Every poker player knows this situation: the blinds are rising, you haven’t seen a good hand for ages and your stack count is getting smaller and smaller. It is a typical situation during a poker tournament. It happens regularly to all poker players and every player has developed his own method to deal with it.
Stealing a few pots is one of the most widely used strategies. It can be quite successful until one of your opponents picks up a decent hand. Other players do not change their way of playing poker. They wait for a better hand in order to come back. This strategy can work also successfully. However, when your stack is shrinking, you might be forced to go all-in. However, finding the right moment for this move is very hard and shows the quality of the poker player.
The first thing I do when I am in this unlucky situation, I choose the round for my all-in move. My choice mainly depends on the size of my chip stacks in relation to the big blinds. Usually, I pick a round when my chip stacks is four to seven times the big blind. The reasons are quite simple. With a higher stack size I can still wait for a better hand while a shorter stack size will force the other players to call.
When the time for the all-in comes, my first try is to pick up a hand. However, if I do not get any decent hand for my all-in move, I will still move all-in if I am under the gun. Of course, I know that in order to stay in the game I need a lot of luck. If any player figures my plan, he has the chance to call with almost any hand. During an all-in situation you want to play against as few hands as possible because less opponents mean higher chances of staying in the game.
If you go all-in in under the gun, you might achieve this goal since you act first. Your decision to go all-in forces the other players to make their own decision. Some conservative players will fold since they might expect a very good hand. Sometimes, they even will not play a hand like Ace-Rag. In the end you might face some decent hands and on the other hand, some players with weak hands that want to kick you out of the tournament for a small amount of chips.
In most cases you will not have the strongest hand. All you need now is a little bit of luck. I went already all-in with hands like 94o, 82s or Q5o. Recently, I even tripled up even with 97s. By catching a 9 I beat the KJ and the A10 of my opponents. Unfortunately, I was kicked out of the tournament just a few hands later with KQ. But this is not relevant to our actual discussion.
As I have mentioned before, you will need a lot of luck in this situation. In order to increase your chances, you must force many other players to fold their hands. In my opinion, you have the highest chances when you go all-in under the gun. I succeeded with this strategy several times, especially in short-handed games. As by now, under the gun is my most favourite position to go all-in because I am running out of chips. You should try it too, the next time you are running out of chips and you have to face a possible defeat.