I have played in this week’s tournament and I have found myself in a lot of challenging spots preflop. ICM considerations are particularly important as gaining one rank increases the amount of points score by one. Unlike a normal tornament, the prizes (in terms of points) are not concentrated towards the top.
I would often find myself against limpers. I don’t know how I should play, especially considering the limpers limp strong hands and don’t like to fold.
6-max, average stack of 20bb
Everyone with around 20bb stacks
UTG limps, folds to Hero in BU
What would you do with KQs, AJo, 66??
Average stack of 10bb
BU-30bb, SB (Hero) - 20bb, BB - 15bb
BU limps, Hero with AJo??
I feel like there is so much incentive to not shove due to ICM. It is not really worth it to get it in as a slight favorite with little fold equity. I have been just limping behind as I don’t want to fold vs a reraise and I will often outkick worse top pairs.
The tournament complexion will be changing from week to week, so it’s hard to say, really. The first week or 2, many people will be playing very cautiously and be just trying to hang on to help their team. In your first example, I would raise KQs and AJo to about 3BB and c-bet most flops. I’m probably limping 66.
Later in the tourney, blind pressure starts to change things a lot. I hate to give the BB a free flop, but don’t want to induce a shove either. All things considered, I limp there most of the time. BU has position and the chips to call any reasonable raise, and I’m not that pumped to risk it all on a marginal hand.
It’s a brutal format, but wait until you get to the single elimination quarters and semis… ugh!
By weeks 3 and 4, things change. A lot of players will have nothing to lose and go crazy. Those on the qualifying bubble will either get more conservative or go crazy. Those near the top will probably go crazy. Basically, everyone will go crazy and start howling at the moon.
My point is that format dynamics make static strategies less effective. Read your table fast and make adjustments on the fly. I mean more than you normally would.
A few more thoughts on the general format…
This is an interesting series. On one hand, it’s basically a freeroll, so you should expect many less experienced and casual players. Let’s face it, well ranked (banked) players don’t bother with freerolls.
On the other hand, the prize pool is much beefier than normal freerolls, and there is some street cred to be had, so it also attracts some of the better players.
So you will be playing against a much wider variety of skill sets than in any other tournies. I am seeing a lot of people I have history with, and an awful lot of new faces. I feel like I’m trying to tap dance through a minefield.
I suggest you do a little homework. Check profiles, look at ranks. Know where your opponents finished in the first week, know where their team stands. Having more information gives you a slight edge, and might make the difference.