Stuck at a Plateau

    • donalgreene
      donalgreene
      Bronze
      Joined: 19.09.2012 Posts: 6
      Hey all, first post. Hope you can help, I'm from Ireland and live in Slovakia. I've always played a bit of poker but never really got interested in studying it until the last few weeks. Now I can't get enough of it!

      I'm not a big fan of cash games, I prefer MTT's. I won a charity tournament last week (All in or Fold) and got €100 credit for the poker club tournaments. So far I've played 2. In both of them I've found the same pattern occurring.

      I play very tight at the start, only playing top hands and I manage to get a nice stack in front of me to allow me to limp in a bit more and raise my better hands for a nicer profit.

      I always go to the break at the end of the 6th level in the top 10% chips wise. But both times I've barely lasted 30 mins after the break. With high blinds and ante I try to sit tight and wait for hands that I can raise, I don't bother limping in at this stage. The first night I played this strategy and just watched my stack disappear, got a couple of bad flops and went all in on a K 10 and was eliminated.

      Tonight, after the break I got a series of horrendous hands, all low unsuited (unplayable). I played a couple of A 10's but got poor flops and eventually got a AJ suited and put in a nice raise pre flop. The flop wasn't great for me but I was heads up and my opponent raised so I called. The turn was a 9 which gave a chance for a straight as there was 9 10 K 8 on the board. He checked (I figured he had nothing) so I put in a hefty (80% of my stack) raise to bluff that I had turned a straight and immediately he called. He had 6 7 and got the low straight. After that I got moved to a new table and had pennies left compared to the rest of them so went all in with K 9 suited, didn't hit anything and was put out by triple Q's.

      Can anyone tell me a good medium/late stage strategy with an above average stack?

      Also, any other tips for MTT's would be great.

      Thanks!
  • 4 replies
    • Deadbillis
      Deadbillis
      Bronze
      Joined: 24.08.2011 Posts: 308
      Hi Don welcome to the forum.

      How low is you stack before you start push/fold?
      Are you more interested in breaking the bubble or making final table?

      I tend to go for 10blinds then I'm push/fold monster. Unlike cash tables, you can't wait for a monster hand as you'll just get blinded out and then (when you get AA with only 3 blinds left) you get called by 2 or 3 big stacks and see 72 bagup!

      Can you download the ICM it will help your push/fold game no end!

      Try and always be the one pushing your chips (with a semi decent hand like 67s, suited ace, KQ, any pair) when you and the rest of the table have around 10blinds in and make them make the hard call decision. This way you have 2 chances to win the pot!
    • ains21
      ains21
      Bronze
      Joined: 04.06.2011 Posts: 303
      Hey dude welcome to PS.

      If you manage to hit silver membership by signing up and playing at a poker room a little bit (it doesn't take long) then the articles and videos that will be available to you will be of great benefit. The silver articles here:

      http://www.pokerstrategy.com/strategy/mtt/#basic

      Will really help with your middle and late phase game, and introduce you to the ideas of ICM and such. There's tons of MTT videos too which you'd be able to watch. The secret of MTT late phases is to have a clear understand of your own stack size in relation to the blinds and other players: knowing when you can afford to make moves, or when you can only push or fold pre-flop etc. You'll pick it up in no time, I'm sure.


      Good luck and ship some tourneys :D
    • donalgreene
      donalgreene
      Bronze
      Joined: 19.09.2012 Posts: 6
      Thanks for the replies guys.

      Deadbillis, I usually start to go push/fold around 15 BB. The problem is my big stack gets shortened very fast prior to this when I call decent hands and get a poor flop.

      I play for the final table, that's my aim. I can play a patient game but I guess I just need to find the balance between playing for survival and making sure I amass a decent stack to allow me to be competitive at the late stage.
    • ExternalUseOnly
      ExternalUseOnly
      Silver
      Joined: 30.01.2010 Posts: 3,373
      Originally posted by donalgreene
      Thanks for the replies guys.

      Deadbillis, I usually start to go push/fold around 15 BB. The problem is my big stack gets shortened very fast prior to this when I call decent hands and get a poor flop.

      I play for the final table, that's my aim. I can play a patient game but I guess I just need to find the balance between playing for survival and making sure I amass a decent stack to allow me to be competitive at the late stage.
      Hey donalgreene,


      Welcome to PokerStrategy.com, thanks for posting, maybe we will see you around the forums a bit more now? :)

      I would say (and im definitely no mtt expert) 15bbs is a little too high to be starting push fold with, i think in the articles here it recommends <13bbs which would give you another couple of orbits at least allowing you to find some nice spots or pick up some good cards.

      Secondly, whilst its always nice to sit down and win our first few tournaments it doesn't always happen like that as im sure you know. We can make the correct decisions every single time but it only takes a little bit of bad luck to end your tournament. Just keep trying to make the best decisions you can and you will see the results fall into place sooner or later.

      A tool you can use to help you make your decisions in the late, push fold stages is the ICM trainer which you can find by Following this link It puts you in random situations (players stack sizes blinds) and teaches you when the correct time to shove and call and fold is.

      Also pay attention to your opponents as you get closer to the bubble people will tend to start folding a lot more hoping to make it into the money. This can be your chance to pick up some valuable chips as you head towards the final table. See which guys are folding a lot and steal all you can from them but make sure you fold or procede with caution if these guys play at you because they likely have a monster hand.

      Good luck at your next game come back and tell us how it goes

      Carl