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  • Playing Your Big Draws in a Tournament

Picking up a huge draw in any type of poker is always a nice feeling, but it can be one that comes with a bit of toughness when deciding exactly how you want to play it through the remainder of the hand. Whether it is a straight draw, a flush draw, or one of the wonderful straight flush draws, there are a few different ways to handle the situation when you pick them up, and a lot of it will depend on how big your chip stack during a poker tournament. Today, we are going to take a look at how to play draws depending on the size of your chip stack, so we’ll break it down into three different sections to help make life easier.

Big Stack

A big stack pretty much consists of over 30 big blinds to me. What I mean by this is that you can three bet often, and continuation bet comfortably as well. When you have a deep stack, you have to be a bit careful about your stack unless your opponent is looking to get it all in. At that point, you have to decide if betting over your opponent and getting it all in is what you want to do with that draw. Obviously with something like a straight flush draw, you should go ahead and get it in because you have so many outs. But if it’s a straight draw this makes your decision a bit harder. A good thing to potentially base it off of is how your opponent has played to this point in the tournament, so use any information that you can.

Midsize Stack

This is typically around 20-25 big blinds, and if you have a big draw, you’re probably going to try to get it all in as quickly as possible. It’s tough being all in on a draw, but the chance to double up your stack to 40 or 50 big blinds is tournament changing, so this is a spot where the move is necessary. Even if your opponent has top pair, you have a great shot to pick up a nice double up and even leave your opponent very short stacked after it all.

Short Stack

The short stack in this situation is really anything under 20 big blinds. It’s very hard to play in this situation with a draw, but more often than not you are just going to get it all in and hope to double up. When short stacked you are always looking for a good spot to potentially double up, and this is as good of a spot as ever to do so. Hopefully your opponent bets out into you first, so that you can three bet and get it all in (or almost all in). If your opponent simply checks to you, you can still bet pretty big depending on the size of the pot though. If you have only a straight draw and can see a free card, it may not be a bad idea to sit back and do that though to see what your chances are after the turn!

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