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Going All-In with Drawing Hands in Tournaments

by Jeremy Olson on November 6, 2012

The ideal way to play drawing hands in poker tournaments is by calling when pot odds are in your favor. Of course, we all know that there are other factors to worry about such as the blinds and not being obvious about your drawing hands.

Because of additional factors that go into playing draws, players will sometimes make large raises to throw opponents off. This can be an effective technique in later stages of poker tournaments when you’re trying to steal blinds and small pots. But should you ever go all-in with a drawing hand just to steal? Well the answer all depends on the situation.

How does your Opponent play?

One of the biggest aspects to consider here is your opponent. Do they quickly fold to big signs of aggression? If so, shoving your stick in on a drawing hand could push them out and deliver you the pot. But if the player is extremely aggressive, they’d be willing to call, which means your tournament life is being risked on a draw.

Your Table Image

Aside from profiling your opponent, it’s also important to realize how your own table image factors into the equation. It is a lot easier to steal the pot with a drawing hand when you’re a fairly tight player. The more aggressive you’ve been previously, the harder it’ll be for you to force a fold.

Specific Situation/Blinds

Oftentimes, the right or wrong answer when shoving with a draw depends on what point in the tourney you’re at and the blinds. For example, if you have 1,500 chips and blinds are at 15/30, going all-in on a straight draw is pretty foolish. However, if you’ve got 2,000 chips and blinds are at 200/400, stealing the pot would help out a lot.

It takes quite a bit of experience and some commonsense to know the right situations for draw shoving. But if you can pull it off, you’ll be stealing the necessary pots to stay alive and collect a big cash.