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MTT how to begin?

    • tolari
      Joined: 02.11.2010 Posts: 761

      maybe there were such threads in the past but there are constantly new films and articles being produced, so to keep things simple what would you recommend as a must read/see material for a fresh MTT player?

      I have played some sng in the past and some obv +ev tournaments ( managed to ship 300~ player one :D but thats it...)

      I've played cash games upto nl50 for 2 years now ( well had to go all the way twice because of ftp stuff) and want to make a transition to MTT.

      You know, the rush of learning a lot again etc.

      thanks for your help, in advance! I'll be making mtt blog in english section.

      best regards.
  • 10 replies
    • ihufa
      Joined: 18.03.2008 Posts: 3,323
    • tolari
      Joined: 02.11.2010 Posts: 761
      n1 :D
    • holmeboy
      Joined: 29.01.2010 Posts: 1,336
      Theres a blog with loads of info in it. I'll look for it now...

      Semireg - MTT - $5-25

      Haven't looked through it all but seems to be some good info
    • flexifronto
      Joined: 07.02.2010 Posts: 7,287
      If you've played up to NL50, and want to begin on MTTs, I'd recommend you to read the book "Kill Everyone". It's imo the best MTT book you'll find and has really good info. Also, get the latest edition, since it comes commented by Elky, which is EV+
    • tolari
      Joined: 02.11.2010 Posts: 761
      thanks! I'll check those surely. any more suggestions?
    • suitedaces1701
      Joined: 30.10.2011 Posts: 668
      The book championship no-limit & Pot-limit hold'em by TJ. Cloutier & Tom Mcevoy.

      It might be a little basic for you cause you play NL50 but it's the only book that my cousin read for tournaments and he won the first tournament he ever played (buy-in of $100 and he won $5000), and several after ($20 --> $30K in 3 months). It helped him a bit with cash games too but you have that covered :)
    • Asaban
      Joined: 22.09.2006 Posts: 9,180
      Hi tolari and welcome to the mtt strategy forum :)

      First of all you should be sure of your decision. Playing MTT's can't be recommended for most players. You will need A LOT of time. A normal MTT lasts from 8 to 10 hours. You can't just start to play and quit a few hours later like in cashgames. Furthermore the variance is extreme and therefore it is very frustrating from time to time. Your mindset should be very solid.

      If you decide to play MTT's there are some good articles to start of with. Since you are already experienced in SNG's as well as cashgames I would especially suggest the following articles:

      • MTT Bankrollmanagement
        You will get some information on proper Bankrollmanagement. Unfortunately the numbers that are shown are minimum requirements (if not less). I would suggest 200BI+ for MTT's and 300BI+ for tournaments since the player pools are much bigger. Otherwise the variance will become a big problem.

      • The Early Phase
        The article features fundamental concepts for early stages in tournaments. It should be standard for every new player.

      • The Middle and Late Phases
        A must-read as well. You will get a good impression of mid and late game play.

      • The M-Factor
        This article describes a very fundamental concept that will help you to count your chips in a way that makes your chipcount comparable to other tournaments, no matter what the blindlevel is. The concept is more advanced then counting Bigblinds and is commonly used in charts.

      • How to play different stacksizes
        You will learn important concepts that will help you to play your stack. It is basically an addition to "The M-factor" featuring some differing ideas but also new aspects.

      • Playing a Final Table
        Very useful article that will teach you to play a final table and act according to the very situation, especially ICM-wise.

      Of course these are only small parts of the whole thing. You should always try to improve things further and question the articles in some regards. A good way to improve your play further is the mtt strategy forum. If you have any question regarding MTT's feel free to ask.

      Furthermore I would suggest the hand evaluation forums. You can post any hand that you are not sure about and our professional hand evaluators will be happy to have a look at it and provide you with valuable information on your play. You can also have a look at hands that other players played and learn to evaluate what you see.

      In addition it might be useful to join our weekly mtt coaching from time to time. It takes place on mondays. You may find further informations on the coaching schedule if you click here.

      Last but not least there are a lot of good videos that may help you to understand the thought process of very good mtt players. I would especially suggest the videos by JonathanLittle. The content is kind of advanced but very valuable if you have reached a certain level.

      The already mentioned book is a good recommendation as well :)

      If you have further questions feel free to ask.

    • usun
      Joined: 06.01.2009 Posts: 1,675
      Semireg - MTT - $5-25 - yeah, already mentioned, but this blog objective is to provide a quick start for newbies in MTT, most intro stuff is already there on first 2 pages in proper order.

      From there, in particular:
      MTT for newbies - roadmap: High-level breakdown by stages
      1) Study basic literature.
      "The Harrington on Hold 'em" 3 books about tournament poker. The must read starting point, it is a strategic basic for tournament play. In general it's quite obsolete in many areas, but the central concept of M-ratio (see Vol.2) is fundamental.

      2) Meanwhile, it's recommended to build a bankroll for low-limit MTTs in some other poker discipline. 1.5-2k USD is required as start point for MTT.

      I won't recommend regular play for MTT micro buy-ins <$5, it's just a lottery and skills got there won't help much. However, you should definitely try them sometimes, just to get a flavour of tournament play and practise some very basic concepts learned from #1.

