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  • Heads Up Poker Tournament Play

    Sunday, October 30th, 2011 by Ryan

Playing heads up poker at the end of a tournament is a situation where all poker players hope to be in quite often; but many players don’t get to often. This is a spot though, where you should always be prepared and know how to play against your opponent heads up. If you take a look at a poker tournament’s prize pool, you’ll find that most of the money is spread out across the final table, with the bulk of it going to first and second place. One other thing that you will notice is that first place gets a good chunk of change more than second place does; which is why your heads up play is so important. There are quite a few things to take into account when it comes to being a good heads up player, and we’ll cover a few tips and tactics here to put you in the right direction of winning that tournament.

*Aggressive Play*

This is huge when it comes to heads up poker, as you should constantly be putting pressure on your opponent. It is key to remember that when you are playing heads up poker that your opponents range of hands is incredibly wide, so you really shouldn’t put them on having a monster. This essentially means that standard hands that aren’t incredibly strong like middle pair, or even top pair with a low kicker are much stronger in heads up play. So be sure to keep a realistic range in mind when it comes to your opponents hand! With that being said, it is always important to be an aggressive player, and bluff or continuation bet quite a bit more than you would regularly.

*Playing Your Chip Stack*

This basically means to know when to get it all in. If you are the shorter stack, and you don’t have many big blinds left; you should really just sit back and wait for your spot to push all in. As a short stack you shouldn’t be just flat calling, as it will just quickly deplete your chip stack. On the other side of things, if you are the big stack, you should be raising and re-raising quite often to continue to try to take the blinds and pots. Always be aware of where you stand in the heads up match against your opponent in terms of your chip stack size.


As much as it may sound like a good idea to be raising from all over the place, it is always important to keep an eye on your position. You put yourself in a much better spot to be raising from the button, than to be the person calling raises or re-raising and playing out of position for the rest of the hand. Always consider the position that you’ll be playing from for the rest of the hand if you decide to make a call or a raise. It is much easier to play your hand post flop and after the river if you have position on your opponent.




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