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  #1  
Old 09-22-2005, 06:25 PM
KramerTM KramerTM is offline
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Default When You Have Less Than 20BBs in Your Stack...

... don't get too fancy!

This may be painfully obvious to the high aptitude players on this forum, but I thought it was an important enough thought to start a thread on. Unfortunately, I've had to learn this the hard way in my last few MTTs.

Pretty much when the field is down to the last 20%, I find myself getting "bored" of waiting for solid opening hands and pretty much going out of my way looking for a spot to make a creative play and get someone off their hand.

The lesson I have taken away from this is...

...when you have 10BB-20BB in your stack, you should be looking to play ABC poker (for the most part; obviously you should never revert to strictly ABC poker). With more than 20 or 25BBs in your stack, well, then you have some room for fancy-plays-gone-wrong. But with 18BBs, it's simply too risky to put 1/3 of your stack at risk to try to get someone off their hand. Especially when this leaves you with slightly more than 10BBs and in a much more desperate situation.

<10BBs = look to push PF with a solid holding or solid opening position (or both, if you're lucky)
10-20BBs = be patient, wait for solid holdings and well-timed stealing opportunities
>20BBs = More freedom to speculate and make some moves. Playing strictly solid poker won't hurt either, obviously.
30-50BBs or more = Look to bully the medium stacks... not the short stacks or the other big stacks.

I apologize if it sounds like I am preaching, as I accept that plenty of what I said is both subjective and arguable.

Anyway, just venting after a bad run at MTTs resulting from some poor mid-late pre-bubble game on my part. Hope I can strike up some discussion on this topic.

Peace.
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  #2  
Old 09-22-2005, 06:27 PM
Exitonly Exitonly is offline
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Default Re: When You Have Less Than 20BBs in Your Stack...

This translates almost exactly into Harrington's Zone's and M values.

But yea, good advice.
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  #3  
Old 09-22-2005, 06:33 PM
KramerTM KramerTM is offline
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Default Re: When You Have Less Than 20BBs in Your Stack...

[ QUOTE ]
This translates almost exactly into Harrington's Zone's and M values.

But yea, good advice.

[/ QUOTE ]

Sweet.

Should have posted the disclaimer: "This post is from someone who has only read HoH 1 so far."

But good to know I'm on the right track.

BTW, Exit, would you suggest I reread HoH 1 to nail down the concepts (almost done with my first read) or move the hell on to HoH 2 as soon as humanly possible?
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  #4  
Old 09-22-2005, 06:35 PM
Exitonly Exitonly is offline
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Default Re: When You Have Less Than 20BBs in Your Stack...

I'd go on and read HOH2.. no need to keep going over HOH1. You always have it there if you need to go back and study something.
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  #5  
Old 09-22-2005, 06:55 PM
benneh benneh is offline
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Default Re: When You Have Less Than 20BBs in Your Stack...

HOH2 helped my game a lot more than HOH1 did. Move onto HOH2. No need to hammer in every single concept so you can repeat it word for word.
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  #6  
Old 09-22-2005, 07:21 PM
KramerTM KramerTM is offline
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Default Re: When You Have Less Than 20BBs in Your Stack...

[ QUOTE ]
HOH2 helped my game a lot more than HOH1 did. Move onto HOH2. No need to hammer in every single concept so you can repeat it word for word.

[/ QUOTE ]

Onto HoH 2 it is! [img]/images/graemlins/grin.gif[/img]
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  #7  
Old 09-22-2005, 07:27 PM
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Default Re: When You Have Less Than 20BBs in Your Stack...

[ QUOTE ]
The lesson I have taken away from this is...

...when you have 10BB-20BB in your stack, you should be looking to play ABC poker (for the most part; obviously you should never revert to strictly ABC poker). With more than 20 or 25BBs in your stack, well, then you have some room for fancy-plays-gone-wrong. But with 18BBs, it's simply too risky to put 1/3 of your stack at risk to try to get someone off their hand. Especially when this leaves you with slightly more than 10BBs and in a much more desperate situation.

