screwing up towards the end of MTTs

    • PokerAves
      Joined: 21.08.2008 Posts: 13
      Hi, I guess this is a "learn to fold" type of problem, but a little more complicated. I find when I'm doing really well in an MTT, like sitting top 3 and there's 50 players left and top 20 get paid, I start getting overly aggressive when I'm the biggest stack at the table. Here's an example from yesterday:

      Me: Kc Ac

      Flop: Ks 9c 3s

      I raised pre-flop and got quite a few callers, so I bet very aggressively on the flop and then someone with maybe 1/2-3/4 of my stack goes all-in. I call and he turns over 5s 6s and catches the flush on the turn. If I just pressed "sit out" for the remainder of the tournament I would probably easily be ITM, but I just can't stop playing hands like above. I know I should just be playing to 'survive longer', but in the heat of the moment I just can't seem to fold. Any tips?
  • 7 replies
    • Hlynkinn
      Joined: 14.06.2008 Posts: 4,998
      the question is strange.... Why should you ever ever ever ever ever fold top pair top kicker with a backdoor flushdraw in a tournament?... not even for your tournament life... I go broke quicker then the Icelandic economy in that situation....
    • cannell555
      Joined: 06.03.2008 Posts: 2,410
      Hi PokerAves,

      This is the middle stages. This is where most people tend to have problems imo. Usually because most people are in push or fold, and others not knowing what hands to call with or fold. People cold call raises so damn often at this stage. When in fact they should be folding or raising.

      The hand you mention - You are so often ahead, why would you fold? If people hit a flush and win, then you made the correct decision. Got your money in ahead. Whats the problem?

      TIP: Don't play to survive in MTT's! Not even in SnG's imo, but my views on SnG's are different to PS's.

      TIP: Play aggressive poker at this stage. Don't be affraid of busting.

    • rowzee
      Joined: 24.08.2008 Posts: 151
      Hlynkinn is right, that was certainly not an example of a hand that should be folded. AK is most of the time pretty much a no-brainer raise and go-broke-if-hit-on flop hand. The important thing is to not tighten up when you have acquired a big stack early on, otherwise towards the end you might be on the borderline of ITM and outside the money. However, as you already stated, a big stack shouldn't loosen up your play significantly either. In MTT's the most important thing is chip accumulation and retention. Now, I'm no expert in MTT's, but I like to think of a big stack as a safety cushion - I will continue to play my tight style because I know that I'm in good shape for at least the next couple of blind levels which means that I won't get involved in unnecessary confrontations with other big stacks in marginal spots, but will, of course, happily take advantage of short stacks and try to steal their blinds.

      PS. Bear in mind that cashing in and winning an MTT requires some luck, most of the time more than once in the tournament (hence, sometimes you might be willing to take chances in marginal spots if your stack is not that great). Even the best MTT players around can manage to cash in only 20% of the time.
    • alejandrosh
      Joined: 02.07.2008 Posts: 4,346
      don't play to get itm, play to win the damn thing , you can't do a mistake going all in with TPTK while the other guy plays a flush draw like the nuts.
    • PokerAves
      Joined: 21.08.2008 Posts: 13
      the question was more general than just the above example...

      but once we're analyzing that hand, if I'm only sitting with a pair on the flop, and I'm met with heavy resistance, it's probably better to assume I'm behind on the hand and that I'm the one drawing for the win. Ok, in this case, he was only on a flush draw, but he could have easily flopped a set or two pair. I'm pretty sure the articles on here would tell me to fold in this situation. I'm sitting 3rd overall with a huge chip stack, I don't need more chips at the moment, so why risk it?

      anyway, I guess your answer to my more general question is... it's fine to be more aggressive at this stage, since I should be playing for the win and not just ensuring I'm in the money. I guess that's really what I was asking.
    • Fongie
      Joined: 02.12.2006 Posts: 4,978
      No Im pretty sure the articles here are not concering MTTs and that you should definately try to double up here. You must change your mindset from playing to get ITM to playing to WIN. And to play to win you have to go through a lot of busting, daring plays that don't work out and so on but when they do, you'll be sitting with the goods.
    • Pairdrawer65
      Joined: 17.12.2007 Posts: 253
      If you want to make the money just realize this:
      most of the time you just double your money, 3rd place in a 9 man SNG also doubles your money.
      my point is: why double your money, when you can get 150 buy-ins back. and you have a far better chance to make 150 buy-ins if you take these spots. sure the chance you make the 2 buy-ins is smaller for sure. but i hope you understand now that's not the optinal strategy.

      It's perfectly natural to play like this. i did asswell, i think everyone did when they started off, until they realized this is not the best strategy.