View Full Version : Please comment on this Limit STT article

09-20-2005, 10:07 PM
http://www.pokermafia.com/index.php?action=read_free_art&l1=&category_id=9&i d=29

Without doubt you will hear many different opinions on the way to win one table Limit Hold’em tournaments. Try our advice for yourself and see how you do. While you may find that it goes against almost all the advice written by various others, it is, however, the best way to success in these tourneys.

This theory will cover all variations of single table Limit Hold’em tournaments, from online to Bricks & Mortars. These tourneys are short time frame events, played in hand increments, such as 10 hands, or in time increments, such as ten minutes. All players have an equal amount of chips allotted to them at the beginning, and the tourney starts at very small limits, progressing as each period ends.

You can't expect to win these tourneys until at least the sixth period or level. Many can go to the ninth, with seven and eight being the most common level for a win. Limit tournaments last longer than their No Limit or Pot Limit counterparts, but the approach to winning them doesn't differ very much. If anything, you play far tighter for far longer in a Limit tourney than you would in a NL or PL. While many players drop by the wayside in rounds one or two in NL and PL single table tournaments, this seldom happens in the Limit venue.

Henceforth, a one table Limit Hold’em tourney will be called an OTLHT. I know you have read many approaches to beating these OTLHT and wish to tell you now, almost everything you have read is wrong. Most approaches have been written by low Limit players who do not possess the proper knowledge of how to accomplish these feats. Here is the best strategy available for these OTLHT.

From the outset your tactic should be to play only TOP PREMIUM HANDS. Forget about limping in, forget suited connectors, forget Axs, QJs, KJs, small pairs and the likes. Unless the flop hits you perfectly, you are jeopardizing your chances for winning later on. If you lose with a premium hand you will not have done anything wrong. It is always easier to win with a better hand and you don't need to rely on the flop for so much help. Play as if your life depended upon winning the hand. When the Limits are small, sit and wait for premium hands, and premium hands only. If they don't come, don't worry - you will get a shot at the target without squandering your chips in the hopes of making an early hand. Obviously amassing chips early is very beneficial, but how you get them is the key to success in your game.

Playing these OTLHT is not about making hands - it's more about not letting others suck out on you. Having players limp in and then limping in behind them in the hopes of making a hand is more detrimental to your game than you can imagine. Losing frequent small amounts in the beginning leaves you without a realistic shot when it counts. Many are under the impression it is easy to read people that play tight, but don’t worry about this. To some extent it is true - unless the hands are played correctly and there is proper follow through.

Again, in the opening rounds, approach the game in a very tight manner, mucking all but top premium hands. When you enter a pot, raise or reraise, as nothing else is acceptable. I stress the key to success is Isolation with Position. In early rounds when there are many players in the pot, be prepared to lay down big hands if you get bad flops. It doesn't cost you much to lay the hand down. When many players are in the pot, a big hand must usually be produced to win it. Our approach to winning these OTLHT is more basic and perhaps more subtle. I really don't need to produce any big hands to become winners. In fact, our style is more of pair poker than anything else.

Of course there are exceptions to everything so here we go - exceptions for calling with weaker hands include the button and the blinds, where suited connectors and small pairs may be played early on.

As levels increase, chips are exchanged. Winning one pot in level three or four is equivalent to winning several at level one. Hence it is better to keep your chips for as long as you can, waiting for premium hands. Don't push the issue and try to make hands. Be patient and hope you pick up a big hand or two to get into contention. If you don't pick any hands up, there are other ways of getting into contention. I will discuss this a little later.

The major premise of this theory is getting to the 100-200 level with enough chips to play a hand through 4th street, meaning you must have at least T500 when you get to this level. Obviously the more chips you have the better off you are, but we will assume the worst and act accordingly. We'll take the position we had AA cracked in round two and haven't won a hand in the tourney. BUT, we have held on to enough chips to play one last hand though. Even though we still haven't won a single hand, keeping enough chips is the key part of our strategy,

At this level, some players will have dropped out and many will have become short-stacked. You must keep track of what your position will be when the blinds go up. You do not want to be at the mercy of the flop, in the position of not having enough chips to be able to bluff. The key is survival and getting to the next level. Players drop out one by one, and you must be aware of who will be making a desperate move to survive. Observing the stacks and the blinds does this.

You can expect short-stacked players to open under the gun when they are faced with elimination (or possible elimination) if they are forced to go through the blinds. Their reasoning is that the two cards they hold will probably be better than the two random cards they will receive in the big blind. Because this thinking is basically flawed many people will call them when holding less than they normally would. Besides, they still have to go through the blinds and if they have left themselves in this position, they are basically at the mercy of the deck. Ideally you don't want a call, but you can almost be assured of one. Best to have done something earlier and avoided this situation.

The key to winning these OTLHT is to give yourself a chance to fire at least one shot in the higher end level of these events. Having T500 gives you a decent chance of stealing when you get there. Players notice you haven't played any hands, and you will get more respect.

When you are left with a small amount of chips, you have a better chance of winning if you attempt stealing blinds - at opportune times. It is far better to go down attempting to steal blinds than by blinding yourself off. Obviously blinding yourself off will happen occasionally, as the players will not give you any chance to steal. It's hard to steal when the player in front of you just raised. When you do this, forget about what you hold, just go for it. Your hope is to get the blinds to fold or to steal them after the flop. In fact, when you get to this position, play like you have two Aces (regardless of your hand) and hope you run your bluff and survive for another round. Obviously you will need to show down a winning hand sooner or later in order to win, but attempt to steal blinds when in this position. When short-stacked you completely change your style. Now you go into a short handed playing mode, raising with any hand totaling 18 or more (count as you would in black jack). The game has become five-handed or so and many walks will be allowed at this Limit. When you are short- stacked attempt stealing when it's possible. It is a far more effective tactic than hoping you will hit a flop. If you are called, you can always get lucky. Make sure you follow through with your stealing attempt. If you have to ‘go’, go out betting.


Is there anyone who plays limit STT's here who can comment on this? The first thing I noticed is that the basic math of the article is wrong. The author suggests that you could not win a single hand up until level 4, including losing a hand with pocket aces, and still have 500 chips left. At partypoker, starting with 800 chips, if you didn't play a single hand you'd be down to 515 by level 4. If you played and lost several hands earlier on, including losing a hand with pocket aces, you'd be down to 100 or 200 chips, not the 500 the author thinks you'd have.

09-20-2005, 10:28 PM
Of course the article is not very good and is just the type of thing that beginners like to hear.