[/ QUOTE ]

I'm no expert, but I can't entirely agree with this line of thinking because it generalizes too much.

Poker in these wild online MTTs is a game of situational dynamics that often has more to do with position, personalities, playing styles and stack size, than on the quality of cards.

Let's use two comparative examples, from a typical UB online MTT with 200 players. Typically in this situation, with about 300K t-chips in play and 40 players left, the blinds will be around 75/150 or 100/200.

So using your example, let's say you have 20BB at 200, or about 4K t-chips. This probably puts you somewhere in the 20th-30th place range out of 40 players left, quite far from being comfortably in the money (with 20 paying places), not to mention at least 1 or 2 increases in blinds/antes yet to come before the bubble.

So how could the same scenario be quite different depending on the situation dynamics??

Case1: Your table breaks and you get moved to a new table. You find yourself with almost the smallest stack on the table, with the 1st and 3rd largest stacks to your right and the 2nd and 4th largest stacks to your left. And to make matters worse, you have never sat with any of these players before, including this tournament or any other.

Case2: Again your table breaks and you get moved to a new one. But this time, you get lucky and find that not only are you the 3rd largest stack on the table, but the other two bigger stacks are side by side on the opposite side of the table AND you outstack the four players to your immediate right and left. Better still, is that you know both the big stacks well, and you've been playing most of the tournament with the 4 smaller stacks on your right and left.

I'm not making this up. Something very similar to both of these cases have actually occurred to me.

I think it is simple poker common sense that these two situations would require completely different strategies, to move from being questionable for getting a piece of the cheese, to being firmly into the money when the bubble bursts.

The point of the reply being this:
IMHO, it is very difficult to be successful in these online MTTs by thinking statically, with a fixed mindset of strategic dcecisions, regardless of scenario and situation. You have to build up a wide arsenal of tools in your strategic toolbox, and then build up the expertise to use the right tool for the right situation.

It is the reason why in poker discussions, I don't like reading words like ALWAYS, NEVER, MOSTLY, RARELY, USUALLY.
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  #8  
Old 09-22-2005, 11:30 PM
KramerTM KramerTM is offline
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Default Re: When You Have Less Than 20BBs in Your Stack...

[ QUOTE ]
I'm no expert, but I can't entirely agree with this line of thinking because it generalizes too much.

[/ QUOTE ]

You mean I didn't just sum up how to beat all MTTs in three paragraphs? Of course it generalizes too much. It's a general obersvation that applies, generally, in general situations. Not for nothing, but every single 2+2 post or poker book you ever read "generalizes too much." This is because there are infinite scenarios and table dynamics that can arise in poker and we can only take these "general" approaches and adjust them accordingly.

[ QUOTE ]
Poker in these wild online MTTs is a game of situational dynamics that often has more to do with position, personalities, playing styles and stack size, than on the quality of cards.

[/ QUOTE ]

I wouldn't say it has MORE to do with these things than the quality of cards, but they certainly do play an important role, and I really feel that my post recongizes this.

[ QUOTE ]
The point of the reply being this:
IMHO, it is very difficult to be successful in these online MTTs by thinking statically, with a fixed mindset of strategic dcecisions, regardless of scenario and situation.

[/ QUOTE ]

Agreed, but my post does not preach this. Rather it explained a general approach when in a certain chip position and admonishes about certain pitfalls. Nowhere does it dictate a specific way to play regardless of specific opponents and table dynamics.

[ QUOTE ]
It is the reason why in poker discussions, I don't like reading words like ALWAYS, NEVER, MOSTLY, RARELY, USUALLY.

[/ QUOTE ]

Do you NEVER like it when people use these terms? [img]/images/graemlins/grin.gif[/img]

I really don't think I was this dogmatic with my post, and in fact, I even made sure to say that never should someone specifically stick to these principles, but they are valuable reminders. Take it how you will, but I still stand by my post and I hope perhaps it gave even the slightest bit of value to someone's MTT game.

Peace.
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