Tuff Start In A Tourney

    • Patapio
      Patapio
      Bronze
      Joined: 21.06.2012 Posts: 11
      This happens one in five times at least: I find myself in the beginning of a tourney in a table with 3 or 4 players messing arround, playing loose-donk style, being aggressive with junk cards and so.

      As a conservative player it's a tough situation to start a tourney and not always till you start to get short you ill get good cards in good spots to take advantage of these players.

      I'm trying to collect some similar experiences and at the same time advices on how to cope with this kind of scenario. Shall I get loose a bit too? In what measure?

      Best regards
  • 14 replies
    • tommygecko
      tommygecko
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      Joined: 11.08.2012 Posts: 1,229
      I'm in a similar situation too. It's not just mtts but even 45 mans. These are the kind of people who can make you go deep, or break you in the early stages. I think in these donkaments you have to patiently wait for monster hands and hope they hold. If you are card dead throughout, then that's just unlucky.

      I have another advice though, I haven't tried it out but I think it will work when you have many loose callers at your table. When you're in EP or even MP, don't play any unsuited ace (even AJo+, they look pretty, but not when you're OOP against 3-4 other players) or broadways. They don't play well postflop vs 4 or 5 cold callers. It's best to play suited connectors and high pocket pairs. Suited aces are fine since you can hit the nut flush, but be cautious when people get aggressive and you only have TPTK. If you hit a monster, you are going to get paid by maniacs and that makes it easier for you to go deep.
    • Patapio
      Patapio
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      Joined: 21.06.2012 Posts: 11
      Kind agree with you. I have the same feeling of not suited aces and broadway cards from EP and MP tought I will open some and fold if I find resistance. The question is when these people we are talking about aren't passive... and yeah, patience.

      I found myself in spots like that: I'm A5s on the button and I call a 3x raise from MP of this kind of player. BigBlind is one of these guys too and 3bet absurd 20x, the MP guy called and I fold. In the end i had the best hand.

      As you said, or we go deep or we go broke with these guys. But Í keep the discipline because I'm not sure where to change facing this kind of tourney start scenario.
    • tommygecko
      tommygecko
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      Joined: 11.08.2012 Posts: 1,229
      Try to see flops as cheaply as possible with only hands that play well postflop. If people go crazy like you just said don't convince yourself to call. In the long run a hand like A5s will be -EV if you call in that spot in the early phase. That's the best you can do.

      Having a strong ICM game when you're short stacked will make a difference in the long run too, so improve your ICM if you plan to grind tourneys.
    • Asaban
      Asaban
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      Joined: 22.09.2006 Posts: 8,242
      I would suggest playing premium hands from the early positions.

      As soon as you are in late position you can call their open raises with valuable hands like suited connectors or even suited one gappers or offsuited connectors, as well as any pocket pair.

      Since you are in position postflop you should be able to accumulate nice pots as soon as you hit your monster. These hyperactive players are willing to pay you off in many cases. Therefore you should play them straight for value.

      Don't try to play a style that doesn't suit you. If you don't feel good playing a lot of hands you simply shouldn't.

      The above tips only apply for non-turbo tournaments. In turbo tournaments I would suggest a very tight approach early on. Your edge comes from decent calling and pushing ranges later on and there is no point in gambling at the beginning since you will be short anyways.

      Regards,
      Asaban
    • metza
      metza
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      Joined: 28.01.2012 Posts: 2,220
      Originally posted by tommygecko
      Try to see flops as cheaply as possible with only hands that play well postflop. If people go crazy like you just said don't convince yourself to call. In the long run a hand like A5s will be -EV if you call in that spot in the early phase. That's the best you can do.

      Having a strong ICM game when you're short stacked will make a difference in the long run too, so improve your ICM if you plan to grind tourneys.
      I thought ICM was more a tool for SnG than tourneys, where its better to go by ChipEV than ICM for almost all of the tourney except bubble and final table. I am cash game player though so probably don't know what I'm talking about. :f_biggrin:
    • Asaban
      Asaban
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      Joined: 22.09.2006 Posts: 8,242
      Especially in turbo's icm is always important. The deeper it gets (or the less players participate) the more important it is.

      You are right though: in most cases things like future game aspect will even out icm so that you can ignore it.

