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Tournament Poker Strategy – Middle Position Play

In a no limit tournament, getting chips in the middle is the most important mistake you can make. The middle position, or “middle” players, have the least amount of information about the players in early and middle positions. This makes Middle Position play super important.

In the middle position, you are in a better position than players in early positions to play based on a number of factors.

You have more information about your opponents. You have more information about the skills of your opponents, how they play known hands, etc.

You will win less often, but when you do make a big hand, a middle position player will have a lot of information about it. This is why knowing your opponents in the middle position is so important.

Plague a maniac who has no idea how to play middle position, or you know that maniac has a big hand and are willing to risk everything just to prevent being killed.

Here are some guidelines for playing in the middle position.

In middle position, you can open your hand one size smaller than it should be at any time. This is OK to do, as long as you remember you are doing this to manipulate your opponents.

In middle position, you should only limp if there are 2 or 3 players to your left of you, especially in a raised pot. If you limp in, the odds that someone raises or bets are that you will not have enough fold equity with your hand to justify the risk.

In middle position, you are at a disadvantage and cannot call a raise as a remainder of your stack.

When you are in the small blind, you are at a disadvantage again. There are not enough cards for you to call a raise, especially when many raises are implied by the criteria of the hand such as suited cards.

The small blind is not really part of the hand that you want to be playing. Because of the small blind and your inability to act in the blind should raise/fold situations. This puts you in a Catch-22. You want to avoid situations where you are trapped in calling and losing large amounts of blinds by insufficient hand strength.

There are a number of cards that you can hit on the flop, whether you are in early, middle or late position. Which cards could help you potentially win the hand?

The flop brings three low cards, the 2 and 9. This is a strong hand. You are able to flop a lot of money with this hand. If you are in any position, you can call a bet, or raise. You are able to take control of the hand early if you so choose, in other words, you could control the action in the hand.

There is another aspect to this hand, which is the texture of the flop. The texture of a flop has a lot to do with the cards it makes. How investors perceive the hands they are drawing to. They could perceive the board to be straight or even flush. You can read a lot of information with the texture of the flop.

Your opponent seems to be confident with his hand, the way he played it, the way he spoke during the hand, the actions he made after the hand, the way he bet on the flop, what cards he played, what cards he raised with, what cards he called, what cards he folded on and on. You have to judge this all within the context of the hand, and with the texture of the flop as a texture of the game.

You need to be aware as to how your opponent is playing, because you are competing with him. Maybe he is doing that by limping into every hand. Maybe he is calling raises with second or bottom pair. It could be any or all of these things.

You have to judge whether you are going to be able to make the flush in this hand. If you are not, than you are in trouble. In fact, this is the absolute most important aspect of the texture of the flop, because if you aren’t, then you are finished with the hand. Unless, you can get very lucky and have a really good draw.

However, you can’t and shouldn’t judge a texas hold em poker hand by its highest card. Its just not going to happen. You are going to have to learn this very quickly, because it is an extremely important concept. Holdem is a game of math. There is not going to be a poker player that can go into a room and win every hand. You are not going to make all the right decisions at the poker table, you are going to miss some things. You’re only going to get your money in when you have the best of it, your opponents are folding, and the blinds are really high and the pots are really high.