Stealing Opportunities

There are a number of times when you can get away with stealing blinds in a tournament that for various reasons will work better. That is to say that you are more likely to get away with them.

If your opponent is eating at the table and you raise his blind he is less likely to defend. He is not focussed on the hand and he is far more likely to pass marginal holdings against you.

If your opponent has just won a big pot and has a huge pile of chips in front of him he is less likely to defend whilst he is busy stacking. This is the case for two reasons. Firstly he is less likely for the reason above in the eating scenario and secondly he has just won those chips and is probably a little excited with the adrenalin running high. He is happy to continue stacking and enjoying the moment he is unlikely to play a marginal in case his moment is spoilt by playing a losing pot.

If you are playing in a tournament and the hand is being dealt as the end of the level is announced and a break due to start this is also a good opportunity to steal. Players don’t like to have to queue in the toilet or at the snack bar. They are likely to get up quickly and move straight away. If a player is a smoker then he will be rushing to have a cigarette. A player may have been waiting to get a drink or make a phone call so he won’t want to play a marginal hand that may eat into his or hers valuable break time.

If a player is eating whilst he is still stacking a huge pot and a break has just been announced and you raise his big blind you should pass nearly any hand should your opponent choose to play the hand and re-raise you because you can be sure that he has found a monster!