      Regards
      Asaban
    • amanofhisword
      amanofhisword
      Basic
      Joined: 10.03.2013 Posts: 41
      Hello,

      if you noticed that these 3-4 players or even a couple of them are dumping a lot of chips after the flop with very weak hands like non-suited connectors that hit bottom pair or top pair with weak kicker etc, then you might wanna play a lot of your connectors suited and offsuit as in this case your implied odds are huge. but if they are playing loose aggressive preflop then getting carefull on the flop, you are gonna have to stick with premium hands

      good luck at the tables
    • rollkin
      rollkin
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      Joined: 03.03.2008 Posts: 15
      In these situations I just try to adjust to the table, play more marginal hands in spots where I can hit high. If even it means limping, overlimping, flating cheap raises and fold hands with more equity. I simply try to overlimp/limp more suited connectors/suited one/two gappers, small/mid pairs from late positions. it's not a shame to get busted in correct odds, It's more a shame to get blinded out before the more serious money kicks in. And, also, in early stages there is a lot of post flop play. So try to improve that part of your style and your problem should solve it self :)

      GL at the tables.
    • JirinPanthosa
      JirinPanthosa
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      Joined: 06.03.2013 Posts: 13
      Last weekend I had success against donkers underplaying premium hands after several calls.

      My hole: AKo, I'm the BB, 5 limpers, I check.

      Flop: K Q J

      I bet about 3/4 pot size, 3 folds, 2 calls.

      Turn: Q

      I check, concerned about the set, 2 more checks

      River: 5

      I check, guy at the end of the table who has been doing crazy chip tricks: "Okay, you've got KJ..." (Thinking no way I could possibly have checked with AK)

      Bet 40BB, fold, I call

      Better reveals J3, I take the pot.

      When you're playing really tight against loose donkers they think they can fold you really easy, so the underplay can get you a lot of value in a hand with many callers and no raises. If I had raised immediately people would have suspected AK and I wouldn't have gotten that bluff overbet.

      Cold calling with drawing hands can definitely be good against donkers because when you do hit they won't react to scare cards.
    • pzhon
      pzhon
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      Joined: 17.06.2010 Posts: 1,151
      Metza's comments on the ICM are correct. The tournament equity, according to the ICM, is very close to linear early in a MTT. Do whatever gains chips. Do not be risk averse.

      If you can't gain chips on average, that is an indication that you are being outplayed. Maybe you are used to playing in a very nitty fashion, exploiting calling stations who pay you off. However, a nitty style is exploited by a loose aggressive style. So, perhaps you are being outplayed by the aggressive players. If you play a more balanced game, they should not be able to exploit you the same way. When you learn to exploit loose, aggressive players, you may find a table with 4 loose, aggressive players to be particularly profitable.
    • Patapio
      Patapio
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      Joined: 21.06.2012 Posts: 11
      But OK, it's not everytime this happens early stage. And NO, the problem is not post flop with this guys. It's preflop where they take me a lot of marginal good spots that I usually exploit playing TAG when it still early but the blinds are kind 50/100 or 60/120 already and stack sizes on the table are somewhere between 2.500 and 3.500 chips. And let's remember I'm talking about tourneys 1.10$ or 2.20$ buyins.

      After playing everyday (almost a year) microstakes tourneys on stars I may say this is a chronicle problem. But since I've started this thread I consider I've made some improvements and I'm dealing much better with that.

      It's inevitable, when you play religiously the same tourneys despite the field is pretty big you end up knowing "some faces". Not just some, a lot of them. Even playing big fields like the big 2.20 I have more than a 1000 players with notes and of course among them those "laggish" ones. I say "laggish" because 90% of them aren't good LAG players, they're incompetent mostly.

      With time I have learnt to identify good spots where I can go in against these players with marginal hands knowing that I'm good. It's not everytime that works of course, sometimes they have the goods too but... it works more than it doesn't. I'm 3betting much more early stage than I used to when I find this kind of scenario and it's has being profitable.
    • Tiffy2
      Tiffy2
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      Joined: 22.06.2010 Posts: 56
      I have noticed that some people go all in very early in the tournament with almost any sort of cards.

      Their strategy seem to be to quickly double their money or get out of the tournament.

      I can see the beauty in having lots of money or not play at all, but the question is if it is a good strategy in the long run ?
    • Asaban
      Asaban
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      Joined: 22.09.2006 Posts: 8,242
      Originally posted by Tiffy2
      I have noticed that some people go all in very early in the tournament with almost any sort of cards.

      Their strategy seem to be to quickly double their money or get out of the tournament.

      I can see the beauty in having lots of money or not play at all, but the question is if it is a good strategy in the long run ?
      No - it's not. Taking -EV spots to double up early is generally a bad idea. The extra chips won't give you a much bigger chance of reaching the money. I would recommend playing straight for value in the early stages of a micro or low buyin tournament.

      As long as you have an edge you should get better spots to gain chips than getting it in preflop with 40% or less equity. By shoving many hands you give up on your edge and gamble, which is generally not the best idea in poker.

      Regards,
      Asaban
    • Tiffy2
      Tiffy2
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      Joined: 22.06.2010 Posts: 56
      A straight and easy to understand answer. Thank you very much.