Playing with 10-20 BB Stacks in MTT

    • metza
      Joined: 28.01.2012 Posts: 2,220
      I am mainly a cash game player but will satellite into tourneys every now and then and also play a live tourney weekly.

      With over 20bb I think generally my play is quite solid, I am familiar with playing deep or short stacked in cash games, and generally play similar but tighter for tournaments.

      Conversely, I have done some ICM training and feel pretty confident in my decisions in the push-or-fold stage.

      But its this peculiar area of 10-20 BB where I feel very uncomfortable playing. Many times I find I am not sure what the correct mode of play is, and end up making questionable decisions that lead me back into the push or fold stack size (which I actually don't mind because at least I feel confident here)

      Has any one got any specific tips for this stage? Particularly preflop is where I struggle, as a 3bet is now pot commits. Another spot I find tough is when a blindsteal results in top pair mid kicker and the pot is around 1/3 of my stack, a continuation bet then creates a ~10bb pot and its then hard to get away from that. Even continuation bet bluffs are very tough decisions as to whether to fire em.
  • 4 replies
    • Castle93
      Joined: 06.06.2011 Posts: 1,452
      I'm on my phone so can't link you any articles but generally if you have less than 20BB you can just shove if your going to 3bet, obviously when you get better and better post flop you can 3bet smaller and feel comfortable playing a flop. A lot of what you can learn will just come to experience and you ll pol a lot up .

      If you look on PSs strategy section I'm sure there's articles based on 20BB play.

      You also managed flopping TKMK in like a BU vs blinds situation and against an average opponent I would rarely fold here without reads.

      Alex :)
    • Asaban
      Joined: 22.09.2006 Posts: 8,220
      Hey metza,

      your thread was recently moved to the tournament strategy board. This is the place to discuss MTT's as well as MTSNG's =)

      With a 20BB stack my general advice would be focussing on resteals. Especially against late position open raises you can push a very wide range. Your fold equity is very good and you will make a lot of chips by restealing.
      You shouldn't place small 3bets that commit you anyways!

      First in I still open raise until I have <15BB (I tend to open raise a bit tighter with 15 to 25BB's then I normally would). With less then 15BB it's push or fold.

      I hope I was able to help!

      If you have further questions feel free to ask!

    • Targetme
      Joined: 04.05.2009 Posts: 1,888
      when do you not have a 10-20bb stack in a tourney? It was easy for me going from cash to tourneys because I knew the old short stack strategy ranges and its pretty much the same. I sapose this could be a problem if your not used to playing short stack russians.

      short answer raise every button be a nit otherwise. If its a turbo blinds will make you a shoving stack really fast. If not people will spew into your value hands
    • UnrealZeal
      Joined: 07.10.2012 Posts: 5
      think of 20BBs as a solid resteal stack and 10BBs as an open shoving stack

      contrary to popular belief, you can raise/fold with a 20BB stack...if you have a tight/solid image and you raise 2.5x with a 20BB stack with something like J4s or some other bad hand, and another tight player shoves, you will have the correct odds to don't think you can't raise/fold a 20BB stack or even a 12BB stack....the only stack size where you can never r/f is 10BBs or less (tho it depends on the antes)...that being said, most stack sizes between 17 and 20 BBs have enough showdown + fold equity to resteal profitably

      Also something important that people miss: the 10BB rule (open shoving 10BBs) has been known by the poker community for many years (first introduced in Harrington on Hold Em), but it's actually mathematically correct because at 10BBs the probability range = the unexploitable range. In other words, if you are dealt a hand that has a greater than 50% probability of being the best hand dealt to the table (e.g., 55 from the cutoff), you can unexploitably shove 10BBs

      This happens to be extremely important because you can infer a standard shove table from just this information, as well as a nash equilibrium table