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Playing more hands.

    • Lou199100013
      Joined: 05.10.2012 Posts: 8
      Would it be wise in early stages to play more hands than you would.
      say some tight player plays 5% of their hands and someone who's also a Tight player changes their game style and opens up to 15% of their hands, wouldn't that mean you're going to have a better chance of staying longer in a tournament than the 5% player. My friend did this in the Bigger $2.20 on stars and he usually bust out after the first 1 hour 30min range, but he opened up with 15% hands and stayed in for 4 hours + and won $700 so would this strategy be good to be a winning player?
  • 7 replies
    • gadget51
      Joined: 23.06.2008 Posts: 5,622
      Hi Lou199100013,

      Moved to Beginner's Questions for you where it may get a more response ok?


      Joined: 27.09.2009 Posts: 22,031
      Hi Lou,

      I've moved this to the Tournament strategy section :)

    • Saren113
      Joined: 06.03.2009 Posts: 2,973
      The thing with tournaments is that you should always adjust to your table. Like for an example if I see two guys in the blinds who folds 70% to steal and got a 3b of 3%, then I am gonna attack their blind relentless to they start fighting back.

      Well to answer your question if you open 15% of your hands you play 1.35 hands per round if it's a nine man table, as if you play 5% of your hands you will play 0.45 hands per round. Your steal succesrate will probably be higher if you only play 5% of hands but you also get less action on your monsters.
    • Asaban
      Joined: 22.09.2006 Posts: 9,183
      Hi Lou and welcome to the mtt strategy board :)

      I hope you will post here more often in the future. If you have any questions regarding tournaments this is the right place to go.

      Let's get back to your question:

      5% is way to little hands. It won't be possible to play tournaments profitable if you only play 5% of your hands. If you open raise 5% of your hands and win every hand preflop without further action you will still be out quite early because you won't even be able to keep up with the blinds.

      15% is way a way better choice. Still, even with 15% you are quite tight. Most regulars will play ~20% of their hands or even slightly more depending on the tournament. Of course, playing more hands means playing more of them postflop. So your postflop skills should be quite good. Furthermore you should select your range wisely.

      I guess that you are quite new to tournaments and therefore not very familiar with a normal mtt style. I would recommend reading our strategy articles (click) and having a look at our tournament videos (click).

      Since you have bronze status at the moment you won't be able to access all of our content yet. As soon as you start playing tracked at one of our partner sites you should achieve silver status quite quick. You may find further information on pokerstrategy points in this article:
      Status and Points System

      Last but not least I would like to make you aware of our tournament live coaching. At the moment there is a special promotion free for all users. The next free for all coaching takes place this sunday at 12am CET. The normal mtt coaching is for silver+ and takes place each monday at 7pm CET. Further information on coachings is to be found here: Poker coaching at

      If you have any further questions feel free to ask!

    • UnrealZeal
      Joined: 07.10.2012 Posts: 5
      If you are playing at a nine handed table you will have the best hand dealt to the table 11.1% of the time, so it's nearly impossible to be a winning player at VPIP of less than 11%. Your actual VPIP can vary radically during a tournament, depending on your stack size and the looseness or tightness of the table. Since poker is a zero sum game, you will have to play exploitably pre flop in order to exploit mistakes post.

      Since you will only break even playing 11%, you must raise your VPIP by playing hands that are not statistically playable, thereby employing an exploitable strategy. The trick is to turn these negative ev plays into positive ev plays by getting opponents to pay off more on your value hands and fold more on your bluffs.

      Five years ago, just after the poker boom, when people were inexperienced at the game, it was possible to be a winning player at 12% VPIP because people would make all manner of huge mistakes. As the game has matured, the lowest VPIP you can play and still be a winning player has gone way up, probably as high as 15% today.

      What you might want to do is examine your play and figure out your optimum win rate at each VPIP. This can be done with a HUD fairly easily. Obviously the best players can play the highest VPIP, and you know you are probably a winning player if you can play 21% of hands dealt to you and not go bust
    • genNNnious
      Joined: 13.07.2010 Posts: 43
      the players before me said everything perfectly i just would like to add that 1 tournaments does not mean a lot. your friend had better strategy, but this is not the only think he had for his sucess. it is very important that you making the best decions every time, and try to improve game, and becouse of that the results will become more likely, but becouse of luck factor nothing is guaranteed.

      gl on the tables
    • quailroger93
      Joined: 11.12.2012 Posts: 16
      I think the better the good hands you have, the better you had a chance of greater winnings. That's my own opinion.