One of the best feelings in poker is to have the biggest poker stack in a tournament or at your table. Your opponents fear you, and you know that players have to always consider what you might do before making any moves. You know they will not call your re-raises with marginal hands so it’s much easier to control the action on the table and retreat when you know you’re up against a monster hand.
The power you get with a big stack is priceless – but not everybody can make a big poker stack, especially in the early stages of a tournament. In some cases players do this simply by making crazy moves and end up being lucky, but to always be able to do that you need a lot of skill. This is why good tournament players do everything they can do accumulate as much chips as possible in the early stage and make it much easier to control the action later on. So big poker stack means more control in the later stages of the tournament.
Your poker stack will depend on player types at your table
When you look at most tournaments you’ll see that the players who do accumulate a lot of chips early are the ones that are not afraid of confrontation. But to be successful at this you need to learn how to pick your battles and always know exactly the type of player you’re up against in a big pot. Ideally, you should try to confront these types of players:
Folder – This is the easiest opponent. They only play premium hands and in most cases fold their marginal hands to any raise. Folder will always play aggressively hands like AK pre-flop but fold them on the flop if they don’t hit and you make a big bet. They are the best opponents to steal pots from – if they call they’re strong otherwise they always fold.
Calling stations – They will call every bet even with the smallest pair. Even if they know you probably have the best hand, they just have to be sure. Playing against them can be very profitable but only if you have a strong hand. Bluffing them is a huge mistake that will cost you a lot. So bet aggressively when you hit strong and you can take their entire stack.
Aggressive raiser – In every tournament there are players who start raising and bullying people from the start. As a rule they continue to bet strong post-flop, so when you hit big against them you can get them pot committed on the river simply by calling their strong bets. Try to play often against these players with a wide range because you can take up to 50 to 75 big blinds by only investing three or four BB pre-flop.