Anyone advice or suggestions on how to end in the money or even win MTTs would be greatly appreciative. Thank you.
Take more chances on mediocre cards then you normally would while the blinds are small. You are going to need a big stack when the blinds get huge and eat those chips up
What a great topic RiverGod - one I hope many will contribute to, and even more will read.
My general tips for tournament play, for what they are worth, are as follows:
Enjoy the game - enjoy the conversations with the people at your table and you will be in the money before you know it.
Play good poker - it will win out in the end. And most of all appreciate good poker - reward your fellow players with endorsement and WP when they do play well.
Don’t get involved with the all-in rush at the start of the tournaments. Treat these as marathons, which are not won by at sprint at the start line, but by being there at the end. At the start of a tournament you can afford to wait until the mayhem dies down.
Remember, pockets and AK may be ahead before the flop but they are beatable. There are 5 cards to come. So raise, but try to see and connect with a flop before going hard with your betting.
When there are multiple players in a hand - ask yourself - do I need to get involved in this hand, am I in position, do I have move to gain or lose by entering this pot at this point of the tournament.
Be very wary of big stacks, avoid getting into hands with them if you can, and don’t try to bluff the big stack, (because they probably have their big stack by calling all the bluffers before you).
Watch the info tab to see how many players are left. Try to always keep yourself in the top 50%, but don’t panic if start to drop. Knowing how many BB you have left will tell you if you need to make a play. (Too often see players panic because they are a short stack at a table - when they still have over 20BBs) Don’t judge your stack by others at the table. Measure it by the number of BBs you have left.
If in doubt fold, especially near the bubble. The discipline of folding near the bubble can take you into the money very easily. I regularly have the other tables open and watch their play, so I know where I am at, and what the likelihood is that others will be knocked out before me.
When you reach the final table - play to win. Follow the same rules with big stacks, keep away from them if possible, and let them clear a few spaces for you. Be patient and play only premium hands. Its amazing how easily the short stack can move from 9th to 4th in a matter of hands by avoiding the carnage. And from 4th to 1st with good play.
Good luck on the tables.
Stay away from all ins.
Play hands only that have the best chance to win.
Don’t get drawing in to hands that get you stuck in a big pots that you can’t win.
Try to buy a good poker book or listen to a podcast if you really want to learn, but if you just want a quick rundown on the basics I can help.
- Play in Position, the button is best.
When you get to go after your opponents you gain an information edge on them. Its like battling but you have the high ground. You won’t win every battle/pot but it will give you an advantage to make better value bets and bluffs.
- When you drop below 10 big blinds, you should try to go all-in on a decent hand.
Most people fold too often to all-ins deep in the tournament because they are scared, its the best way to get a few chips back as a last chance to get a serious stack back instead of being on life support.
Don’t put in half or all of your stack on some terrible hand that you should have never been in, don’t let all your time go to waste
- Don’t limp.
Limping is sometimes good, but I think its good for beginning players to start without limping and then eventually add it on later as they grow more experienced. The issue with limping is that it allows everyone to see a cheap flop and beat you. Take initiative and do a raise or just fold and leave the hand.
- Be decisive
You should do more betting and raising than calling.
- Avoid bluffing in low stakes games
People hate folding in low stakes games so bet when you have it and fold when you don’t
- Don’t worry about the bubble
All that matters is those top 3 positions. The majority of your chips made will be from those positions. Bubbling a tournament and just barely making the money are not that much different.
- Ignore the naysayers
A lot of people on this website think they know what they are doing while they know nothing. If you do all of these things there are going to be some people who think you are bad. Ignore them, chatting is nice when people are friendly, but when they are not, ignore it. I can’t tell you how many times people say I suck and that my strategy is terrible, yet, I ignore them and work on myself and I have won dozens of MTTs over the past 2 years and consistently won money because of it. Notice most professionals poker players do these things especially if they were playing low stakes games like the ones on Replay.
- Ignore downswings
Sometimes you wont make the money for awhile. Its ok, that’s how luck and poker work. You are hot, then you are cold. When I am cold, I either keep playing or study more and try to learn how to improve to shorten downswings, but they are unavoidable
- As your stack gets shorter, play less hands, and play them more aggressively
As you get short, its do or die time. No time to mess around and drain your chip stack chip by chip. Wait for a good hand and make a move. What a “good” hand depends on the situation, but use your own judgement and try to study from books or podcasts or however you like learning.
