NAILING THE COFFIN SHUT
By Kenneth R. Smith
Ken Smith hosts the popular website www.BlackjackInfo.com as well as the online tournament community at www.BlackjackTournaments.com. Considered one of the best tournament players in the country, he has appeared on TV in GSN's World Series of Blackjack 2004 and 2005, the Las Vegas Hilton Million Dollar Championship II finals, and is also featured in the upcoming Ultimate Blackjack Tour. You can subscribe to his free email newsletter at http://www.blackjackinfo.com/news/.
Itís an uncommon treat to head into the final hands of a tournament round with a huge lead over your opponents. But thereís nothing more frustrating than seeing that lead disappear as one of your opponents "rises from the dead" to overtake you and advance at your expense. Of course, thereís also nothing more gratifying than pulling off one of those miracle comebacks, but thatís a topic for another article. This month weíre going to look at a few ways to "nail the coffin shut" on those nearly dead opponents, and make their miracle a little less likely.
Interestingly, I often see novice players play these situations better than players who have some experience. The somewhat experienced players have usually learned the value of backing off their bets once they have a big lead, and that makes them more susceptible to overlooking opportunities to make their lead insurmountable. The novice players on the other hand are apt to keep betting big all the way through. Usually, thatís a big mistake, but sometimes itís actually not a bad thing.
As usual, Iíll use simple example situations, and mostly discuss a two-man race where one player advances from the table. Obviously multiple opponents makes all these decisions more complicated, but itís still nice to understand the basics in simple situations so you can more easily adapt in typical game circumstances. Letís look at some examples with a betting spread of $5 to $500.
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This article has been included in a new BJI e-book publication called, "How to Win More Blackjack Tournaments" by Kenneth R. Smith...
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