So you love playing poker, huh? We do too! There’s nothing like being at the table, playing a few hands, and finding yourself the chip leader at the table. The skies are all blue, the grass is a warm green, and the sun’s high in the sky…for now. Yes, we said it — this is only temporary. Let’s be honest for a second: just as the little stack gets all of the heat, the heat shifts to the big stack just as hard, if not harder. Everyone wants to be you, and that means taking you down a few pegs. There are a lot of warnings that you need to consider when you’re the big stack.
For example, if you’re the chip leader, be prepared to get bluffed out. If you’re susceptible to dumb plays, then they’ll use those dumb plays to hack away at your chip empire. What’s more is that you’ll even have newbies that will play straight garbage against you. Anything to psychologically unnerve you. But hey, if it works… it works. You need to make sure that you’re always staying one step ahead of these people. You can’t just assume that everything’s going to move smoothly merely because you WANT it to. Poker is about strategy. For the love of everything shiny and wonderful, don’t just play from the gut. For one, you won’t gain anything, and you can lose all of your chips.
Be cautious going all in. If you don’t have the nuts, don’t go all in. I don’t care what you have in your hand. There’s no need to get sloppy merely because you have more chips. Now, when you’ve studied a hand and you really do have something to push in with — PUSH!
Reviewing your game is the mark of a smart player. You’re in the moment when you’re playing, so you won’t catch everything. But reviewing old games at your leisure lets you see the things that you wouldn’t have picked up otherwise. It’s not always easy to look back at your games to see all of your mistakes, but it’s something that you really need to do.
When you’re the big stack, you have a lot of responsibility. Don’t let it go to your head, and definitely don’t get cocky. If you start getting arrogant about it, chances are good that you’re going to find yourself not staying the big stack for very long.