Last Stage Tournament
Raising is more often needed than calling in the later stages of a tournament. You should try to lead yourself or eliminate the action heads-up with one other player. With perfect timing and astute raising, you will be able to pick up some extra antes.
In the later stage it is very crucial to take the advantage of tight play. It gives you a chance to put yourself into position to make the last table with a reasonable number of chips. The antes are normally high, making it worth the extra bet to pick up a few pots against tight players,
Stealing an Ante: In seven-card stud, suppose you have a king showing with A-9 in the hole. Your king is the highest upcard and all your cards are live. Only one or two other stud players are yet to act. You try an ante-steal and get called by a player with a 3 showing. What should you do on fourth-street when your rival catches what looks to be worse card (in this example a 6) and you catch a scary-looking card such as jack or ten? Make a bet with your two high upcards in the expectation of picking up the pot.
If he again calls with a hand like 6-3, you are left with a judgment decision as to what to do on fifth-street. If you catch another scare card such as a queen (giving you an inside straight draws) and he catches a 5, for example go ahead and make another bet. if he calls you – or if he raises – you should seriously consider your next move. If he raises, you are in a very bad shape with your inside straight draw against a hand that possibly has a minimum of one big pair and probably two pair or even trips. Your rival should have the courage to put in a total bluff on fifth-street with his cards against your strong front.
Suppose your rival chases a suited connector to his doorcard on fifth-street, for example and you catch a worse card like a four and a ten. You should check to him, expecting for a free card, and just pass if he bets. In this case, it makes no sense to continue representing strength you don't have.
Seven-card stud game is a game of strong-looking boards. Be leery to continue the play such a board in the late stages, and especially against many rivals. You yourself need a very strong hand to continue. Therefore even if you suspect a player is on bluff or semi-bluff, if he catches two powerful looking face cards to go with the unmatched one he already has, you are taking too much of a risk to continue playing hands such as medium pairs.
The best stud players in the world get bluffed more often than weaker players because they are more capable of making a big lay down. Therefore in the later stages you can profit from the play of a conservative player who will make a lay down when he thinks you have him beaten. But if you see that your rivals are inclined to protect with medium-strength hands, your hand should be at least as good as the one they are defending with before you begin to publicize it frequently.
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