      Most popular choices to build start bankroll on micro-levels are:
      a) Micro-limit cash NL5-NL25/50
      BSS strategy, Full ring tables cash will teach basic poker play, bankroll management, how to use basic software, etc. Main strength you gain here is strong postflop skills, it will help a lot for non-turbo and especially deep stack tournaments.
      That was my way.

      b) Micro-limit SNG/MTSNG up to $10.
      Should give a lot of practise for tournament specific situations: pushbot, bubles, final tables. Preflop and math related to it (Nash equilibrium, ICM model) will get strong and it will help a lot not just for any tournaments, but fast turbo ones in particular.

      3) Tournament related articles and literature should be revisited. Start checking out tournament VODs (may be it's better to avoid mid/high stakes regs). On this stage you should focus on tactics of various standard MTT situations.

      Select tournaments to start your career and get prepared for them. Strategy for the selected set of tournaments should be prepared and ironed before you start playing them regularly.

      It is crucial to select right tournaments and rooms to start. I recommend to start with GTD ones, 300-800 players, non-turbo, non-deep regular freezouts - they are the simplest. Non-turbo re-buys are very good but should be added a bit later. Forget about satellites for a long time.

      It's better to start with weaker rooms, you shouldn't care much about sloppy software.
      Stay away from PokerStars, it's not a good place to start your career of MTT reg - their GDTs for Holdem are either huge >2000 field size with unacceptable variance for the rookie or full of multi-tabling regs if they are under 1000, with good prizes and blind structure.

      Acceptable blind structure, average field size and weak field are primary goals, you don't care about rakeback and promos, they are not important for MTT. PartyPoker, 888/Pacific are not bad, smaller rooms (like Microgaming, etc) might also be a good choice.

      4) So, at this point you got your 1.5-2k bankroll for MTT and ready to start. Start carefully, without much multi-tabling, polish your tactics, follow a strict session timetable. Effects of poor timetable are drastic in MTT.
      Normally GTD freezout $5-10 is a start point, a bit later rebuys 1.5-3 USD are added.

      In parallel, you should continue with studying software specific to tournaments, polish your tricks and weapon. Keep it simple.

      VODs are going to be your main source of information and major factor in skills improvements. Focus on them!

      5) Read additional books and go for more advanced concept. Math of Holdem, 2011 by Collin Moshman is a very good one, not just about tournaments, but main modern concepts and practices. PokerStrategy JonathanLittle's MTT book might be useful also. In general, there are few good non-basic books about MTTs, so read everything you can get your hands on.
      Revisit old articles and books.

      Start your own blog to have clear goals, track results and performance, drilling down own game.
      Post your hands for review and discussion, by that time you'll get enough knowledge to make this useful.
      Visit open trainings in PokerStrategy for tournaments. It helps a lot to listen and see how someones game is reviewed and typical mistakes are covered.
      By the time you get your first MTT victories and your bankroll growing steadily, you can think about adding more various tournaments into your timetable, more rooms (e.g. PokerStars huge tournaments with weak fields can be added as additional ones - it's a very long-term investment, or can be treated as kinda lottery :) ).

      6) On the next stage, main source of self-improvement is your own analysis of your game and more advanced concepts. The goal is to get to mid stakes and stay there. By this time, you may need to get help from professional trainers, to help to spot something you cannot and give long term advises about further steps.
    • Asaban
      Joined: 22.09.2006 Posts: 9,180
      Very good guide!
      Totally recommend the things you mention.

      There is only one point where I would like to add something:
      Imo Pokerstars is not a bad choice to start your career. You just have to choose your tournaments very carefully. There are tournaments that fit your needs very well.

      I can especially recommend the 180men turbo MTSNG's. You will learn a lot about MTT's, because you will have all the different aspects in a very short period of time. Furthermore you will see big improvements very quickly and be able to celebrate your first successes quite early in your career. Last but not least these tournaments won't last too long (two hours) and open up very frequently (every 5 minutes). If you don't like turbo's there are non-turbo one's as well.

      I would also like to mention the capped tournaments. They have a limited player field. If you see a 5$ tournament with a cap of 500 players it would suit perfectly.

    • usun
      Joined: 06.01.2009 Posts: 1,675
      Yeah, there are some good ones. CAP1000 $4+0.4 8max was soft and ok, 15k GTD $5+0.5 - this one is relatively big but soft. Unfortunately, CAP500 checked only $8+0.8 - this one is quite tough.

      I completely missed non-turbo MTSNG-180, but I personally consider them not as "full scale" MTT, but rather MTSNG, but it's a good practise for MTT for sure.

      In general, I based my opinion on Stars tournaments and fields on this investigation I made through 2011 and some additional personal experience:

      Introduction. Stars 4k GTD CAP500 8+0.8, CAP1000 4+0.4.
      Stars $4+0.4 2R1A
      Stars Superstack - $10+1.
      Stars 2k GTD 1R1A - $8+0.8.
      Stars 75k,50k GTD $10+1 "The Big 11".
      Stars 40k GTD Rebuy $3+0.3.
      Stars 15k GTD $5+0.5.
      Stars 3k GTD $10+1.
      Stars Micro-Millions $10+1.
      Stars 5k GTD 2R1A $5+0.5.

      ADDON: Here is a MTT introduction package I composed so far:
      MTT for newbies - roadmap
      Poker Literature
      Building bankroll: cash NL5-NL50
      Poker Rooms for MTT.
      Rookie mistakes. Bankroll introduction. MTT Selection.
      MTT strategy: low-limit non-turbo average-size freezout.
      MTT strategy: low-limit non-turbo average-size rebuy.
      HUD stats in MTT.
      Online ranking systems (OPR, SharkScope, ProLabs/Top Shark).
      Notes in MTT.
      MTT Session Management.