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Restealing in Sit and Gos/MTTs

Having the ability to resteal or adjust to resteals will undoubtedly increase your success in sit and go's and tournaments.

A resteal is a tactic where a player raises and then you re-raise in attempt to take down the pot preflop. The resteal is most commonly used when stack sizes are around 15 to 20 big blinds. It's a very profitable tactic and is a good way to build a stack or apply pressure in specific situations.

Why Restealing is Profitable

Restealing is a profitable play because depending on whom you resteal from, it's going to have a high success rate. This is assuming you use the tactic in moderation and have fold equity. Even if you're called, you still have equity in the hand. For example, you might assume your opponent folds 50% of the time and when called you have 40% equity. You're going to win the pot 7 times out of 10 when you attempt the play. That's not bad at all.

When You Should Resteal

I prefer to resteal when the pot makes up something like 10 to 20% or more of my stack. So, if I have 1,000 chips behind and my opponent raises making the pot 200 chips, winning that would significantly increase my stack. I would consider shoving to resteal here. As a rule of thumb, you could say that having anywhere from 15 to 20 big blinds is a good stack to resteal with.

But it's much more than that. Other factors should be considered too. What position at the table is your opponent opening from? If he's under the gun, you might want to reconsider restealing. His range might be too narrow. On the other hand, if he's opening from the hijack, his range is going to be wide consisting of more hands he's going to fold than call with.

You should also think about your opponent. Is he loose, tight, a reg or a random player? Do you have history with this player? All of this matters because it's going to affect how much fold equity you have.

Stack sizes will matter too. If you're too short and you re-shove, your opponent will have decent odds to call. If your opponent opened and committed his stack, he's not going to fold here either. So you'll want to wait or resteal with a decent hand.

Last, situations where there is a lot of pressure are good spots for resteals. A perfect example of this is the bubble. When an opponent opens and you shove, they have to decide if they're willing to race and risk bubbling. This tactic is even better if there are short stacks at the table that are not involved in the hand.

What Position to Resteal From

I suggest restealing when you're in position -- preferably in late position.

Most times when you're out of position and restealing, you're in the blinds. I don't care to resteal from here very often because it's an obvious spot to do so. So you'll be looked up lighter. That being said, it's a good spot to resteal with a strong hand because of how light someone will look you up.

Late position, such as the bubble, cutoff or hijack, is better to steal in because there are fewer players to act after you. So it's less likely that someone will wake up with a hand and/or try to squeeze.

However, it's my understanding that restealing from early position is becoming popular. The idea is that a player opening from early position is going to be strong, so if you're reraising from one or two positions over, you're going to be even stronger. You're 3-betting an EP raiser and having to go through the entire table. But again, you run the risk of someone waking up with a stronger hand, not to mention possibly having to play the hand out of position.

What Hands to Resteal With

Restealing is one of the situations where your hand really doesn't matter that much. Think of it this way -- you're counting on the fact that you have fold equity. So if you think your opponent is going to fold a good portion of the time, then stealing with KQ suited isn't a whole lot different then stealing with 72 off suit.

Now I'm not recommending that you resteal with 72 off suit. After all, your opponent(s) will call you sometimes. So I would suggest restealing with hands that will play well if you're called. Suited connectors are great because you won't be dominated (often). I also like to resteal with suited aces or kings because I have showdown value as well as potential flush draws in case I'm called and dominated.

Defending Against Resteals

You won't be able to prevent being re-stolen from entirely. So you should know how to defend yourself verses them or at least reduce how often it happens.

The best way to reduce how often you're being re-stolen from is to avoid opening when there are several shorter stacks to your left. Think of it this way -- you're restealing when you have 15-20 big blinds. You have to expect that other players with similar stack sizes will do the same. So if you do choose to open, you're going to want to do it with a hand you're willing to call off your stack with.

In fact, if you know that the players to your left are capable of restealing, you can easily set them up. Open up a hand like A7s or KT off suit and call their resteal. Chances are that you're going to get a very good price, not to mention the fact that you're going to get your stack in ahead a majority of the time.

More Sit and Go Strategy
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