888poker ambassador Dominik Nitsche has won $18,657,034 in live earnings as well as a further $7,523,469 online. The German poker pro has four World Series of Poker gold bracelets which includes a $4,064,026 payday, following his fist-place finish in the 2017 WSOPE Event #10: €111,111 No Limit Hold’em – High Roller for One Drop.
It would be fair to say that Nitsche knows a thing or two when it comes to navigating final tables to secure the highest finish and payout possible. In this 888poker strategy series, he explains five tips that will help you perform better when you make the final table of a poker tournament.
Be Aware of Stack Sizes & Payout Structure
This information will guide all your decision making, for example it is very different if you have a short stack opponent on three big blinds than if you had a short stack opponent sitting around on ten big blinds. Players will tend to fold a lot more until the three big blind player busts.
Large pay jumps will mean that certain opponents are going to have to play a lot tighter because the decisions when playing at a final table are so important it’s crucial to have as much information as possible. You can learn more about this as Nitsche explains this topic in this article.
See Fewer Flops From The Big Blind
At a final table, you do not want to see a lot of flops when in the big blind. It is usually best to save your chips and get out of hands at the earliest opportunity when you have weak to middling hands, this is especially true when facing a raise from another player who covers your stack.
Be Careful With Small Pocket Pairs
At final tables, going all in with small pocket pairs is usually a bad idea as players are less likely to just call you with high cards. When you do get called, you’re very likely up against a better pair. The best way to play pocket pairs in this instance is simply to set mine, if you make a set on the flop you have a really strong hand, if you miss you can get out of the way without losing too many chips.
Play Suited Ace X Hands and More Suited Broadway Cards More Strongly
You should be more willing to go all in with these type of hands. Small pairs decrease in value whereas these hands improve in value as they perform much better if you do get called.
Bet Smaller and Play More Passively
Final tables are all about survival, that usually means avoiding big risks at all costs. Saving every chip matters so be prepared to make more folds when facing aggression on certain board textures.