Well, that’s all I got. Some of the things I said may be considered “controversial” on the more passive leaning forums, but you normally want to play the opposite of how your opponents are playing so if they are passive, be aggressive. If they are aggressive, be passive.
That’s a very nice spot to wanna be in. There’s some good advice here, already, so I’ll keep it short. Playing position is key. Try not to bet out before mid-pos, but if you do make sure you’ve got a premium hand and the raise is, at least, 2.5-3xBB. Don’t tangle w/bigger stacks. Defend your blind when possible. Don’t do anything stupid.
I also recommend the book All Hands Revealed by Gus Hansen. It’s his notes put into a book format from his Aussie Millions win back in '06. It’s an awesome read and really put tournament poker into perspective for me. Enjoy and GL.
Para ganar un MTT debes ser agresivo al principio y conseguir una buena posición, luego con paciencia llegar a la última mesa, y después convencer a tus rivales de que tienes las mejores cartas y rematar teniéndolas.
Translate: To win an MTT you must be aggressive at first and get a good position, then patiently get to the last table, and then convince your opponents that you have the best cards and finish with them.
Large Tourneys take large amounts of folding to get close to final table. Can’t play every hand and expect to be ahead of the field. Play only quality starters. I push pocket AA-KK hard to narrow field. After the flop any 2 so-so cards can be Monsters and well hidden. Best advice is to keep player notes maybe with a date added. Some love to Bluff-etc. and some never do… Good cards n fun 2All…
Lots of good advice here already. I agree, patience is the key. Let the loose guys get each other out. Don’t limp in–narrow the field with pre-flop raises (3-4x big blind). Continuation bets after the flop are good unless there are more than three in the pot (because one of them probably hit the hand you just missed). Bet for value, with big bets only when you know you will likely be called and will win or when you’re fine with the table folding. It may feel good to knock people out, but I’m fine with slowly building my stacks a few thousand at a time, especially early on.
Another thing not mentioned above is tournament selection. There is a definite difference between a 6-seat tournament and a 9-seat tournament. 6-seaters will eat blinds more quickly, requiring more aggressive play. Also, look at the blinds after the first hour versus the number of starting chips. Starting with 3000 chips and blinds at 300/600 at one hour versus 3000 chips and 150/300. Lower blinds in relation to the chip count favors the tighter, slower player. Playing too slow in a 6-seat tournament or a tournament with higher blinds means you will run out of chips more quickly, while in a 9-seat tournament or a tournament with lower blinds means you can let the loose and quick guys take each other out while you throw away marginal hands.
I take a ton of notes on my opponents. Who plays loose? Who shows me their bluffs? Who goes on tilt? Who likes to go all in and when? Who sucked out on me? (overplayed a bad hand and got lucky on the draw) Poker is all about using information to your advantage. When I go into a tournament and see the pencil mark on half my opponents, I’m happy. Rarely do people change their styles drastically over time.
Speaking of suckouts, I love them! When someone makes a bad play and wins, it means they will do it again and again. Please, chase that inside straight! Bet the 4-card flush! You beat me a couple times, but I know the long-term favors me, especially if I know you’re likely to keep playing those cards.
If you want to win, play your flushes and straights correctly. An open-ended straight or a 4-card flush is about 35% to hit on the turn, 17% on the river. An inside straight is about half that, and rarely worth chasing. And AKQJ drawing for the 10 is an inside straight. Watch for the “idiot end” straights–when you have the low end of a straight (example: 7-8-9 on the flop and you hold 5-6). You hit the straight and still lose. Suited connectors are nice, but lower ones are often better off thrown away, and if you’d throw away two cards if they were unsuited, don’t play them just because they’re suited.
In total, how many hands do I play? About 20-25%, give or take. I try to play opposite the table (tight when everyone is loose, aggressive when everyone is passive). And I bet or raise far more often than I call.
Hi, a very good question, I have read all the replies you got ,and then I realised I also just want to say one more thing, NEVER GIVE UP!!! Last night I played in the Bust the staff tournament and at some stage in the middle,I had a stack of 121 by then the blinds were very high in comparison with my stack,I had like a tenth of a blind left, From there I actually came and won the tournament, So my point being if you have ( A CHIP AND A CHAIR) it is not over don"
t ever give up before the end.
I absolutely agree with the “mentally play hands you’re not in.” You learn so much more about your opponents that way.
And don’t worry about the suckouts, as I said. They can be soul-crushing, like the one here. But treat them like lightning strikes: Devastating when they happen, but not all that common.