips)
chickgirl75 posts ante of 100
dianzor21 posts ante of 100
WhiteWidower666 posts ante of 100
homez20 posts ante of 100
UNDeSAZAR posts ante of 100
theodotca posts ante of 100
chic1: posts small blind 1.000 dian2: posts big blind 2.000
Dealt to WhiteWidower666 [8h,9h]
WhiteWidower666: calls 2.000
home6: is all in 6.678 UNDe7: folds
theo10: folds chic1: folds
dian2: folds WhiteWidower666: calls 4.678 WhiteWidower666: shows [8h 9h] home6: shows [Jc Ts]
*** FLOP *** [7c,Td,Js]
*** TURN *** [4s]
*** RIVER *** [9s]
SHOW DOWN
WhiteWidower666: wins 16.956 with Straight, Jack high

So there’s clearly one big chip leader and one shortie. So I know it’s gonna be pretty tensed fight between us to play heads-up against the chipleader. So I call the BB with 8 9 suited and I already decided I’m gonna call the shortie’s all-in when necessary. You definitely must decide to play your live cards in this situations and try to cumulate chips. I flop a straight and it holds up: excellent result. I ended up third in the tournament. Till next time!

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