Questions about late tounament play

    • jrockmaj
      jrockmaj
      Global
      Joined: 24.02.2008 Posts: 1
      Looking for some feedback. I've turned the $50 starting capital into about $400 on Full tilt so it's going ok so far, but I've been consistently running into trouble at the end of tournaments. I play alot of live cash and tourney games, but reading people in this situation hasn't been as big an issue

      I frequently play the $10 guarantee tourneys where top prize is 2500, or 3,000 and there are 1300-1400 players.

      I do pretty well playing smart cards and managing the stack to take advantage of position and steal opportunities while not risking too much of my stack to do so. The issue I have is that when cards go dead and raises take away my steal opps late in the tourney or when I do have a decent hand, but the medium stacks keep pushing or going all in in push/fold mode.

      I never seem to navigate this late stage well and go from playing 3-4 hours of VERY GOOD poker to making one bad read or 1 bad raise in the late stage and ending up too low stacked to survive and although I end up in the money, I'm not reaching the stage when things really pay off.

      I guess one of the biggest issues is that I'm trying to WIN the tournament and am not just playing to survive so I hate getting to the point where the stacks around me keep getting bigger or are passing me because I'm not making any moves or using my stack, but as soon as I try to, is when I seem to walk into the monster that cripples my tournament.

      I'd appreciate any feedback of input. Anyone who's had consistent success managing the late stages or has a strategy or rule of thumb that seems to work more often than not
  • 10 replies
    • chenny8888
      chenny8888
      Bronze
      Joined: 03.10.2007 Posts: 19,324
      i dunno, but if they're aggressive and seem to know some rough ICM, the best thing to do would be to push/fold yourself.

      otherwise raises get exploited etc.

      sucks a bit, cause that means your edge decreases quite a bit.
    • roshe40
      roshe40
      Bronze
      Joined: 07.03.2008 Posts: 42
      It is important while you still have a competitive stack to look for opportunites to re-steal pots while other players around you are stealing constantly. This takes courage and timing, but you have to look for a spot to try this in order to maintain your chip stack between 30 to 50 BB. If you wait until you get too close to 20 BB, then it is too late to try this. You need your re-steals to be large enough to not give the stealer the pot odds he needs to look you up. A tight image on your part will increase the chances of this play succeeding. Look to attack an opponent who has been stealing alot and has yet to be played back at. Bullies are not looking for a confrontation, so they will often back off if you strike back. You don't even need that strong of a hand, but you sure want to strongly encourage a laydown by representing one.

      If you are serious about wanting to win tourneys, you should be aiming to make the final table with as many chips as possible. Knowing well in advance when crunch time is coming is critical to avoid being amoungst the short stacked and desperate.
    • ManniXXX
      ManniXXX
      Bronze
      Joined: 05.09.2007 Posts: 707
      I like what roshe is saying but I actually feel pretty comfortable playing a shortie throught most of the tourney. I came 7th in a 2000+ player tourney the other week and for most of the time I was idling at 5-10 BBs and then doubling up to 20 before slowly dropping down and having to push again. Complete push or fold mode for the whole tourney but it worked alright. Of course I would of preferred to have a bigger stack but the opportunities didn't present themself; my point being that you don't have to have a big stack to make headway in a MTT. Just be patient and wait for your spots and always remember that variance is high in an MTT and not to be too dissapointed if you don't even make the money.
    • roshe40
      roshe40
      Bronze
      Joined: 07.03.2008 Posts: 42
      In the long run, playing this tightly will not get you to enough final tables in good enough shape to make the process very profitable. If you are serious about winning touraments and not just cashing or reaching final tables, you need an above average stack once you get there. By mostly waiting for cards, you are letting luck take a front seat to your tournament fortunes. Get good cards and you will get your occassional 7th, but mostly you won't and experience many low money finishes. Other players, by way of loose luck and/or skilled play, will have a clear chip advantage over you when it matters most. A couple top 3 finishes are worth more than half a dozen finishes near the bottom of a final table. The prize money is skewed towards these top 3 coveted positions.

      Stronger players with greater skill have many ways of building their stacks without having to rely mostly on the cards they are dealt. To not make use of them can leave you virtually on par with the common tighter foes you will playing against. In the long run, that will be a serious drain on your tournament equity imo.
    • ManniXXX
      ManniXXX
      Bronze
      Joined: 05.09.2007 Posts: 707
      Well give me more than 20 BBs and I'd attempt to make some differing plays but with a constant 10 BBs I don't see a problem with push or fold mode, especially at the lower limits which is where I'm playing.
    • AaronJello
      AaronJello
      Bronze
      Joined: 26.02.2008 Posts: 12
      Thanks guys, really helpful, I play a lttle too tight in the big multi's I'm thinking, I sometimes make the $$, but always seem to be in TERRIBLE shape when I get there, usually just winning my buy in back or slightly over, so im takin a break from the big ones to research this topic a bit.

      Like I see all ins with 89s and TJo and crazy hands like that, and these guys seem to be the ones who get the nice starting stack to play well with well into the money, but I dont know, is it worth semi donkin it up to get a lead in the begining??


      How do you all feel about the rebuy tourneys?? Playing like with the expectation to buy in 3 or 4 x until you get a lead??
    • chenny8888
      chenny8888
      Bronze
      Joined: 03.10.2007 Posts: 19,324
      shoving 89s and TJo from late position, first-in, is not so bad.

      if you're called you have nice outs, and otherwise you steal the blinds.


      there are different strategies for re-buy tournaments, but you definitely want to be above average in chips at the end of the re-buy period.
    • roshe40
      roshe40
      Bronze
      Joined: 07.03.2008 Posts: 42
      I agree with your style of play when you are at or around 10 BB Manni. My point was that why not use the greater number of options availabe to you with 20 or more BB BEFORE you get anywhere near 10 BB. Voluntarily allowing yourself to get blinded down to 10 BB right from the start just doesn't seem like an optimal tournament strategy to me. Especially in the MTTs, where you must survive a greater number of races to make it deep into a tournament, and still being relatively short stacked at the final table even if you do. By that stage, the blinds are increasing at a greater rate and make it even harder for short stack players to stay on top of. It actually seems like you are taking a greater number of risks than the reward justifies. Your folding equity is always at a minimum and any two cards can lose if called.
    • ManniXXX
      ManniXXX
      Bronze
      Joined: 05.09.2007 Posts: 707
      My main problem with the early stages is the amount of fishes who don't see a 3x BB raise as a 3xBB raise, they see it a very small proportion of their stack and just call with silly hands. I prefer to sit back and let themseleves knock each other out. Like I said though this is a symptom of the limits I play at and I expect and know that the bigger buyins are a lot better.
      I won a sattelite to Full Tilts Fifty-Fifty once and the difference was quite staggering at the early levels, I think this is where what you're saying would come into it's own.
    • roshe40
      roshe40
      Bronze
      Joined: 07.03.2008 Posts: 42
      I am actually referring to the middle to later stages of tournament play. I absolutely agree in staying out of the way of the loose players in the early going. My point is not to wait too long in regards to the rising blinds. By that stage most of the loose players are gone or you have identified tighter foes to pick on. It is still usually a good idea to avoid confrontations with the remaining loose players unless you have a premium hand.