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Should you defend your blinds differently at different stages of a tournament?

Meaning in the early stages should you defend a lot tighter and then get a bit looser as the tournament goes on. The further you go in a tournament the more important it becomes to steal blinds so people will raise/shove a lot lighter. Should you tighten up against this or should you call light as well?

For example early in a 6 seater sit and go blinds are 100/200 and stack sizes are 10000 each. You are in the BB with A10 and the button raises to 600. Should you flat call and see a flop or should you 3-bet knowing that they are probably trying to steal? Or is this a hand you can safely lay down at this stage?

The same situation late on in a tournament the button shoves and you just have him covered are you calling or folding? At this stage they could quite possibly be playing any two cards and just attempting to steal.

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up vote 6 down vote accepted

Basically it depends on some factors:

  • the available statistics and notes to the opponents.
  • tournament stage
  • your stack
  • opponent's stack

General Big Blind behaviour:

  • we tend to defend blinds against the "stealer", who is more loose/agressive than average
  • we tend to defend blinds in the late tournament stage
  • we tend to defend the blind against the big stack (probably table chipleader) with premium hands to make sure that we are ahead of his range. Most likely he will call our raise and try to win on flop/post flop.
  • while defending the blind we reraise more to have high fold equity, and raise less if we expect to be payed more on flop
  • defend the blind against short stack stealer (M3-M5) at "almost any two". His push range is extremely wide.
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In the early stages of a tournament, you want to survive the weeding out of the unfit. Hence, you tend not to defend, unless your hand is reasonably good.

In the later stages of a tournament, you are playing against survivors. Hence you need to play "reasonable" blind hands that offer any hope, and fold only your worst ones.

That said, you defend more against loose raisers than tight ones.

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