At some point in the WSOP main event Jonathan Duhamel had a short stack of only a few big blinds. In other words he was closed to elimination during a period of the tournament but he still won it. This tells that stack management is crucial to win a tournament. You need to know how to play short-stacked or deep-stacked. Understand tournament stack if you want to make money playing poker tournaments.
The size of your stack in a poker tournament is very important. How you play that poker tournament should depend on the size of your stack and were you are in the tournament.
At the beginning of a tournament (the early stage) all the players receive the same stack, however, as the tournament progesses you stack will be changing sometimes up and sometimes down. What is considered a large stack or a 'deep stack' is double the intial stack while you are still at the first levels of the tournaments. But later when the big blinds are much bigger, such a stack will become short. Early on it is better to only raise with premium hands. In late position, you can play looser but do not try to steal the pot with bad hands. If you have a short-stack you must play much more aggressively and try even worse hands, whatever your position, as this is the only way to survice. You must play aggressively to stay in the tournament and especially to try to increase the size of your stack, once your stack has reached some intermediate value, you can begin to raise with better hands and not play as aggressively.
In the middle stage of the tournament after numerous players were eliminated, you should change your tactics and play a little more aggressively with a deep stack. Aggression will allow you to put pressure on the tighter players with a short stack who will be playing very conservatively. With a deep stack, you can steal blinds easily because most short stacks will not want to mess with you, unless they have good hands. If your stack is still of medium size in the middle of the tournament you must play more aggressively than you would have done early in the tournament. But still only raise with good hands in early position.
If you have a short stack during a poker tournament, you must raise at every opportunity to increase the size of your stack. You have the choice between playing aggressively and stealing more chips or playing tight and get eliminated from the tournament before you notice it.
In the final stage of the tournament with a deep stack bet or raise whenever you can with a hand of moderate quality or better. Do not give your opponents the opportunity to play cheaply. Be the aggressor as often as you can. With a medium-sized stack, you want to play aggressively but with better hands than those with which you raise if you had a deep stack.
With a short stack at the end of tournament you have no choice, Raise and shove wherever you are, you have to win more chips to avoid elimination. If you miss, at least you tried instead of getting passively eliminated. Jonathan Duhamel certainly understood how to adapt his game depending on his stack size. He was close to elimination at one point during the WSOP main event, but avoided it by cleverly making the correct plays dependent on his stack. When his stack got deeper, he knew again what to do to put pressure on his opponents and progressively build it up until the final victory.
Now Jonathan is a sponsored pro at pokerstars. He represents them at live tournaments and has achieved good results since his WSOP championship victory.